Do You Know Bureau?

A great excerpt from a 1995 issue of U&lc on Graphics and the Cinema:

“Bureau is a design studio with a clear political agenda that emerges in its work for cosmetics, music, and film. The small Manhattan firm was formed in 1989 by Donald Moffett and Marlene McCarthy, two members of the art organization Gran Fury, which is best known for its AIDS awareness Benetton ad parody that showed youthful same-sex couples kissing with the headline, ‘Kissing Doesn’t Kill. Greed and Ignorance Do.’ Since the guiding force behind Bureau is a commitment to cause-related work, Moffett and McCarty are drawn to distributors of small art films that deal with mercurial subjects like politics, homosexuality, AIDS and pornography. One such client is Zeitgeist Films, whose taste Moffett fondly describes as ‘the most curious of any distributor I know.'”

Spread from U&lc (Vol 22, No 3)

Donald Moffett looking back on Bureau in his 2011 book The Extravagant Vein:

“Bureau was an unexpected and somewhat irritating success – even with Marlene and me both trying to keep it under control (and at arm’s length) so we could have time and energy for our own individual artwork and Gran Fury. However, it was also phenomenally rewarding. We had great opportunities to do socially engaged work, and when it was strictly commercial, we would still push it in that direction as far as possible. […] With producers Christine Vachon and James Schamuss encouragement, we created a niche within the independent film world and reinvigorated the art of title design. We worked on some wonderful films of the period, including Tom Kalin’s Swoon, Todd Haynes’s Safe and Velvet Goldmine, Cindy Sherman’s Office Killer, and Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm. After Bureau closed up shop at the end of 2001, Marlene continued, and still continues very selectively, to do film titles for some directors, including Todd and Tom.”