Credit Where It’s Due: The Father of the Title Sequence

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    From :


    The opening and closing credits in a film are a form of housekeeping, fulfilling a legal obligation to compile the names of cast and crew who made the final product possible. Visionary designer Saul Bass saw the aesthetic potential in these cinematic bookends and, over the course of a four-decade career in the movie industry, pushed them into previously uncharted territory. Employing everything from animation to live action and time-lapse photography, he crafted sequences that stand on their own as works of art. Not only did he leave an indelible mark on the work of some of Hollywood’s greatest auteurs, he also went on to influence the course of modern graphic design with a sensibility that combined conceptual elegance with out-of-the-box experimentation.


    “All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can’t get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer.” —IBM Manual, 1925

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    Saul Bass deserves all the praise he gets for his title sequences. For the movie Phase IV? Not so much. I first saw that movie on TV when I was a teenager and I was intrigued but very confused (I missed the first 10 minutes or so). Later, I saw the movie on MST3K and realized how horrible that movie was: slow, cryptic and boring. Admittedly, my opinion was slanted by the fact it was on MST3K so it deserves a watch on DVD without the antics of Joel (or was it Mike?) and the robots. Unfortunately, the Blue-ray and DVD offerings are bare-boned only. I read that a montage was originally created for the ending of the movie but was never used. That was restored back in 2012 and I would like to see it right after watching the movie. I am hoping there will be a new release of the movie on Blu-Ray and DVD (it was last released in 2008) with the restored montage but it doesn’t look likely in the near future. Perhaps I can find the montage on the intertubes (youTube, maybe?).

    EDIT: Derp. Perhaps I could watch it on the Criterion channel like the article suggested.

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