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Dazzling movie posters from the golden age of adult cinema
08.23.2017
10:10 am
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Motorpsycho, 1965
 
The urge to observe the sex act is probably an un-displaceable mainstay in the human animal, and the 1960s, ushering in revolutions in so many different arenas, also featured a noticeable mainstreaming of the X-rated movie. Interest in sexual subjects was brewing in the period just prior to that, for sure. In the mid-1950s Nabokov’s novel Lolita had been banned in England and France; while the U.S. authorities took no official action against the book, publishers were leery of offering it. Eventually Putnam took it on and it rapidly made the bestseller list.

Porn movies saw a somewhat similar evolution. At the start of the 1960s they were “unmentionable.” By 1970 they were a common topic of conversation among sophisticated adults, and there was even talk, which seems hopelessly quixotic today, of the existence of sex movies that would exist alongside foreign movies, documentaries, etc. as a respectable genre. By 1980 the initial impulse of curiosity had given way to a well-organized industry, and (as Boogie Nights taught us all) the advent of video threatened to do away with brick-and-mortar porn cinemas, and with them would go the amusing and/or startling X-rated poster.

Russ Meyer was obviously a dominant figure in this evolution, especially in the 1960s, and his playful obsession with large mammaries led him to direct several masterpieces of titillation, including The Immoral Mr. Teas, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Motorpsycho, and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
 

 
If you take anything from the 1950s and 1960s, whether it be TV commercials or matchbook covers or LP cover design or living room sets, it often elicits a powerful appreciation in us, partially out of reasons of nostalgia but also due to obvious aesthetic appeal. The same is true of X-rated posters, it turns out. The need to hide and yet reveal what the movie is about nudged graphic designers to get inventive with the imagery, and as a result the entire genre appears to us today to be simultaneously crass and innocent.

Reel Art Press has a marvelous volume coming out soon celebrating the graphic design of the X-rated poster from the classic age of porno, titled X-Rated: Adult Movie Posters of the 60s and 70s (edited by Tony Nourmand, designed by Graham Marsh). Featuring an introduction by Peter Doggett, author of respected tomes about the Beatles and Lou Reed, the book is jammed with pictorial marvels that are a feast for the eyes. We’ve selected a few sample posters to whet your appetite but the book has dozens more as well as helpful context for many of them.
 

The Immoral Mr. Teas, 1959
 

Eve and the Handyman, 1961
 

The Orgy at Lil’s Place, 1963
 
Many more posters after the jump…..
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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08.23.2017
10:10 am
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There’s a riot going on: Posters of resistance from Paris 1968
12.21.2016
12:24 pm
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“Beauty is in the street”
 
As the annus horribilis of 2016 draws to a close, my mind tilts towards predecessors of resistance. It is easy to focus on what cannot be done. Much more important to consider what can be done.

In May 1968 Paris was brought to a standstill thanks to widespread protests against the unemployment and poverty under Charles de Gaulle’s conservative government. The situation got so bad that even De Gaulle had to flee the country briefly. 1968 was a year of violence and resistance in the U.S. and Europe alike—in Europe the year has taken on iconic significance for the generation that took part in a way that never quite happened on the other side of the Atlantic.

The uprisings of Paris 1968 were notable for extremely fine examples of polemical poster art. The Atelier Populaire, run by Marxist artists and art students, occupied the École des Beaux-Arts and dedicated its efforts to producing thousands of silk-screened posters using bold, iconic imagery and slogans as well as explicitly collective/anonymous authorship. Most of the posters were printed on newssheet using a single color with basic icons such as the factory to represent labor and a fist to stand for resistance.

As MessyNessy astutely observed earlier this year, the posters had something of the iconic power of Saul Bass’ notable output.
 

The Atelier Populaire
 
In 2008 the Hayward Gallery in London mounted an exhibition under the title “May 68: Street Posters from the Paris Rebellion”. Its curator, Johan Kugelberg, made the following statement in an interview:
 

There was no formal organisation behind this uprising. It was everyday people who had been pushed too far, showing a solidarity that jumped the shackles of class, age and education. The kind of revolution of everyday life leading to a societal dialogue where people truly functioned as a collective brain, pulse and heart. There seems to be evidence here of the making of an ultra-potent antidote to the extremely scary fragmented, cubicled and computer-screened hyper-individualism of today. Your blog won’t change anything. Your Facebook potentially could, but only if you add to it by meeting and communicating face-to-face with people from walks of life very different to yours.

 
Sobering words, in the era of fake news.

Many more posters after the jump…...

