Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Posts tagged “Psycho

122 Years of Horror

A History of Horror from Diego Carrera on Vimeo.


Tools – Poster Art

01-bigI love these simple designs for series titled ‘Tools’ featuring 4 classic films. Would have all of them on my wall. Check out more from the artist Javier Vera Lainez on his site HERE

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Saul Bass: Famous Title’s from Preminger to Scorsese

Acclaimed titles designer Saul Bass worked with some of Hollywood’s most legendary directors during his 40-plus year career, and on some of their best pictures. His first title credit was on Otto Preminger’s 1954 Carmen Jones. From there, Bass went on to collaborate on over 60 films, many of which have become much deserved cinema classics.

In this hour-long compilation, YouTube user FlaneurSolitaire pieces together scores of Bass’ revered title sequences in chronological order, starting with The Man with the Golden Arm (also directed by Preminger), from 1955. Bass also did the titles for Spartacus (1960), which you can find at the 20:19 mark of the video.

Preminger isn’t the only director to bring Bass aboard more than once. Bass also developed long lasting working relationships with such historic and undeniably influential talents as Alfred Hitchcock (Psycho, Vertigo, and North by Northwest to name but a few) and, later, Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas, Cape Fear, and Casino). In fact, Casino is the last sequence Bass did before he passed away in 1996.

Just look at these designs. Bass’ unique eye and aesthetic helped capture the essence of each film he worked on, often in less than three minutes.


Psycho Shower Scene in LEGO

Any regular visitors to this blog will be aware that I like a bit of LEGO and love Psycho… so you can imagine how good it was to find this clip by Bricktease. you can see more at his YouTube site HERE



The United States of Horror

The United States of Horror updated by The Art of Horror. See more HERE

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William Freidkin on Australian Film The Babadook

Check out these tweets from a man who knows how to make a scary movie. High praise indeed for The Babadook.

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Horror Icons – By Barret Chapman

Love this fantastic montage of Horror Icons by Barret Chapman. The man has great taste. I want this on my wall..! See more of Barret’s work HERE

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Oh The Horror – Series 2

LEGO is the biggest retail toy in the world, bought by adults and kids alike… new versions of the Ghostbusters car and headquarters, batmobile and Simpsons house have pushed the little bricks to the top of workplace shelves worldwide. Minifigs have been creating specialist figures for some time now, they made Oh The Horror series 1 last year and are back with series 2. Featuring tributes to horror icons such as Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, Jigsaw, Leatherface, Pinhead, Ghostface, Ash and Norman Bates among others. Get them HERE
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Top 10 Songs from Psychotic Movies

Reposted from Reviewfix.com: Whether it makes one curl up under a blanket in terror or stand to their feet in hair-raising excitement, audiences tend to have a guilty pleasure for psychotic thrillers and characters.

The list below is comprised of the top ten songs from memorable moments in psychopathic thrillers.

The best movies of the genre captivated its audience by taking them on a roller coaster ride where the filmmakers intricately weaved masterful sound design with visuals. They engaged their audience by tactfully placing songs and musical tracks in crucial parts of the film.

Some of them were deemed ironic due to their seemingly irrelevant lyrics, while others told a side story and conveyed a insight into the characters. It is remarkable how these songs and visuals that are sometimes created ages apart can come together on screen and exhilarate us.

These songs and scenes captivated and sometimes repulsed audiences of all kinds. Whichever the case, the duos ranked in this lineup have shocked, amused and offended viewers since their releases.

Whether it is the unlikely combination of the song and the scene, or because the music was harmoniously with the deranged and demented actions of the plot, this top ten list will give psychopathic film lovers a familiar dose of crazy.

10: “After Dark”

Artist: Tito & Tarantula
Movie: From Dusk till Dawn
Criminal brothers Richard and Seth Gecko (Quentin Tarantino and George Clooney) seek refuge at a strip club/brothel called the Titty Twister — also a vampire nest. There they encounter Santanico Pandemonium (Salma Hayek), a vampire queen and her hive. Before the hive’s vampire identity is revealed, Hayek seductively dances to Tito & Tarantula’s “After Dark” with a snake on her shoulders, while serenading the men before her meal.

9: “The Greatest Love of All”
Artist: Whitney Houston, instrumental Performed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Movie: American Psycho
Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) discusses his musical proclivities as the intoxicated Elizabeth (Guinevere Turner) makes out with call girl Christie (Cara Seymour). Bateman speaks about the message behind Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All” as the instrumental by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra plays in the stereo. He passionately speaks about self-preservation and bettering one’s self all the while he plans to kill both women after he sleeps with them.

