Saul Bass
January 23, 2011 10:41 AM   Subscribe

Why Man Creates directed by Saul Bass
posted by puny human (12 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
I'd first seen this in Eugen Weber's Western Tradition, I had no idea it was Saul Bass. Thanks.
posted by khaibit at 11:01 AM on January 23, 2011

Awesome. Went to a salon at Aurora Picture Show a month or so ago on film titles that was heavy on the Saul Bass. I have never looked at the beginning of a film the same way again.
posted by Brittanie at 11:15 AM on January 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

That's only the first half of it. Here's the second half.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:43 AM on January 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh wow. Such a cool little movie. Wonderfully done. And now I know the name of the artist of so many of those iconic posters that are part of my inner art landscape.

As for the topic of why human beings create, it's worthy of pondering. Necessity and adaptation would seem to be fundamental, the capacity to play too. And then there is this thing, the idea of transitional object, that has intrigued me as a psychoanalytical examination on the origins of the need for creativity.

The first transitional object would be something like one's teddy bear, which is both an external object and an internal one, imbued with one's personal meaning. The transitional object is experienced as both outside and inside at the same time, which morphs into how art is experienced, then symbols, then how culture is experienced.

The infant lives entirely in the present moment in a state of pure trust and guilelessness, deeply bonded with her mother. But as she grows, she discovers that her mother is a separate entity with her own priorities and limits. The infant's experience of relationship changes from one of spontaneous trust to one that is suffused with need and longing. This creates a gap between Self and Other in the consciousness of the child, who tries to fill this deepening rift with transitional objects - initially, perhaps a teddy bear; later, addictions and beliefs that serve to fill the psychic gap and thus provide a sense of security. It is the powerful human need for transitional objects that drives individuals in their search for property and power, and that generates bureaucracies and technologies as people pool their efforts.

Anyway, thanks for the stimulating post, puny human.
posted by nickyskye at 11:49 AM on January 23, 2011 [3 favorites]

pickle, scroll down :)
posted by puny human at 11:50 AM on January 23, 2011

"Allah be praised! I've invented the zero!" "What?" "Nothing, nothing...."

For some reason, this exchange has been stuck in my head for decades.
posted by SPrintF at 11:56 AM on January 23, 2011 [4 favorites]

Oh man. My 6th grade teacher showed us this movie, and I think of certain moments and ideas from it all the time. I've always been tempted to buy the DVD from Pyramid, but it's $50.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:31 PM on January 23, 2011

Heh, the stopwalk sequence was nice. And it seems any movie made between 1962 and 70 was required to have, somewhere, footage of go-go dancers in it.
posted by emjaybee at 1:45 PM on January 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yes, I remembered the zero bit as well, and that's about it. I probably saw this in about 1978.

Alfred Nobel invented dynamite, not TNT.
posted by Tube at 2:09 PM on January 23, 2011

Man, can you imagine if Saul Bass had invented Civilization, that would be so awesome
posted by doobiedoo at 3:07 PM on January 23, 2011

Man creates, ants destroy.
posted by orme at 5:16 PM on January 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

The discussion on the BoingBoing page is focusing almost entirely on the first section of the movie - with people pointing out anachronisms (tchaikovsky before beethoven), myths (that the church in the middle ages believed the earth was flat), lack of representation of minorities, etc. I don't know whether Bass knew those things when he made the movie, but I think that the uselessness of arranging history that way ("the edifice") is the point of that section.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:13 PM on January 24, 2011

« Older What is reality?   |   Everyone Knows There Are No Victoria's Secret... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments