The guys at Art of the Title have put together a short video about Saul Bass and his unique style of title design. The video is a summary of Bass’ most famous title sequences, such as those of North by Northwest, Cape Fear (both the original and the remake), Casino and The War of the Roses.
Not only is the video instructive of Bass’ signature style, it is also very interesting to watch in light of the recent resurgence in modernist style in design, cinema and television, of which you can read more in this article by Vanessa Quirk.
Of course, as a TV scholar, I can only point to AMC’s Mad Men’s acclaimed credits, whish owe a great debt to Bass, and they’re recent promotional posters that advertise the debut of its fifth season.
Glad to know that Fred Greene of UCLA finds my forthcoming article on the sensorial stimulation in Boardwalk Empire’s trailer campaign fascinating. Read along what he thinks of it!
So, finally, I feel like writing my PhD thesis was not a complete waste of energy and time. An essay based on the research I conducted at “L’Orientale” University of Naples has seen the light on Scope, under the title “Between Allegory and Seduction: Perceptual Modulation in Battlestar Galactica.”
Following is the abstract
“This paper investigates the relationship between BSG and the post-9/11 ecology of agitation in light of George Bush’s strategy of collective perceptual management. While most readings focus on its allegory of the war on terror, I address the audiovisual strategies by which BSG appeals to the viewer’s senses, mapping the emergence of a post-9/11 sensibility. My suggestion is that the show’s relationship with the post-9/11 reality rests in the power to address the audience’s feelings. To this end, I look at BSG’s aesthetics of crisis as operating as an affective vector, playing out in an informational system that invests in affective solicitation to provoke a bodily response in the audience. Given the status of television as the principal medium of post-9/11 governmental perceptual modulation, I argue that BSG’s relationship with the war on terror is rooted in an ability to express meaning and feeling, keeping a sensation of agitation alive throughout a four-season run. To expose the political value of the show’s aesthetics, I look not at the codes, as at the expressions and style that make up a scenario of sensorial stimulation where feeling becomes a biopolitical operator. Indeed, BSG’s cinematographic techniques and haptic visuals, chromatic shifts and aural evocations effectively manufacture agitation, exposing a tension between the show’s status as an allegory of the contemporary world and its complicity with practices of televised affective engineering”.
and a link to Scope’s table of contents where you can download the essay.