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March 26, 2010 2:48 PM   Subscribe

Saul Bass + Tron = Retro Tron
posted by blue_beetle (35 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
by hexagonall
posted by blue_beetle at 2:49 PM on March 26, 2010


Reminds me of this Star Wars title sequence, which apart from a minor misspelling of the word "starring," is pretty freakin' sweet. I love that old '60s style.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 3:00 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


These Saul Bass pastiches never seem to get the texture right - the pacing is always a little too ...fast and the simplified cut outs not artful enough.... colors keep reading as wrong to me.

This is however, the best one I've seen, so I'll quit bitching.
posted by The Whelk at 3:05 PM on March 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


and using the racer lines-outline boxes was a very nice touch - the kind of clever simplification that era worked in.
posted by The Whelk at 3:06 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was kinda hoping that the soundtrack was re-imagined too.
posted by lekvar at 3:07 PM on March 26, 2010


Internacional?
posted by mazola at 3:09 PM on March 26, 2010


I've seen the Star Wars one, what other things like this are there?
posted by roll truck roll at 3:11 PM on March 26, 2010


The Whelk: "These Saul Bass pastiches never seem to get the texture right - the pacing is always a little too ...fast and the simplified cut outs not artful enough.... colors keep reading as wrong to me."

I understand completely what you mean, yet I can't quite put my finger on it. I mean, I fucking love these things, but there's something not quite on. I came in here actually to say that that pacing felt off to me, so I'm glad you mentioned it. There's a certain punch they don't quite get, and I simply don't have the vocabulary to really explain why it seems that way. Today I am dumb.
posted by barnacles at 3:12 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Retron?
posted by Mister Moofoo at 3:14 PM on March 26, 2010


I would kill for a full image (and not cut in half like it is there) print of the Saul Bass-esque Recognizer.
posted by The Mysterious Mr. F at 3:19 PM on March 26, 2010


The "something that's not quite on" is the fact that Saul Bass didn't do it.
posted by chronkite at 3:22 PM on March 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


There's a certain punch they don't quite get, and I simply don't have the vocabulary to really explain why it seems that way.

A few things off the top of my head from quickly re-watching some other Bass intros.

People and characters - yes Bass used them, but not very often. It was mostly text or abstract design elements or ..arrows. When actual objects did appear, they where very arefully and smoothly pared down - so many of these look like someone hit "Cutout" and "Posterize" and left it at all.

The texture - yes Bass was flat, but you could see the texture of his paper. These still read as computer graphics to me (Oddly the end sequence of Monsters Inc kinda nailed this beautifully)

Generally Business. A lot of Bass's intros are just words, it's mostly about the music. Not a whole lot is happening on the screen to modern eyes, that and if I was pressed, I'd say the modern stuff is just 2 seconds too fast and enters a kind of Uncanny Valley of pastiche.
posted by The Whelk at 3:25 PM on March 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


While it may not be spot-on, I would love to have lived in this alternate world and seen the movie this was a trailer for. I picture Barbara Eden as the MCP, and Sklar would have been played by Clint Eastwood- maybe even Earnest Borgnine.
posted by jenkinsEar at 3:29 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ooh, Borgnine, yeah.

A touch too fast, and I wanted it to be longer, but still nicely done.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:44 PM on March 26, 2010


Sark: Lee Van Cleef
Tron: Steve McQueen
Flynn: James Coburn
posted by The World Famous at 4:00 PM on March 26, 2010


Bass is remembered for his title sequences. But he did other things too; some famous logos, for instance.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:02 PM on March 26, 2010 [5 favorites]


I don't think Steve McQueen would work as Alan, though. He's too cool. Playing Tron / Alan is basically playing Superman/Clark Kent except with the omnipotence / spazz quotient dialed down on both ends.

Given the subject matter, I think you go for someone who could do sword and sandal. Kirk Douglas, or, User forbid, Heston.

The important thing is Angie Dickenson as Lori. Duh.
posted by condour75 at 4:15 PM on March 26, 2010


The "something that's not quite on" is the fact that Saul Bass didn't do it.

This.
These hipster homages hit on most of the superficial bits, but don't come close to the real thing. For me, the obvious problem is the timing. The timing of these new pieces is more cartoonish. Bang, bang, bang. No lingering, no tension, no story-telling.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:04 PM on March 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


The wrongness is the lack of delta jitter. Real animation would have the lines and objects moving a slightly different amount each frame. These CG pastiches are far too perfect. It's like stuffing Miles Davis through a quantizer. It has NO FUCKING SOUL.