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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12.21.2016
12:24 pm
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Wild world of movie posters: Classic cult films from around the globe
12.09.2016
12:31 pm
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The House That Dripped Blood

Christian McLaughlin, a Los Angeles-based TV writer/producer and the self-described “poster concierge” behind the online movie poster store WestgateGallery.com, is my new best friend. We’ve never actually met in person, but I do enjoy knowing that someone is out there who is impossible for ME to stump. Everything I mention to him over email, he already knows about. I suggested, for instance, that he watch the utterly batshit insane British soap opera Footballers Wives. Not only had he already seen all the episodes—and the spinoff series—he was pals with one of the cast members. Then he told me about a newer “women in prison” show from the same producers called Bad Girls that I’d never even heard of, and co-starring the main “evil bitch” actress from Footballers Wives as the same character she’d played in that earlier series who was now in prison!!! I sent him a link to an eBay listing for a poster for an Andy Warhol movie with Karl Lagerfeld and Patti D’Arbanville from 1973 that had somehow completley slipped by me and not only did he know all about it, he was selling the poster in his store.

He also had a perfectly plausible explanation for this. You see what I mean about him being hard to stump? And how many conversations have YOU had IRL recently about Barbara Bouchet, Tina Aumont or Andy Milligan?

I asked Christian to pen a guest post for DM about how he got started collecting movie posters and about why he’s now selling his incredible collection. This is what he sent me:

“OBSESSION” and “HOARDING” are such ugly words.  So let’s pretend they don’t apply here.  I was three years old when I scored my first movie poster (The House That Dripped Blood US 1 sheet), a freebie—but when you’re three, what isn’t?  My favorite stop on the frequent walks with my grandfather in Fort Kent, ME, was the Century Theatre, where I’d stare at the two posters (Now Playing & Next Attraction) on display in glass cases outside the box office, lingering as long as possible whenever there was horror involved.  I was so taken by the one-sheet cooked up by Cinerama Releasing Corp for a British anthology chiller starring Peter Cushing & Ingrid Pitt, I’m told I requested extra walks for a few bonus peeps at its lurid majesty, which features a long-haired beauty, the middle third of her face a toothy swath of bare skull, holding a man’s severed head on a tray.  One fateful afternoon on what had to be one of the final days of the run, theatre-owner Gilberte spotted us and came out to greet her dear friend (my grandfather) and his unnervingly precocious towheaded, rambling companion (me).  Apparently I then asked if I could have the poster when she was done with it.  Charmed or shocked, or both, she said yes, and soon after delivered this treasure to my grandparents’ door, thoughtfully enclosed in a stiff cardboard envelope, wrapped in a thin blue plastic shopping bag. 

Dissolve to Hollywood, California, 43 years later.  I still owned that poster—and roughly 2999 others.  My taste for horror was completely intact, but it had broadened to encompass all manner of salacious and macabre pieces of original movie art from a dozen countries, ranging from 13"x18” French petites to a ten by five foot 6-panel Italian billboard for the spectacularly sleazy 1975 Giallo trash epic Strip Nude For Your Killer (which I had foraged piece by piece from a mouse-infested pit of paper beneath a Roman antique shop in the shadow of the fun-hating cinephobic Vatican itself).  Finally allowing myself to splurge on linen-backing and archival framing to display the billboard and nine other large-format Italian Giallo posters with the panache they deserved, I had a moment of clarity while narrowing my Top 50 down to the ten I could fit on my home and office walls:  I could have five homes, two offices and an unlimited restoration and framing budget and I’d barely make a dent in this outrageously massive, meticulously archived collection. 3000 movie posters?!  I was out of my fucking mind.

The only sins I believe in were the ones overheated copywriters brazenly trumpeted across hundreds of these very posters, but if I’d remained in Fort Kent long enough for the Catholic church to wash my brain to their strict local cleanliness standard, I’d have a new sin for the popular Mortal category—-  allowing these amazing, beautiful pieces of Pop Art to languish in storage, when they all belong on walls, rolled-out or completely unfolded, to be enjoyed daily by like-minded connoisseurs of the salacious and the macabre.  Like one of those no-kill pet shelters everyone with a heart should lavish with donations, I was determined to find good, loving homes for all of them.  (And attempt to recoup a reasonable return on my what-I’m-too-terrified- to-actually-calculate-but-must-be-high-six-figures-minimum investment.)  So, two years ago, with the brilliance of friends/design-photography mavens Paul Ahern, Barry Morse & Beth Hall, WestgateGallery.com was born.  Named after my childhood porn theatre in Bangor, ME, whose painfully cropped ads in the local paper were my entree into the delectable poster paradise of the XXX Golden Age, this webstore answers Stevie Nicks’ question in a certain chart-topping Fleetwood Mac song: 

“Do you have any dreams you’d like to sell?”

Yes, Stevie, I do.  And through December 24, they’re all 40% off!

Yours truly,

Christian McLaughlin, poster conceierge
WestgateGallery.com

***

Here’s a selection of the posters for sale at WestgateGallery. This gallery is sort of a “beloved cult films 101” overview. If you’re looking for Giallo or golden age of porn posters, there are separate posts for those genres.
 

Tenebre
 

Re-Animator
 

Gummo
 

Torso
 
Many more after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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12.09.2016
12:31 pm
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Fantastic vintage Japanese movie posters
12.02.2016
10:51 am
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‘A Hard’s Day Night’ (1964).
 
