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ImageThe Man With Golden Arm (1955) Director: Otto Preminger 

Crystallizing a theme, using visual metaphors to symbolize a movie’s story or protagonist, capturing its essence with arresting, bold imagery that could be poetic or primal, this type of vision, an emotional and intellectual clarity eludes most movie poster artists of the modern era but perhaps it was always so and this is why Saul Bass remains a titan of 20th Century graphic design and artistry.

Perhaps this is why the influence of his singular style on  worshipful yet perhaps less imaginative students of his work has emerged in campaigns for recent high-profile 21st century movies such as Django Unchained (2012), Precious (2009) and Burn After Reading (2008).

All of these campaigns were striking but also highlight the dearth of unique design in film advertising where the international market dictates a certain homogenous, literalist sales approach leaving virtually nothing to the imagination thus allaying the fears of both corporate and independent investors.