Barr Gilmore: Essential Titles

Essential Titles
Still from Essential Titles, Barr Gilmore, 2010

Originally presented as part of the exhibition Essential Cinema, which opened TIFF Bell Lightbox in 2010, Barr Gilmore’s Essential Titles continues the artist’s ongoing fascination with typographical representation by isolating the title and the director's credit from the opening sequences of all the films featured on TIFF's "Essential 100" list of the 100 most influential films of all time, faithfully recreating each title's respective transitions and time on screen, and layering all of the titles over each other in real time to create a compilation motion graphic. The work has an immersive and mesmerizing quality that reinforces how ingrained these title sequences are to our overall cinematic experience, and how slight alterations can subtly but powerfully affect our comprehension and reception of films.

"As a graphic designer, I have always been drawn to the opening title sequences of films... [for Essential Titles] I decided to isolate only the title and the director’s credit from each film, recreating them as vector-based graphics, importing them into motion graphic software, mimicking their time on screen and adding effects and filters in order to create a motion graphic mash-up of film history’s essential titles. From Saul Bass’ Bauhaus and Russian Constructivist-inspired title sequences to the more recent title design innovations of Kyle Cooper, a new art form is emerging."
—Barr Gilmore