Nice palette though.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:08 PM on March 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


it reminds me of the Venture Brothers intro
posted by rebent at 6:56 PM on March 26, 2010


This new Tron looks pretty sweet
posted by snoktruix at 7:08 PM on March 26, 2010


The Vneutre Brothers' intro stuff is a good example of people taking the peroid stuff as a springboard for their own thing, which is both a homage and something new. See also the Catch Me if you Can Intro. Take the same idea and then run with it into a new place. Monsters INC did a wonderful job of replicating it more fully, more on the direct end.
posted by The Whelk at 7:09 PM on March 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


I thought this was really cool - although it was a little confusing to see "MUSIC BY WENDY CARLOS" (who did the actual soundtrack) with that yakkity-sax horn music playing.
posted by DecemberBoy at 7:26 PM on March 26, 2010


But he did other things too; some famous logos, for instance.

Wow, he designed the friggin' (new-style) Ma Bell logo AND the AT&T Death Star? That alone would be something to be known for, and I never even knew he designed them.
posted by DecemberBoy at 7:28 PM on March 26, 2010


Also, I think it's pretty obvious why these don't feel right - they're CG, and not "real" animation. Watch this or this - see how the lines are sort of jumpy, and the objects just look more organic? It's entirely down to the medium. It'd be like trying to recreate a painting on canvas on a computer monitor (which is impossible for complicated color theory reasons that have nothing to do with this discussion).
posted by DecemberBoy at 7:34 PM on March 26, 2010


See also the Catch Me if you Can Intro. Take the same idea and then run with it into a new place. Monsters INC did a wonderful job of replicating it more fully, more on the direct end.

I always thought the opening credits for Kiss Kiss Bang Bang accomplished this quite well too.
posted by Spatch at 8:47 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


he designed the friggin' (new-style) Ma Bell logo AND the AT&T Death Star?

There's an article about that here.

I were cynical, which I'm not, I'd say that Bass got paid three times for the same logo: AT&T, Continental Airlines, and Minolta.
posted by twoleftfeet at 8:49 PM on March 26, 2010


Of course it's too punchy-- leaving aside homage technique vs. Bass' technique etc, the music is all wrong for Tron. This title sequence makes me think I'm about to sit down to futuristic caper flick, which Tron wasn't. The thing about Tron ( to me at, any rate) is that as cool as the action sequences were, the REALLY BIG DEAL was that there was a completely alien world that we were about to discover and map out on a hero's quest.

The music, if its going to re-imagined, needs to be slowed down a touch as well-- Tron wasn't frenetic in even in its action sequences, it was elegant* (Think of the solar sailor sequence, plus the fact that light cycle chase often featured longer shots of the racers NOT turning as examples). The music used in the video above doesn't seem complementary to the experience of watching Tron at all.

* a less charitable soul might even say deliberate.
posted by KingEdRa at 10:11 PM on March 26, 2010


Another homage: Archer title sequence
posted by buzzv at 11:42 PM on March 26, 2010


I agree about the pacing. There isn't enough langour.

Consider, for example, Bass's intro to The Human Factor, which uses only a single drawing and yet is completely captivating and totally brilliant.

Part of the pacing is in the soundtrack- including pauses which let the acoustics resonate. This is something which is successfully done by the title sequence of Catch Me if You Can.
posted by honest knave at 5:03 AM on March 27, 2010


If anyone's interested by the way, the music is Nutville, by Horace Silver.
posted by condour75 at 6:09 AM on March 27, 2010


I keep wanting to like Archer but it just looks and moves So. Cheap. Like I should be watching it as embedded flash. It's distracting.
posted by The Whelk at 8:05 AM on March 27, 2010


Here's Lost vs. Saul Bass as well
posted by hypersloth at 9:48 AM on March 27, 2010


Bass is remembered for his title sequences. But he did other things too; some famous logos, for instance.

And let us never forget Phase IV. Phase fucking IV!
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:20 PM on March 27, 2010


Another reimagining of the Tron trailer, this time "modernized."
posted by yiftach at 2:23 PM on April 6, 2010


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