Author Pat Kirkham discusses the opening titles for Bonjour Tristesse, from her authoritative book Saul Bass: A Life in Film and Design.
The symbol is a haunting face created from a few brushstrokes. Here the poignant sadness embodied in the title of the ﬁlm is expressed as a haiku-like eye and tear. The Madonna-like symbol represents both women in general and a speciﬁc young woman, Cecile (played by Jean Seberg).
The lyrical title sequence exquisitely captures the elusive delicacy as well was the sadness that lies at the heart of the ﬁlm. It previews the ﬁlm's narrative, from the lost innocence of adolescence to the sadness that knowledge and adulthood bring to the young woman.
Pat Kirkham is Professor in the History of Design, Decorative Arts and Culture at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design & Culture, New York. She has written and edited a number of books, including Charles and Ray Eames (1998) and Women Designers in the USA 1900–2000 (2001).
©2011 Laurence King Publishing Ltd. Used with permission.
Titles Designed by: Saul Bass
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