Thursday, February 12, 2015

Architect of Film: Saul Bass, Title Design for "Grand Prix" [1966]

Architect of Title Design: Saul Bass, Grand Prix [1966]

Sound Design: Gordon Daniel (Academy Award Winner, Best Sound Effects)
Main Film Director: John Frankenheimer
Filming Location: Monte Carlo, Monaco  
Shot in 65 mm Super Panavision 

The composition of the shots - sculptural forms viewed in carefully cropped frames - is only a topical layer of the wonderful edifice erected by Mr. Bass. What makes such individual images, sexy as they may be, transcend being mere staging of picturesque vignettes and reach the heights of ballet, is the integration of time-based choreography in space: Bass's montage, and his sliced, spliced and staggered, split-screen & multiplied montages of those montages; interwoven with the carefully threaded lines of text - and the pauses, leaps and extended holding aloft of bodies/machines about-to-take-off-in-motion, are the best thing to come along evoking motion, after moving pictures began themselves, perhaps since contrapposto was invented by the Greeks in the 5th century BCE.  

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