Thursday, June 17, 2010

Poster by Jack Davis

Flickhead has a nice write-up about the movie posters designed by Jack Davis. I was struck by the fact that Saul Bass had done a poster for 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World'. I checked it out and had to laugh:

Okay, nice, has nothing to do with the wacky tone of the movie. Saul Bass was a master, to be sure, but his graphics were fragmented, bold, and edgy, and were typically employed to create a sense of mystery, suspense, and disassociation from normality. The above realization leaves me cold. Perhaps if the director had been Stanley Kubrick instead of Stanley Kramer, Bass' conceptual approach might have been more appropriate.

Here's Davis' poster:

Wackiness duly captured.

Flickhead's piece is excellent. Here's a small clip:

In the 1960s, Jack Davis was the first movie poster artist I knew by name, thanks to his contributions to Mad magazine. His style embodied the wacky spirit of that decade and its bipolar craziness which ranged from suburban Camelot and materialistic gluttony to civil rights, drug use and Vietnam. You can read more about Davis at Wikipedia and at Crazy Campsongs. He also illustrated a ton of record album covers, which are on display at The Endless Groove.

The feature is in segments, so stay tuned.

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