My office (and really, the rest of our house) is covered in movie posters of all kinds, shapes, and sizes- 98% of the horror variety. We’ve pretty much run out of wall space in the house which is a sad thing to realize but which also has us conjuring up ideas for new places to put them up. This whole time, though, I never really sat and spent time researching and acknowledging the talented artists behind the work that covers the walls of our home. Now, that’s all on me and I will one day forgive myself for that, but thanks to Kevin Burke’s documentary 24X36: A Movie About Movie Posters, I’ve quickly realized what a vast world of artists there are, past and present, who have created some of the most iconic movie poster artwork out there today.
From the beginning you can tell that Burke put a lot of effort and research into 24X36, introducing us to the grassroots of poster art with lithography and artists like Jules Cheret (who has been called the father of of the modern poster), before moving on to artists who created the iconic art for movies we all know like Reynold Brown (Creature From The Black Lagoon, Attack of the 50ft Woman), Bob Peak (West Side Story, Apocalypse Now), and John Alvin (E.T., Blade Runner, Gremlins).
Never heard of those names? Yeah, me neither. Through interviews with various artists and collectors, the docu lets you in on the fact that movie studios never wanted to give the artists recognition (shocker), thus leaving these names to fall to the wayside despite the majority of their work having been seen and admired for decades to come.
After taking us through a brief but entertaining timeline of poster art through the decades we land on the 90’s where we’re shown the decline in creativity (lots of photoshop and close-ups of the stars with no regard to giving us any idea of the contents of the film). It’s an interesting side of the movie poster world that I had never actually thought about until now.
Eventually, the docu brings us up to speed to the current world of screen prints and poster art with interviews from the founder of Mondo as well as the creative directors in the business. As a huge fan of the company, it was awesome to see them represented in this film. We also got a glimpse into the process of screen printing which has totally given me a newfound appreciation for the work that goes into it.
24X36 gives the casual (even the avid will love this) collector a better and deeper understanding and appreciation for the process of creating poster art as well as the business side of things. I’ll definitely be looking at my walls a little bit differently now.
Categories: Horror Movie Reviews