8: “The Ride of the Valkyries”
Artist: from Richard Wagner’s “Die Walküre,” performed by The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Movie: From Dusk till dawn
Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore (Robert Duvall) commands a squadron of attack helicopters against a Viet Cong village filled with women and children. The Colonel orders the helicopters to blast Richard Wagner’s “The Ride of the Valkyries” to frighten and intimidate the Vietnamese while simultaneously pumping up his soldiers for battle. As the squadron flies over, the village which moments ago was filled with students and farmers is left ravaged by bombs.

7: “The Way I Walk”
Artist: Cover by Robert Gordon
Movie: Natural Born Killers
Mickey and Mallory Knox (Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis) are a killer couple who get a thrill out of murder and mayhem. At a diner, Mallory dances alone by a jukebox while Mickey orders some pie. Two men walk in and notice Mallory. The song changes to Robert Gordon’s “The Way I Walk” and Mallory dances wildly. One of the men pursues to join her, a gesture responded with Mallory’s wrath. Within seconds, the loving couple blissfully kills every person there except just one man, who is left behind to tell of their deeds.

6: “Hold Tight” (1966)
Artist: Dave Dee, Dozy,
Beaky, Mick & Tich
Movie: “Death Proof” (2007)
Arlene, Jungle Julia, Shanna and Lanna (Vanessa Ferlito, Sydney Poitier, Jordan Ladd and Monica Staggs) drive down the highway with their stereo blasted. “Hold Tight” by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich plays as the girls get in their groove and horse around. Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russel) speeds past the girls’ car in his 1970 Chevy Nova. He makes a u-turn ahead, turns off the headlights and speeds right back towards the girls. Unknowingly, the girls cruise ahead turning up the volume. Mike turns on the headlights before impact and crashes into the girls’ car. The car crash is shown repeatedly from various angles to showcase the severed body parts and the gruesome deaths of each girl.

5: “Banana Split” (1979)
Artist: The Dickies
Movie: “Kick-Ass” (2010)
Vigilante superhero Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) comes to the rescue of Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), another costumed hero, in a drug dealer’s den. With a butterfly knife and her Mindy Stick (a staff weapon with two katanas at each end) Hit Girl stabs, slashes and chops off body parts until every criminal in the apartment is dead. The Dickies’ “Banana Split” is used as a soundtrack while the 11 year old girl kills everyone with glee.

4: “Hip to be Square” (1986)
Artist: Huey Lewis & The News
Movie: “American Psycho” (2000)
The complexity of Patrick Bateman’s (Christian Bale) intellect are exemplary in this scene. Bateman drugs his coworker, Paul Allen (Jared Leto) with a drink . The couches are covered with sheets and the floor with the style section of the newspaper. As he talks about Huey Lewis to Allen, Bateman puts on a rain coat and turns on “Hip to be Square.” He dances back to pick up an axe and speaks about how the band makes a statement through the song, all the while making a statement about himself. Bateman then axes down Allen with raw vigor and excitement.

3: “Goodbye Horses” (1988)
Artist: Q Lazzarus
Movie: “Silence of the Lambs” (1991)
Jame Gumb aka Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine), a serial killer has kidnapped a young girl, Catherine Martin (Brooke Smith) and locked her in a well in his basement. Q Lazzarus’s “Goodbye Horses” plays as Bill dresses in a women’s clothing and puts on makeup. He uses lipstick, jewelry, human skin and hair to doll himself up. Bill then sets up a camera to dance and experiment in front of it. The scene crosscuts between Martin trying to escape out of the well with Bill’s playtime. The scene shows the extent of Bill’s insanity and foreshadows what could become of Martin’s future.

2:”Stuck in the Middle With You” (1972)
Artist: Steeler’s Wheels
Movie: “Reservoir Dogs” (1992)
Vic Vega aka Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) has kidnapped a cop, Officer Marvin Nash (Kirk Baltz) after a heist. While his crew is out, Mr. Blonde is left alone in the safe house with a wounded accomplice and Officer Nash. Seizing the opportunity, he turns on the radio and takes out a razor from his boot. As “Stuck in the Middle With You” by Steeler’s Wheels plays on the radio, Mr. Blonde dances and slashes the officer’s face while taunting him. He then cuts the officer’s right ear off and gets a gallon of gasoline from his car. Still dancing, he drenches the officer with gasoline for what’s next.

