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I recently watched the movie trailer for a film called Precious using Front Row on my mac. I was intrigued by the poster design for Precious...it's evocative of Saul Bass. In fact the only reason I watched the trailer was because of the poster, surely with a poster this sophisticated the movie must have some meat to it...and I believe it does. See the trailer below.

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References to Bass

For fun after watching the trailer I looked up some of Saul Bass' work1 on the Internet to refresh my memory. The poster seems to be the result of some clever graphic addition: Anatomy of a Murder Poster + Saint Joan Poster + The Man With The Golden Arm Poster = Precious Movie Poster. By alluding to this simple formula I might lead one to believe that much like the film posters it references this poster would appear dated and reminiscent of the 1950's and 1960's.  This is simply not the case.

Typography

While the poster tips it's proverbial hat to what some might call the era of Saul Bass, its re-appropriation of Bass' iconic style is meaningful and contemporary...something any design fanatic should be proud to hang in their home. Unlike Bass' whimsical type treatments the poster employs a lighter version of Helvetica/Helvetica Neue stripping the poster of whimsy and imbuing it with purpose and directness. The title of the film is rendered in an eroded sans serif typeface, which at first glance seems slightly off kilter, again an approprite nod to Bass' playful style in a very serious and contemporary way.

Iconography

The poster is striking and eye catching; I believe because of the Bass influenced iconography at the center of the traditionally laid-out piece. The mass of the female figure reminds me of the Venus of Willedorf, rotund and bold - certainly an immense presence with strength and potential (fertile or otherwise). The mass of the figure is broken however, much like a plate or pane of glass would break (fractures from the inside/center out). In this case the origin of the fracture is between the figures legs, appearing as a hand reaching up from the ground in negative space radiating rays of light that break this Venus into pieces. It is a powerful piece of imagery that I theorize would move any spectator to at least think, if not relate to this precious female figurine.

Conclusion

While I am not sure who designed this,2 the poster is truly captivating and emotive with seemingly little effort. For me this is a design that will be considered "well done" 50 years from now, much like the work of Saul Bass. And while I don't think this posters style will prompt derivations in the way that Bass' style has and continues to, I do believe that the beautiful execution of the iconography will stand as an example of what a well though out graphic can do. It is a simply executed, unmuddled poster; which unlike so many other movie posters today, does its' job without compromising its' integrity.

FOOTNOTES
  1. For more info on Saul Bass check out this, this and this
  2. If you know who designed this poster please leave a comment below or contact me directly.

I love New York for many reasons: the fast pace, the crazy people, the way everything has a charming layer of grime on it, the skyline at night, and the fact that getting anywhere in this city, even though it might take awhile requires minimal attention on my behalf. So as I was walking out of my subway stop this evening at Eastern Parkway - Brooklyn Museum I was delighted to see a valentine's day poem posted on the wall written to MTA.

Given the immense challenge of shuttling 8 million people, I think most of the time the MTA does a pretty good job. It seems whoever wrote this valentine feels the same way. This little valentine brightened my day. To whoever wrote this valentine, you are awesome!

The fact that the economy is not doing well right now is no secret. Companies all around the world are being forced to lay-off workers to insure they can stay afloat. It's not a happy situation but we deal with it, some of us better than others. Belgian company So Nice is taking a more innovative approach to firing an employee...they've made a website allowing you to choose called "You choose...we fire".

While I don't speak the language the website is in, it is worth a visit to see a new way to approach the timeless situation of letting an employee go. Seeing as how this website has a viral quality to it maybe they'll even gain some business in the mean time. Props to So Nice for thinking outside the box and avoiding making a difficult decision themselves.

President-elect Obama selected Rick Warren today to give him his invocation at inauguration.1 This is a disheartening and disappointing decision. Why? Because Rick Warren is an open supporter of Prop 8,2 and President-elect Obama could have selected someone who chooses not to hold back the rights of US Citizens.

I understand that not every decision Obama makes I will agree with, I know that he doesn't believe gay marriage should be legalized. I voted for him anyways believing that while he would never help gay rights, he wouldn't promote discrimination towards another minority group either. By choosing Rick Warren to administer his invocation he is essentially saying that it is okay to hold a percentage of our population down.3

As an African-American I am sure Obama has had his fair share of obsticales to overcome because of his race, at least his rights were supported by the law. Last time I checked our country believed in the separation of church and state. We should not allow the Christian definition of marriage define what a marriage is in the constitution. Homosexual couples should enjoy the same rights and privileges in this country that heterosexual couples do, just as black Americans enjoy the same rights white Americans do.

YouTube Preview Image I can understand not supporting gay marriage because of religious beliefs, but for our soon to be president to openly support the suppression of a minority group in this country to me seems outrageous. Let me make one thing clear: homosexuality is not a choice. As the daughter of a gay man I know my father's decision to come out was not an easy one. And when you suppress the rights of homosexuals you're not only suppressing their rights but the rights of their families too. It's not just about marriage, its about health care, hospital visits, taxes, and so much more.

I love this country to a fault, it hurts to see people in our country not enjoying the rights they deserve. I am hopeful that with the first black president we will one day see the first woman president or the first homosexual president, but when our first minority president openly supports holding another minority group down, I doubt that day will be any time soon.

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