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Posts Tagged ‘posters

“Horror is the natural reaction to the last 5,000 years of history”*…

 

50+ examples: “Evolution of Horror Movie Poster Designs: 1922 – 2009.”

* Robert Anton Wilson

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As we prepare to shriek, we might recall that it was on this date in 1947 that a secret executive order issued by President Harry Truman established Majestic 12, a secret committee of scientists, military leaders, and government officials empaneled to investigate UFO activity in the aftermath of the Roswell incident— or so many UFO conspiracy theorists believe.  The purported documentary evidence of Majestic 12 has been judged fake by both the FBI and the Air Force (e.g., here)…  but then, they would wouldn’t they…

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Written by LW

September 24, 2016 at 1:01 am

“Making ornaments / Of accidents and possibilities”*…

 

This solemn group of posters teaching safety to British citizens comes from the archive of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. The images are from the Wellcome Library’s website; I first saw them on the blog the Passion of Former Days.

The RoSPA displayed a series of its 20th-century posters in a 2012 exhibition, after rediscovering a small archive of them in an outbuilding. In the exhibition notes,RoSPA curators noted that the society, which dates back to World War I, focused on road safety and pedestrian awareness in the 1920s and 1930s (much like analogous American safety organizations).

From the redoubtable Rebecca Onion: “Stark, Spare, Beautiful Midcentury British Safety Posters.”

* Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire

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As we put safety first, we might recall that it was on this date in 1938 that the Great New England Hurricane (AKA, The Long Island Express) dissipated.  It had made landfall on Long Island on September 21. With impact felt from New Jersey all the way north to Canada, the storm was estimated to have killed 682 people, damaged or destroyed over 57,000 homes, and caused property losses estimated at $306 million ($4.7 billion in current value).

Storm surge from the 1938 hurricane at the Battery, New York City

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“It’s funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen”*…

 

 

The 70s began with a wave of dystopian sci-fi and culminated with Star Wars and the birth of the modern blockbuster. The British Film Institute has collected some of the decade’s most stunning posters; see them at “The Best 70s Sci-Fi Film Posters.”

(Then move into the 80s here…)

* “Alex” (Malcolm McDowell), A Clockwork Orange

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As we prop our eyes open, we might spare a thought for Vladimir Ivanovich Leventon– or, as he was better known, Val Lewton; he died on this date in 1951.  Having washed out as a journalist as a young man, Lewton wrote a best-selling pulp novel No Bed of Her Own (later used for the film No Man of Her Own, with Clark Gable and Carole Lombard.  He parlayed that success into a job at MGM, where he got close to David O. Selznick, working as Selznick’s assistant (and as an uncredited writer on Gone With the Wind).

But it at his next job, as head of RKO’s horror department (from 1942-46), that Lewton made his mark.  The job was well-paid, but came with three conditions: each film had to come in under a $150,000 in cost, each was to run under 75 minutes, and his supervisors would supply the film titles.  His first feature was Cat People, released in 1942 (and rooted in Lewton’s own gatophobia).  Directed by Jacques Tourneur, who subsequently also directed I Walked With a Zombie (loosely based on Jane Eyre!) and The Leopard Man for Lewton, Cat People cost $134,000, but earned nearly $4 million– the top moneymaker for RKO that year.

Lewton’s early horror films were artistic as well as commercial successes; they are now widely-admired classics– almost Jacobean in their skillful cultivation of tension and powerful use of off-screen menace and violence.  But he was a victim of his own success.  Pushed to move on to A films, Lewton floundered, never recovering the artistic (nor the box office) success that he achieved in the looser world of B movies.

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Happy Pi Day!… 

 

 

Written by LW

March 14, 2015 at 1:01 am

Pictures that *contain* a thousand words (and then some)…

 

 a 24 X 36 in.  poster composed of the text of EMMA; click here for a zoomable version

Artist Danny Fein loves books.  It drives him nuts that that 40% of all books printed are eventually destroyed by publishers, while developing nations face a book famine.  So Danny started Litographs

Litographs are prints that are created from the text of classic books. For most titles we are able to print the entire book on our 24×36″ paper. We offer designs in both color and black & white, and in two sizes.

In all cases, the text is sharp and fully legible. You can see the actual size of the text by viewing any of our designs and clicking on the boxes in the main image. Learn more about the process at our How it Works page…

Did you know that in 2008 publishers turned 77 million unsold books into pulp? At the same time, as education systems evolve in developing countries, students face a dire need for large quantities of new, high-quality books.

As book-lovers, we know how painful it can be to clean out bookshelves to make room for new titles. Like so many others, we have tried to donate our favorite books to good causes, only to learn that the texts they need are not what we have to offer.

We have worked closely with the International Book Bank to develop a strategy where we can breathe life into our old favorites while simultaneously providing new books where they are needed most. In the process, we also support independent booksellers by purchasing their old inventory.

Read more about how it works, and learn more about the IBB and their mission in this interview with their Executive Director, Kate Joyce.

See more litographs– from The Aeneid and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Works of Edgar Allan Poehere; and hear Joe Rotundi (to whom, TotH) interview Danny here.

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As we curl up between the covers, we might send superlatively speculative birthday greetings to H.G. Wells; he was born on this date in 1866.  A prolific writer of novels, history, political and social commentary, textbooks, and rules for war games, Wells is best remembered (with Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback) as “the father of science fiction” for his “scientific romances”– The War of the WorldsThe Time MachineThe Invisible Man, The Island of Doctor Moreau, et al.

 Litograph of THE TIME MACHINE, click here for a zoomable version

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Written by LW

September 21, 2012 at 1:01 am

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