1:”The Last Waltz” (1941)
Artist: from “Masquerade,” Last Waltz by Aram Khachaturyan
Movie: “Oldboy” (2003)
Aram Khachaturyan’s “The Last Waltz” is perhaps the most diversely and widely used soundtrack in a single film in the realm of psychotic thrillers. The movie depicts the life of Dae-su Oh (Min-sik Choi), an industrial worker, as he tries to find out the truth behind his mysterious imprisonment of 15 years. This terrifyingly beautiful melody is elegantly played through the most violent and delightful scenes in the movie. Through moments of love, death, sex and incest, the film shows the beauty in something ugly and the horror in something beautiful.


Wolf Creek Origin

wolf-creek-origin-cover-667x1024Before Wolf Creek 2 hits cinemas, comes an unprecedented venture in Australian horror—a series of prequel novels detailing the formation and rise of Australia’s most iconic horror villain.

In the first of a blood-soaked series of Wolf Creek prequel novels, the cult film’s writer/director Greg Mclean and horror writer Aaron Sterns take us back to the beginning, when Mick was a scrawny boy, the only witness to the grisly death of his little sister. Origin provides an unforgettably bloody answer to the question of nature vs nurture. What made Mick Taylor Australian horror’s most terrifying psycho killer?

Wolf Creek: Origin will be published January 2nd from Penguin books.  Check it out HERE.

 


Horror Themed Christmas Gifts

Looking for a Christmas present for that ‘walking Dead’ obsessed friend…

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Martin Scorsese – Top 11 Horror Films

Martin Scorsese recently listed his 11 favorite scary movies, name-checking some less famous titles along with the usual classics. Scorsese penned his list of scary movies for The Daily Beast, which also has clips of each title listed below.

    1. The Haunting
    2. The Isle of the Dead
    3. The Uninvited
    4. The Entity
    5. Dead of Night
    6. The Changeling
    7. The Shining
    8. The Exorcist
    9. Night of the Demon
    10. The Innocents
    11. Psycho

His tastes strongly tilt toward classic horror. The ShiningThe Exorcist, and Psycho are perennials on these kind of lists, but some of the older movies may be less familiar to modern audiences. The Entity is the newest film on there, and it’s over 30 years old.


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Psycho – Poster Art by Tomer Hanuka

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Colour Me Good Arrggghhhh!!

Colour Me ARRGGGHHHH!!UK retail giant Tesco has withdrawn from sale on its website a colouring book that depicts gory scenes from horror films. Colour Me Good Arrggghhhh!! features images from Psycho and Hellraiser, among other films, and was marketed online at children aged five to eight.

Tesco said the book had been placed in the wrong category when listed on its website by a third-party seller. Publisher I Love Mel said the book, which had been offered for sale by one of its stockists, was aimed at adults.

The 16-page colouring book features on its cover an image of actress Janet Leigh screaming as she is stabbed to death in Psycho’s infamous shower scene. There are pictures inside from The Silence of the Lambs, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Jaws, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining and Fatal Attraction.

East Sussex-based author Mel Elliott said: “My products are pop culture-inspired and aimed at playful grown-ups. They are not aimed at kids. “They are usually sold to grown-ups in fashion shops and book stores.” The Royal College of Art graduate said she had been unaware that the stockist of the book had placed it on sale through Tesco’s website.


Bates Motel – Season 2

bates_motelPsycho prequel series Bates Motel has been renewed for a second season. Check out the A&E press release:

NEW YORK – April 8, 2013 – A&E Network has picked up a second season of the acclaimed drama series, “Bates Motel” starring Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore from executive producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin, it was announced today by Bob DeBitetto, President and General Manager of A&E Network and BIO Channel. The premiere of “Bates Motel” garnered 4.5 million total viewers and 2.5 million adults 25-54 and 18-49, based on Live+7 viewership, making it the most-watched original drama debut in the key demos in the network’s history.
“Bates Motel’ has garnered critical acclaim and a loyal audience in its first few weeks,” said DeBitetto. “With superb writing and exceptional acting, led by the critically acclaimed performances of Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore, we’re incredibly excited to see where Carlton and Kerry take Norma and Norman Bates next.”

Season two of “Bates Motel” will begin pre-production later this year on ten new episodes slated to premiere in 2014.

