FilmArt was a regular column I wrote for the Toronto International Film Festival's (now-defunct) online publication, The Review.
A shark rising from the depths towards a nude swimmer; a giant (perhaps even 50-foot) woman attacking cars on a freeway; Rhett Butler clutching a bare-shouldered Scarlett O’Hara. Some of the most enduring images in film history never ran through a projector, but began life as elements of promotional campaigns, and — thanks to nostalgia, notoriety, or sometimes just pure ubiquity — became iconic in their own right. FilmArt looks at the advertising, posters, lobby cards and other ephemera that complement and enrich the filmgoing experience.
Like many digital publications, sadly the original site these articles were published on is no longer online. However, many of these articles were archived by the WayBackMachine. This is the only way these pieces are accessible, so please be patient while they load.
A completely subjective year-end list of some of my favourite posters from 2018.
A two-part exploration of how Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman’s films first broke in North America.
The blockbuster franchise's iconic T. Rex emblem has some troubling genes in its DNA
A two-part interview with the legendary director of Gremlins, The 'Burbs and Matinee. The die-hard cinephile looks back on the advertising for his films including the bait-and-switch campaign for Gremlins, convincing Roger Corman not to use the title Hollywood Hookers, and "the worst poster in history"
Scanning the 60-year career of Agnès Varda with 30 great (and five not-so-great) posters
Exploring the Starman's sometimes rocky voyages on the big screen
Robert Mitchum's car-chase classic put the mountain South on the Hollywood map.
Charting the ups and downs of widescreen moviemaking over six decades.
A collection of some of my favourite posters of the year in a series of completely arbitrary categories.
As Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theatres, we revisit some of the greatest (and strangest) posters from the original trilogy.
Throughout the 1950s — AKA the first time major studios were panicking about small screens at home cutting into their profits —exhibitors tried everything from 3-D to Smell-O-Vision to lure viewers away from their living rooms, but when it came to sales gimmicks, one man was King: William Castle.
Vasilis Marmatakis' movie posters are unlike anything else at the cinema (and might just be the best posters of the past decade)
Indie pioneer Ida Lupino tackled some of the most pressing social issues of the day — but you might not guess it from the promotional material for her films.
Can modern movie posters be cured of Floating Head Syndrome?
This detailed look at the celebrity-laden films of Olivier Assayas, investigates the creep of Hollywood tropes into international poster design.
Audrey Hepburn's Holly Golightly is one of the rare pieces of pop that changed culture.
“There are millions of people who have a Gatti in their house, and many do not even know it.” —Vanity Fair
It’s thanks to the vibrant designs and of Juan Gatti that many of us first discovered Almodóvar's films amid the chaos of crowded video-store shelves.
Roger Ebert once declared that Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin “[has] been so famous for so long that it is almost impossible to come to it with a fresh eye” — a claim with which many of the artists and designers charged with promoting the film over the past 90 years might beg to differ.