Ballester and Bass

Not too many movie poster fans mix up the rich tapestries of Italian artist, Anselmo Ballester (left), with the minimalist master, Saul Bass (right) — but here’s a strange similarity (although to be fair, the one-sheet for Phase IV, Saul Bass’s one and only feature directing credit, wasn’t done by the great Bass himself)…(Eatbrie)

Saul Bass + Elaine Bass = All Class.

Okay, I’ve finally gotten through the 415-page blockbuster book, Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design by Pat Kirkham and Jennifer Bass (Saul’s daughter) — and my eyeballs hurt. Wow, what a visual feast! Part biography, part loving tribute, this tomé features over 1,400 illustrations, spanning Bass’s iconic career in movies and corporate identity/commercial logos. It’s almost unthinkable what the 1950’s-1970’s would’ve looked like without Bass’s clean, colorful logos decorating everything from cereal boxes to 747’s.

Although the career highlights of Mr. Bass have been well-documented in Art of the Title and Movie Titles, this publication uncovers many lesser-known tidbits about the modern master, including how his Walk on the Wild Side titles influenced a young Stevie Spielberg to do an 8mm film with his diva dog, Thunder, as well as Bass’s work on such late 1980’s pictures as Broadcast News, Big, and Mr. Saturday Night.

The book also clarifies the vitally important contributions of Saul’s accomplished wife, Elaine. Much like the Eames’s close-knit relationship, Elaine Bass took over production on the title sequence for Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus (1960) and their cool collaborations continued on with Otto Preminger, Alfred Hitchcock, and Martin Scorsese (their Casino titles no doubt inspired the Mad Men intro), all the way up to Saul Bass’s death in 1996.

Dial M For Ripoff?

Eagle-eyed Neil Jaworski spotted the Saul Bass (The Human Factor) homage on this new book cover for Tom Watson’s Dial M For Murdoch, which ironically chronicles the Fox founder’s hacking scandal…(MOPO)

Django Bass!

Quentin Tarantino has gone Saul Bass on our ass (or perhaps it was a combo platter of Rene Ferracci’s Wild Bunch and Thief of Paris that caught his eye) with the new teaser for his upcoming spaghetti western, Django Unchained. (ImpAwards)

Munn Meets MoMA

Indie rock/film poster artist, Jason Munn (Alamo Drafthouse, etc.) just went legit as SFMoMA recruited him be part of the museum’s Artist Series.

With that designation under his belt, he designed an eye-popping quartet of Saul Bass-ish graphics that are now on sale at Munn’s website or the SFMoMA museum store!