“Bates Motel” also stars Max Thieriot (“Disconnect”), Olivia Cooke (“Blackout”), Nicola Peltz (“The Last Airbender) and Nestor Carbonell (“Lost,” “The Dark Knight Rises”).

In “Bates Motel,” following the tragic death of her husband, Norma Bates buys a motel on the outskirts of the idyllic coastal town of White Pine Bay, seeking a fresh start. As Norma and Norman get ensconced in their new home, they discover this town isn’t quite what it seems, and th
e locals aren’t so quick to let them in on their secrets. But the Bates’ are done being pushed around and will do whatever it takes to survive – and will do whatever it takes to protect their own secrets.

“Bates Motel” is produced by Universal Television for A&E Network. Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin serve as executive producers for Carlton Cuse Productions and Kerry Ehrin Productions respectively.


Bates Motel – Extended Footage

With a week to go before the Hitchcockian prequel series premieres, A&E is in full promotional mode at the Austin fest. Bates Motel stars Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates and Vera Farmiga as his mother and debuts March 18 at 10 PM.


Bates Motel – First Trailer

Check out the trailer for A&E’s upcoming series Bates Motel, which serves as a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s horror classic Psycho. This first trailer for the series, which is rolling out in movie theaters nationwide, introduces Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates and young British actor Freddie Highmore as her son, serial killer-to-be Norman Bates. It provides first glimpses at their complex and twisted relationship as they move into the infamous Bates Motel. The trailer includes commentary from the show’s cast and producers, including former Lost co-showrunner Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin (Parenthood, Friday Night Lights), who co-wrote and executive produce the 10-episode series.


Psycho – Mondo Poster Art

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Hitchcock – Variant poster


Hitchcock – Trailer

Check out this trailer for Hitchcock, from Fox Searchlight. The biopic that stars Anthony Hopkins as the famed director Alfred Hitchcock. It centres on the making of his iconic film Psycho and is being billed as a love story of Hitch and his wife Alma Reville, played by Helen Mirren. The killer cast of the Sacha Gervasi-directed pic also includes Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh and James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins. Gervasi made a big splash with the release of his loving portrait to the Heavy Metal group Anvil a few years back with the documentary Anvil: The Story of Anvil, it looks like he’s taken a massive step-up with this biopic.

The film opens the AFI Fest on November 1 before its platform release November 23, which puts it squarely in the heart of awards-season. A second best actor Oscar for Hopkins..?


H. P. Lovecraft

Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937) — known as H. P. Lovecraft — was an American author of horror, fantasy and science fiction.

Lovecraft was born on August 20, 1890, in his family home at 194 (later 454) Angell Street in Providence, Rhode Island. He was the only child of Winfield Scott Lovecraft, a traveling salesman of jewelry and precious metals, and Sarah Susan Phillips Lovecraft. In 1893, when Lovecraft was three, his father became acutely psychotic in a Chicago hotel room while on a business trip. The elder Lovecraft was taken back to Providence and placed in Butler Hospital, where he remained until his death in 1898.

Lovecraft was a prodigy, reciting poetry at the age of three and writing complete poems by six. His grandfather encouraged his reading, providing him with classics such as The Arabian Nights, and children’s versions of the Iliad and the Odyssey. His grandfather also stirred the boy’s interest in the weird by telling him his own original tales of Gothic horror. Beginning in his early life, Lovecraft is believed to have suffered from night terrors, a rare parasomnia disorder; he believed himself to be assaulted at night by horrific “night gaunts.” Much of his later work is thought to have been directly inspired by these terrors.

Lovecraft wrote some fiction as a youth but, from 1908 until 1913, his output was primarily poetry. During that time, he lived a hermit’s existence, having almost no contact with anyone but his mother. This changed when he wrote a letter to The Argosy, a pulp magazine, complaining about the insipidness of the love stories of one of the publication’s popular writers, Fred Jackson. The ensuing debate in the magazine’s letters column caught the eye of Edward F. Dass, President of the United Amateur Press Association (UAPA), who invited Lovecraft to join them in 1914. The UAPA reinvigorated Lovecraft and incited him to contribute many poems and essays.

In 1917, at the prodding of correspondents, he returned to fiction with more polished stories, such as The Tomb and  Dagon. The latter was his first professionally-published work, appearing in W. Paul Cook’s The Vagrant (November, 1919) and Weird Tales in 1923. Around that time, he began to build up a huge network of correspondents. His lengthy and frequent missives would make him one of the great letter writers of the century. Among his correspondents were Robert Bloch, and Robert E. Howard.

