Monthly Archives: May 2013
Doris Wishman (June 1, 1912 – August 10, 2002) Doris started her career as a film maker well into her forties. In the late 1950’s it was deemed by the film censorship board that you could finally show nudity in a film, only if it was a documentary. Doris hit on the idea of nudist camp docs and started her career with the nudie Hideout in the Sun. Her 2nd film, about a nudist camp on the moon, abtly titled Nude on the Moon was banned in New York State, as the censor board stated that films featuring nudity in a nudist colony setting was fine, but showing nudity in a science fiction-themed film about a nudist colony on the moon was not. Go figure. The nudie market quickly dried up and Doris, rolling w/ the tide, went into the Sexploitation/softcore market starting with 1965’s Bad Girls Go to Hell and peaking with her biggest hits Deadly Weapons and Double Agent 73 about a secret agent who would smother her enemies with her massive 73″ breasts, also making the fabulous Chesty Morgan a star, albeit briefly. Doris would next shoot a couple of hard-core films which she distanced herself from, believing them to be ‘unseemly’. She would end her film career with a bid at the slasher genre – A Night to Dismember, a commercial failure. Doris would retire to Florida, working in a lingerie store and would eventually pass away in 2002 of lymphoma, heralded by Joe Bob Briggs as “The greatest female exploitation film director in history.”
Every band in the world sells some kind of merch. From the smallest Indie to the largest supergroup. A T-Shirt, a hat, maybe a scarf or badge. It pays the bills and can make a ton of money. But one band has taken it to extremes, that being the band formerly known as Wicked Lester, aka KISS. Gene Simmons took over the merchandise and basically licensed anything and everything that could hold a KISS logo. He made partnerships with everyone from Pez to Sanrio’s Hello Kitty and even Mr. Potato Head. There are Kiss coffins, Kiss condoms, Kiss toilet paper and Kiss Beer and wine. There is even a Kiss coffee house in Melbourne. Between 1977 and 1980 they made $100 million on merch alone. Who knows what they’ve made sense. For a truly awful band from Queens NY they certainly have capitalized on their stupid cartoonish persona.
Having just watched David Bowie’s new video for the song “The Next Day”, starring Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard I was reminded how cool and beautiful she really is. Already a talented and award winning actress in her native France, she has since made a name for herself in the US, winning the Academy Award for her portrayal of Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose (also winning the French equivalent, The Cesar for the same role) and costarring in among others, Inception, Public Enemies and the final Batman installment The Dark Knight Rises. She continues to act, campaign for Greenpeace, occasionally sing with Scottish Band Franz Ferdinand and was recently voted the most beautiful woman in the world by Hungarian magazine Periodika (?).
Saul Bass (May 8, 1920 – April 25, 1996) As a designer, to say you’re not a huge fan of arguably the world’s most famous graphic designer is just about sacrilege. I’ve always held a bit of a grudge when he rather testily claimed to have directed the ‘shower scene’ in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t, I don’t know, but he didn’t have to be such a dick about it. Anyhow… He really did change the face of graphic design, with his bold flat colors and use of ‘paper cut’ imagery. He created posters for, among others, Hitchcock, Otto Preminger, Billy Wilder, Kubrick and Scorsese. Better than his movie posters were his title sequences. Movie titles up to this point were mostly static, Bass created a very kinetic style, making the titles tell a story in motion. Check out the sequences for Psycho, North by Northwest and The Man with the Golden Arm on YouTube. They are great. So Happy Birthday Saul – you grouchy old (dead) bastard.
Created in 1951 by Philippe Halsman and Salvatore Dali – from a sketch by Dali. The famous photograph is a ‘Tableau Vivant’ or Living Portrait, comprised of 7 nude women to create a human skull. This photo has been used on everything from T-Shirts, to shopping bags to movie posters (Silence of the Lambs and The Descent, et al). The following photos give a somewhat humorous behind the scene glimpse into it’s creation.
Safety in the workplace has always been a big issue, especially as countries develop new industries – more people + more jobs + big machinery = fewer arms and legs. It would seem obvious, but perhaps, a reminder to be careful and not cut your hand off was helpful. The designers of the following posters went a bit overboard but they do get the point across. So don’t stick your head between two railroad cars, mind your tools and be careful when your loading fish – all good advice.
Netherlands 1930 – 70’s