Friday, September 02, 2005

Film Credits As Art

We all have our favorite film directors, favorite film composers, cinematographers and for the real film geeks, even a favorite editor (and if you have a favorite gaffer, you are just plain nucking futs.)

But when someone says favorite "credits designer" they usually mean Saul Bass. When Saul Bass designed the title credits for a film, the audiences would pay attention. It would also help that these were usually good films. Psycho, North By North-West, The Seven-Year Itch, Goodfellas, The War of the Roses, West Side Story...phew! The man designed great titles for way too many great films.

So check out this beautifully designed site with some great essays on this genius's work.

Well-designed opening credits can be so much fun. They not only tell you about the story that is to follow, some offer far more subtle clues about the characters and their worlds. As an example, look at Pather Panchali's opening titles. A simple, clean, distinctive, literary motif which immediately connects us to Bengali literature and the rural setting. Mr. Ray was an illustrator by profession before he turned into a film-maker, so it is hardly suprising that he paid attention to such details.

Bollywood has its (miniscule) share of well-designed titles. Some of the films that come to mind are Sai Paranjape's "Katha" and "Chashme Buddoor" and a couple of Hrishikesh Mukherjee films (I believe the delightful "Chhoti Si Baat" was one of them.) Slim pickings, I know, but then Indian film-makers have not consciously developed a visual aesthetic.

(via Yahoo Picks)


J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Kraftwerk? Pankaj Mallick? AND Clapton through Cayle? This is Kumbh Mela stuff.
How did you like Riding with the King? Would you say it's uneven?

That bit about freedom of speech - yes, I love that about the USA. That they can get up in public and call a spade a bloody shovel. Can you imagine the mayhem in India, f'rexample, if Shekhar Suman wisecracked about Vajpayee's girlfriends or Sonia in a bikini? (I should have posted that picture!)

And podner, it's your heritage, I agree we don't need concrete boxes in it, but the Mysore Palace is seriously ugly. Especially inside.


km said...

Sonia in a bikini? "Bellissima" just doesn't cut it, I tell you.


uma said...

erm, krishna, i have to agree with prufrockda..:) there are some lovely old palace buildings in mysore, but amba vilas palace is the kitschiest :)) *sigh* i love mysore

km said...

OK, you two, let's just agree to disagree and call it "Euro-decadent". Kitschy it ain't. Versailles is, Windsor Castle is, this isn't kitschy :))

Anonymous said...

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