The Saul Bass Treatment - Fri. May 30 - 8PM

Oddball Films presents The Saul Bass Treatment, an evening of films showcasing one of the 20th century’s legendary graphic designers, filmmakers and title producers - Saul Bass. The man responsible for some of the most easily recognizable corporate logos, film posters and film title sequences was–in his own right–an incredible, visionary and award-winning filmmaker. Films include documentary Bass on Titles (1982) featuring the man himself musing on the creation of some of the designer’s most iconic title sequences from such films as Man with a Golden ArmIt’s a Mad Mad Mad World, SecondsWest Side StoryGrand Prix, and Walk on the Wild Side as well as some of his most famous corporate logosNotes on the Popular Arts (1977) explores escapism in American popular media through a smorgasbord of bizarre dream sequences; with exquisite timelapse cinematography, co-directed by his wife Elaine Bass.  The pair teamed up again for the lush optical fantasy Quest (1984), an adaptation of Ray Bradbury's dystopian short story "Frost and Fire" and Saul Bass' final film.  Plus, the newly unearthed short From Here to There (1964), a kaleidoscopic airplane flight across the country made for the 1964 World's Fair.

Date: Friday, May 30th, 2014 at 8:00PM

Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street, San Francisco

Admission: $10.00 - Limited Seating RSVP to or 415-558-8117



Bass on Titles (Color, 1982)
The work of Academy Award winner Saul Bass (Why Man Creates) covers the full range of the design spectrum, from feature film titles, corporate logos and product design to directing his own films about perception and creativity. In this film Bass talks about the evolution of the thematic title sequences that open and close many of the great productions of cinema.  The design of these symbols involves the search for an elusive visual statement that instantaneously communicates the film’s intent while generating public interest. Title sequences included are the iconic Man With the Golden ArmWest Side StoryNine Hours to RamaIt’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad WorldA Walk on the Wild Side and many more.

Notes on the Popular Arts (Color, 1977)
This exploration of popular media in America (think TV, movies, magazines, and music) has Bass blowing up the absurd of the every day to show how our popular arts serve as a means of wish fulfillment and escapism. In a series of fantasies, each of our treasured American art forms takes an unsuspecting person through a smorgasbord of bizarre dream sequences. Bass’s typically beautiful visuals turn this essay film into a hilarious and elegant statement. 

Quest (Color, 1984)
Saul and Elaine Bass directed this epic adaptation of Ray Bradbury's short story "Frost and Fire" about a boy who must set out on a journey to save his entire people before he grows old and dies, in 8 days.  This breathtaking fantasy marvel was Saul Bass' final film and showcases his incredible eye. 

From Here to There (Color, 1964)
Without narration and using quick cuts and odd angles, Bass creates a fast-paced and visually enticing collage of the golden age of air travel.  From the airports to the passengers; stunning aerial shots and minute details, this short will take you back in time and across the country like the 1960s jetsetter we all wish we were.  Commissioned by United Airlines for their tent at the 1964 World's Fair.

For the Early Birds:

A Short Film on Solar Energy (Color, 1980)
Ever the innovator, Saul Bass and friends give us a taste of what the future could look like with renewable energy. Bass treats us to short history of the use of solar energy by humans, and a wonderfully animated look at dastardly fossil fuels. The year after this film was released, Reagan removed Jimmy Carter’s solar panels from the White House roof. Go America!

About Saul Bass
One of the greatest graphic designers of the 20th century, Saul Bass was born on May 8, 1920 in Bronx, New York. He became known for designing brilliant animated sequences for motion pictures. In his 40+ year career he did work for the best Hollywood movie makers including Otto Preminger, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese and many more.

Bass designed title sequences for over 50 feature films, including classics such as The Man With the Golden Arm,  PsychoCasinoWest Side Story,Anatomy of a Murder and dozens of others. He won numerous awards, including an Oscar in 1969 for best documentary for Why Man Creates. In 1965 won Lion of San Marco award for Best Film about Adolescence for the film The Searching Eye.  Bass was also well known in the publishing/advertising industry, having designed the corporate identity of United Airlines, AT+T, the poster for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic games and dozens of iconographic logos still used today. He died on April 25, 1996 in Los Angeles.

Be on the lookout later this year for our friend Jan-Christopher Horak's book Saul Bass: Anatomy of Film Design, available in November.  Horak is a film historian and the director of the UCLA Film + Television Archive.  Click here for more information on the book.

About Oddball Films
Oddball films is the film component of Oddball Film+Video, a stock footage company providing offbeat and unusual film footage for feature films like Milk, documentaries like The Summer of Love, television programs like Mythbusters, clips for Boing Boing and web projects around the world.

Our films are almost exclusively drawn from our collection of over 50,000 16mm prints of animation, commercials, educational films, feature films, movie trailers, medical, industrial military, news out-takes and every genre in between. We’re actively working to present rarely screened genres of cinema as well as avant-garde and ethno-cultural documentaries, which expand the boundaries of cinema. Oddball Films is the largest film archive in Northern California and one of the most unusual private collections in the US. We invite you to join us in our weekly offerings of offbeat cinema.