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Dr. No and Maurice Binder

January 1st, 2008 · 1 Comment

Maurice Binder’s work

I’ve been on a James Bond kick lately, slowly watching my way back to the very first bond movie (1962; Dr. No with Sean Connery)

The opening struck me right away as being much better than any of the newer films. It was completely done by Maurice Binder who designed the original gun/shot title sequence that became the signature opening montage for James Bond movies.

“The startling qualities of Dr No are evident in the opening seconds. As Maurice Binder’s titles commence over unidentified electronic noises (which, disconcertingly, start a few moments before the visuals appear) it is clear that this is not just another genre thriller. The iconic image of the travelling dots turning into a gun-barrel is just the start of a classic title sequence that could hardly be further from the cliché of naked female silhouettes into which Binder’s work would eventually descend. Nothing stands still: even the words Dr No shimmy around the screen trying out different positions. Animated dots dance in abstract patterns. Three distinct musical cues are used, and Binder doesn’t worry about smoothing the transitions: if the music will restart, so will his titles. While obviously inspired by the work of Saul Bass (such as his credits for The Man with the Golden Arm) it is distinct piece of design in its own right that established early on some of the preoccupations that would flower in Binder’s later Bond work. The whole piece is dated in the best possible way, showing just how great the design of the period could be.” — http://www.cinephobia.com/drno.htm

Sadly they went quickly downhill after Maurice’s art direction changed to scantily clad women; which always seemed cheesy to me.

Watch the credits here http://youtube.com/watch?v=E5jjYLsh1V4

Tags: design + art + typography · tech + the internet · tivo + movies + music

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