Lovecraft’s guiding aesthetic and philosophical principle was what he termed “cosmicism”  or “cosmic horror”, the idea that life is incomprehensible to human minds and that the universe is fundamentally inimical to the interests of humankind. As such, his stories express a profound indifference to human beliefs and affairs. Lovecraft is best known for his Cthulhu Mythos story cycle and the Necronomicon, a fictional grimoire of magical rites and forbidden lore.

For most of the 20th century, the definitive editions (specifically At the Mountains of Madness and Other NovelsDagon and Other Macabre TalesThe Dunwich Horror and Others, and The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions) of his prose fiction were published by Arkham House, a publisher originally started with the intent of publishing the work of Lovecraft, but which has since published a considerable amount of other literature as well. Penguin Classics has at present issued three volumes of Lovecraft’s works: The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories, and most recently The Dreams in the Witch Hose and Other Weird Stories. In 2005 the prestigious Library of America canonized Lovecraft with a volume of his stories edited by Peter Straub, and Random House’s Modern Library line have issued the “definitive edition” of Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness (also including Supernatural Horror in Literature).

Despite his best writing efforts, however, he grew ever poorer. He was forced to move to smaller and meaner lodgings with his surviving aunt. He was also deeply affected by his former correspondent Robert E. Howard’s suicide. In 1936, Lovecraft was diagnosed with cancer of the intestine, and he also suffered from malnutrition. He lived in constant pain until his death on March 15, 1937, in Providence.

Although Lovecraft’s readership was limited during his lifetime, his reputation has grown over the decades, and he is now regarded as one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century. According to Joyce Carol Oates, Lovecraft—as with Edgar Allan Poe in the 19th century—has exerted “an incalculable influence on succeeding generations of writers of horror fiction”. Stephen King called Lovecraft “the twentieth century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.” King has even made it clear in his semi-autobiographical non-fiction book Danse Macabre that Lovecraft was responsible for King’s own fascination with horror and the macabre, and was the single largest figure to influence his fiction writing. His stories have also been adapted into plays, films and games.

For more extensive information on Lovecraft, visit the excellent H. P. Lovecraft Archive HERE.


Horror Die Cut Collection by Max Dalton

Check out this poster by Max Dalton entitled “Horror Die Cut Collection” You can purchase a limited edition print for only $50 from his web page on spoke-art HERE


‘Psycho’ Prequel ‘Bates Motel’ Straight to Series

News via The Hollywood Reporter: A&E is checking in to the Bates Motel. The cable network has opted to bypass the traditional pilot stage and order its Psycho prequel Bates Motel straight to series aimed at a 2013 premiere.

From Lost‘s Carlton Cuse and Friday Night Lights‘ Kerry Ehrin, the series is inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic Psycho and is described as a contemporary exploration of Norman Bates’ formative years. It will explore his relationship with his mother, Norma, and offer a look at the backstory that helped forge the infamous serial killer. It’s been dubbed as a cross between Twin Peaks and Smallville.

The series, which will begin preproduction and casting immediately, is scheduled for a 2013 premiere on A&E. Cuse and Ehrin will executive produce the Universal Television and Carlton Cuse Productions effort. Anthony Cipriano penned the pilot script.

“We are proud to be partnering with Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin on their thrilling reinvention of one of the most compelling characters in cinematic history,” A&E president and GM Bob DeBitetto and A&E exec vp programming Dave McKillop said in a joint statement announcing the news Monday. “It’s a provocative project from two of the best storytellers in the business, and we’re looking forward to getting started.”

Bates Motel marks former Lost co-showrunner Cuse’s first TV project since his run on the island-set ABC drama.

The A&E effort is not the first time a Psycho spinoff has been attempted; NBC aired a 90-minute TV movie titled Bates Motel in 1987. The A&E series also marks the latest serial-killer prequel story, joining NBC’s Silence of the Lambs prequel series, Hannibal, which hails from Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller.

Serial killer prequels and Hitchcock history are both subjects that are currently being explored at other places too. There’s Hannibal, Bryan Fuller’s Silence of the Lambs prequel TV show that is currently in development, for one. Also shooting are Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, Fox Searchlight’s behind the scenes drama starring Anthony Hopkins, and The Girl, which features Toby Jones as the famed thriller director.


Saul Bass

Saul Bass (May 8, 1920 – April 25, 1996) was a graphic designer and filmmaker, perhaps best known for his design of film posters and motion picture title sequences.

