Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Download Ex Machina
Before the DVD release on 8th June
Win Premiere Tickets
To see Mission: Impossible in Vienna.
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

BOOK DETAILS
Released
22 November 2011
Author
Jennifer Bass & Pat Kirkham
Publisher
Laurence King

LATEST BOOK REVIEWS
Young Winstone
3 Star Empire Rating
Quentin Tarantino FAQ
3 Star Empire Rating
Art Of Inside Out, The
4 Star Empire Rating
Sick In The Head
4 Star Empire Rating
Shining: Studies In The Horror Film, The
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Charlie Chaplin Archives, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Saturday Night Live: The Book
5 Star Empire Rating
Grand Budapest Hotel, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Becoming Richard Pryor
5 Star Empire Rating
75 Years of Marvel
5 Star Empire Rating

Saul Bass: A Life In Film & Design


submit to reddit

Review
Saul Bass directed only one feature — the interesting science-fiction movie Phase IV — but worked in a wide variety of design fields. He began in the movies as a poster designer but came to be the leading name in the specialised field of designing title sequences, working in the 1950s and ’60s with Otto Preminger (The Man With The Golden Arm), Alfred Hitchcock (Vertigo) and Stanley Kubrick (Spartacus), and on prestige projects like West Side Story and The Big Country, contributing especially to the design of the shower murder sequence in Psycho. Decades on, he returned to the field to deliver the openings of GoodFellas, Casino and Cape Fear. It takes a major filmmaker to live up to a Saul Bass titles sequence, which perhaps explains why he worked mostly with megalomaniac geniuses: few remember anything about Edward Dmytryk’s Walk On The Wild Side after Bass’ astonishing title sequence, which follows a cat through night-time New Orleans.

Written by art historian Pat Kirkham and Bass’ daughter Jennifer, the book covers in detail each of Bass’ title sequences and the ad campaigns that spun off from them — he was a master at selecting a key image (the broken body of Anatomy Of A Murder, the kinked arm of The Man With The Golden Arm) which could be used to brand a film. The book was begun with Bass’ input (he died in 1996) and includes his own thoughts on each of the key projects, along with a host of alternative or variant designs. Aside from Phase IV, which is given slightly short shrift, Bass directed a series of visually remarkable, high-profile short films, which tend to the experimental and visionary and yet still earned Oscars: Why Man Creates, The Solar Film, Notes On The Popular Arts, Quest. On the strength of his directorial output, he counts as a major science-fiction filmmaker.

Less known, but almost as interesting, is his work in corporate design. Many familiar logos (especially to Americans) are his work, including the ’80s/’90s colophons of Warner Bros., Geffen Films and other instantly recognisable images you usually don’t think of as the product of someone’s mind. This book seemingly looks at every piece of artwork created for a vast range of products, and picks out the ineffable coolness Bass brought to packaging a pair of tights for supermarket racks as much as to crafting the opening sequence of The Age Of Innocence.


Reviewed by Kim Newman

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Mirror Match: 10 Movies Where Your Evil Twin Attacks
A new challenger enters… and it’s YOU (but with bad facial hair)

Please Explain! With Arnold Schwarzenegger...
Plus Emilia Clarke on pranks, smiles and 'The Robot'

Terminator Genisys: Empire's Verdict
It wants your clothes and your (re)boots

100 Greatest Movie Characters
Your all-time favourite heroes and villains exclusively revealed!

Bonfire Of The Vanities: When Personal Projects Go Wrong
15 hubristic horrors that went straight to movie jail

Hollywood Jackanory: Stars Reading Things Out Of Context
From Ian McKellen vs. One Direction to Hugh Jackman vs. baking innuendos

Before And After: How 10 Books Changed On Their Way To Becoming Movies
...And how their authors reacted

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe now and save up to 67%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)