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Saul BassAnatomy of Film Design$
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Jan-Christopher Horak

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813147185

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813147185.001.0001

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Journeys of Discovery

Journeys of Discovery

Seeing is Knowledge

(p.265) 6 Journeys of Discovery
Saul Bass

Jan-Christopher Horak

University Press of Kentucky

Saul Bass realized the potential of the journey as a narrative device for both his titles and his films. Travel invariably involves a goal, both geographic and conceptual, but more often than not, the journey itself is the goal, as if the mere accomplishment of the quest leads to the acquisition of knowledge. Bass’s title sequence for Martin Ritt’s The Edge of the City (1957), his first title to use the narrative trope of the journey, inserts his typical designs for graphic city lights over live-action images. His titles for Walk on the Wild Side (1962), directed by Edward Dmytryk, may be his most celebrated: the black cat slinking through an urban landscape metaphorically circumscribing the film’s “cat house.” Bass’s two sponsored films for the New York World’s Fair, From Here to There (1964) and The Searching Eye (1964), both describe journeys of visual discovery. Quest (1983), in contrast, is a spiritual and metaphoric journey in the guise of a science fiction film.

Keywords:   quest narratives, Walk on the Wild Side, The Searching Eye, Quest

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