Bass on Titles - Thurs. Mar 1 - 8pm

Oddball Films presents Bass on Titles, an evening of films showcasing one of the 20th century’s legendary graphic designers, filmmakers and title producers - Saul Bass. Films include documentary Bass on Titles (1982) featuring some of the designer’s iconic title sequences and logos; Notes on the Popular Arts (1977), explores escapism in American popular media through a smorgasbord of bizarre dream sequences; with exquisite timelapse cinematography, The Searching Eye (1964), follows a boy who sees the history of man in a sand castle and the creation of the earth in a piece of rock; and A Short Film on Solar Energy (1980), presents an animated history of solar power and a possible future without fossil fuels. Plus trailers for films with Bass-designed titles sequences and more! 

Date: Thursday, March 1, 2011 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 Arm, West Side Story, Nine Hours to Rama, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, A 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. 

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!

The Searching Eye (Color, 1964)
A small boy takes a hypnagogic trip through nature in this visually stunning investigation of the mind’s eye. During a long, wandering hike, the boy sees the history of man in a sand castle and the creation of the earth in a piece of rock. Bass goes all out on this one, using exquisite timelapse cinematography and flawless composition. 

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,  Psycho, Casino, West 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.