Saul Bass was born on May 8, 1920, in the Bronx, New York, to Eastern European Jewish immigrant parents. He graduated from James Monroe High School in the Bronx and studied part-time at the Art Students League in Manhattan until attending night classes with György Kepes at Brooklyn College. He began his time in Hollywood during the 1940s doing print work for film ads, until he collaborated with filmmaker Otto Preminger to design the film poster for his 1954 film Carmen Jones. Preminger was so impressed with Bass’s work that he asked him to produce the title sequence as well. This was when Bass first saw the opportunity to create something more than a title sequence, but to create something which would ultimately enhance the experience of the audience and contribute to the mood and the theme of the movie within the opening moments. Bass was one of the first to realize the creative potential of the opening and closing credits of a movie.

Bass became widely known in the film industry after creating the title sequence for Otto Preminger’s The Man with the Golden Arm (1955). The subject of the film was a jazz musician’s struggle to overcome his heroin addiction, a taboo subject in the mid-’50s. Bass decided to create a controversial title sequence to match the film’s controversial subject. He chose the arm as the central image, as the arm is a strong image relating to drug addiction. The titles featured an animated, white on black paper cut-out arm of a heroin addict. As he expected, it caused quite a sensation.

For Alfred Hitchcock, Bass provided effective, memorable title sequences, inventing a new type of kinetic typography, for North by Northwest (1959), Vertigo (1958), working with John Whitney, and Psycho (1960). It was this kind of innovative, revolutionary work that made Bass a revered graphic designer. Before the advent of Bass’s title sequences in the 1950s, titles were generally static, separate from the movie, and it was common for them to be projected onto the cinema curtains, the curtains only being raised right before the first scene of the movie.

Bass once described his main goal for his title sequences as being to ‘’try to reach for a simple, visual phrase that tells you what the picture is all about and evokes the essence of the story”. Another philosophy that Bass described as influencing his title sequences was the goal of getting the audience to see familiar parts of their world in an unfamiliar way.

He designed title sequences for more than 40 years, and employed diverse film making techniques, from cut-out animation for Anatomy of a Murder (1958), to fully animated mini-movies such as the epilogue for Around the World in 80 Days (1956), and live action sequences. His live action opening title sequences often served as prologues to their films and transitioned seamlessly into their opening scenes.

Toward the end of his career, he was rediscovered by Martin Scorsese who had grown up admiring his film work. For Scorsese, Saul Bass (in collaboration with his wife Elaine Bass) created title sequences for Goodfellas (1990), Cape Fear (1991), The Age of Innocence (1993), and Casino (1995), his last title sequence. His later work with Scorsese saw him move away from the optical techniques that he had pioneered and move into the use of computerized effects. Bass’s title sequences featured new and innovative methods of production and startling graphic design.

Saul Bass designed emblematic movie posters that transformed the visuals of film advertising. Before Bass’s seminal poster for The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), movie posters were dominated by depictions of key scenes or characters from the film, often both juxtaposed with each other. Bass’s posters, however, typically developed simplified, symbolic designs that visually communicated key essential elements of the film. For example, his poster for a Man with a Golden Arm, with a jagged arm and off-kilter typography, starkly communicates the protagonist’s struggle with heroin addition. Bass’s iconic Vertigo (1958) poster, with its stylized figures sucked down into the nucleus of a spiral vortex, captures the anxiety and disorientation central to the film. His poster for Anatomy of a Murder (1959), featuring the silhouette of a corpse jarringly dissected into seven pieces, makes both a pun on the film’s title and captures the moral ambiguities within which this court room drama is immersed.

He did great work for Stanley Kubrick, Hitchcock, Otto Preminger and Billy Wilder among other. His last commissioned film poster was created for Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1993), but it was never distributed. His poster work spanned five decades and inspired numerous other poster and graphic designers. Bass’s film posters are characterized by a distinctive typography and minimalistic style.

In some sense, all modern opening title sequences that introduce the mood or theme of a film can be seen as a legacy of Saul Bass’s innovative work. In particular, though, title sequences for some recent movies and television series, especially those whose setting is during the 1960s, have purposely emulated the graphic style of his animated sequences from that era. Some examples of title sequences that pay homage to Bass’s graphics and animated title sequences are Catch Me If You Can (2002), X-Men: First Class (2011), and the opening to the AMC series Mad Men.

Check out some iconic Saul Bass opening titles HERE