Although Saul Bass won an Oscar for his short animation film, ‘Why Man Creates’ in 1968 he was more known for being one of the most gifted designers in Hollywood, creating title sequences for Alfred Hitchcock, Otto Preminger, Billy Wilder, Stanley Kubrick and Martin Scorsese amongst others. So given that he died this week over 16 years ago I thought I’d post you up the Oscar winning short he made with his wife and long life collaborator Elaine.
The short is an eight-part meditation on the nature of creativity mixing animation and live action using Bass’ advanced repertoire of optical techniques to look at the issues surrounding how and why humans have, throughout the history of civilization, kept on making things. It also looks at the creative struggle in terms of the coarseness of evaluative crowds, the tendency of successful radical ideas to become self-perpetuating institutions and ends in an unexpected setting; amid the toil of agricultural and medical scientists who may pursue an idea for years only to find that it has no application. This note of frustration leads into a montage of sun, fire, statuary, the Sphinx, canvasses, and rockets.
It is a fantastic film full of subtle visual complexity that will take you from antiquity to modernity in a profound, funny and above all educated way. Enjoy it
Via Open Culture
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