Saturday, November 18, 2017

Architect of Film:Saul Bass's Title Design for "Anatomy of a Murder" [1959]

To a swaggering score by Duke Ellington, the solid black, scissor-cut, abstracted shapes of a disassembled human figure pop and slide into our grey background view - but not necessarily in order, and ultimately not clearly connected. With the roughly drawn text of the titles thrown up in stark, white relief we are quickly informed that although the body is clearly a murdered one, how & why may be somewhat of a puzzle. As always in his title designs, Bass introduces the story to come, not with a bland exposition, but rather a startling subtlety. 

Watch the animated sequence below -

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