talented, exceptional and wonderful
the student may be,
without work there is nothing
but potential and talk.”
– Lou Danziger
Today would have been the legendary Saul Bass’s 93rd birthday and Google Doodle has paid tribute to him on its homepage by piecing together some of his signature film title sequences – “Vertigo,” “The Man with the Golden Arm,” “Psycho,” “Anatomy of a Murder,” “West Side Story,” among others.
This brought to mind my brief encounter with Saul. About two years before he died, I was assigned to interview him for an article on film title sequences. In his late 70s then, Saul had downsized his Sunset Boulevard studio maintaining what he called “a repertory group,” a small core staff with additional expertise brought in on an as needed basis. At the time, he was doing a title sequence for his friend “Marty’s”(Scorsese) film, and explained that at this stage in his career, he only wanted to work with “nice people who respect and like us and who we respect and admire…I don’t want to deal with clients who think we’re just doing a job for them. With rare exception, all our clients think we are wonderful and we think they are wonderful.” From a career standpoint, that seemed to me like the ultimate luxury.
Chanel let its Le Vernis line of fingernail polish take centerstage with this choreographed dance number by Grammy-nominated director Patrick Daughters and French set designer Aline Bonetto. Sassy fingers strut down a mini-runway to the doo-wop tune of “Little Bitty Pretty One” by Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers and break into chorus-line steps. The set incorporates several of the couture house’s symbols including the double “C” logo, pearl necklaces, and Coco Chanel’s famous mirrored spiral staircase. The closing credit cites the starring roles of the nail polish shades.