A friend collects Japanese movie posters. He’s rich enough to afford it. The walls of his house are almost covered with these bright, garish, beautiful film posters. Last time, I visited him I asked why he never exhibited them or at least scanned them digitally to share on the Internet. He said he thought of them as art—and as art they had to be viewed in person and not through a screen. I thought he was just being a pretentious twat—but there you go.

Fair to say, it was an impressive collection—a mix of Japanese features and American/British imports. But his collection went no further than the late-seventies to early-eighties. I wondered why? This, he explained, was because the best Japanese movie posters originated during the Shōwa period—the time of Emperor Hirohito’s reign 1926-1989—when the printing process meant the posters were by artists creating collages from cut-up photographs. These were airbrushed and colorized to glorious effect. There was an art and craft to making these posters—which remained roughly the same from the twenties to the seventies—which the digital era no longer employs.

Inspired by my dear friend’s collection, I’ve collated together a mix of images which exemplify some of the best in Japanese poster design—and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want one of these hanging on their walls?
 
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‘Batman’ (1966).
 
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‘Bedazzled’ (1967).
 
More fantastic Japanese movie posters, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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12.02.2016
10:51 am
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Silent Night, Boogie Nights: Sexy movie posters from the golden age of XXX
11.26.2016
04:02 pm
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‘The Night Bird is to porno what Studio 54 is to disco!’ Of course it is…

If you’re looking for just the right movie poster—one that simply screams YOU (or even someone else’s name)—then you should probably head over to our expert friends at the Westgate Gallery, one of the very best curated selection of groovy movie posters anywhere on the Internet.

Westgate Gallery—named after a seedy 70’s porn theater in Bangor, Maine—is now having a sale—and not just on their “Golden Age of Porno” merch, either, but the entire store (they specialize in cult films, XXX and particularly lurid Italian giallo posters) is 40% off. If you know someone who is a big cinema buff (or retro porn addict?) they will love a gift from the connoisseur’s dream selection at Westgate Gallery:

SILENT NIGHT, BOOGIE NIGHTS!   It’s going to be a Merry XXX-mas for everyone on your Naughty List!  Online original movie poster boutique WestgateGallery.com has just launched our 2nd annual BLACK THROAT FRIDAY 40% OFF ORGY OF SAVINGS!  With the largest collection of illustrated/art-style original XXX movie posters commercially available, you can follow The Erotic Adventures of Wall Candy from its white-coater/marriage manual-skanky storefront beginnings with Rene Bond and Tina Russell through the heyday of porno chic superstars Marilyn Chambers, Annette Haven, Seka, Veronica Hart, Kelly Nichols, Vanessa Del Rio, Desiree Cousteau, Constance Money and Serena through the heavily hairsprayed princesses of the VHS home-video explosion including Ginger Lynn, Lois Ayres, Christy Canyon, Amber Lynn & notorious fake-ID enthusiast/Redondo High dropout/amnesia sufferer Traci Lords!  Pick up saucy Pop Art classics by Chet Collom, Tom Tierney, Olivia DeBerardinis, Armand Weston, Elaine Gignilliat and mysterious airbrush queen Penelope, some for under $20!  And our exhaustive archive of large-format Italian posters for American, French, West German & Danish hardcore humpfests is a dazzling array of lush masterworks (and a few hilariously kitschy hair-salon stunners guaranteed to heat up any boudoir, by the same top Euro commercial artists—Enzo Sciotti, Mafe, Aller, Morini, Sandro Symeoni & Mario Piovano—responsible for the thousands of non-porn Italian posters.  Another WG exclusive:  an extensive collection of ravishingly restored, linen-backed one-sheets ready for framing, which, like everything else in-stock, are 40% Off through Dec 24.

 

‘Dental Nurse’—makes a great gift for your dentist or dental hygienist. Or maybe not. No.
 

‘il Vizio di Baby’ AKA ‘Baby’s Vice & Ramba’s Greed’
 

‘Proibito’ AKA ‘Babylon Pink’
 
More, more, more after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.26.2016
04:02 pm
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Night Gallery: A connoisseur selection of bloody, gruesome & sexy Giallo and horror movie posters
10.27.2016
12:45 pm
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7 Deaths in the Cat’s Eyes  (Italy/France/West Germany, 1973)    d. Antonio Margheriti     Italian 4F Manifesto     55x78

You may recall last month, when—against my better instincts as a collector of these things—I recommended my new favorite online movie poster shop, the Los Angeles-based Westgate Gallery. Why spoil one of the least picked-over bastions of high-end movie posters on the entire Internet for myself, right? Well anyway, I did share it with our readers and apparently y’all turned out in force and picked the place clean.

But fear not, Westgate’s deeply knowledgeable self-described “poster concierge” Christian McLaughlin has unleashed over two hundred new sophisticated eye-popping wall coverings for your perusal and purchase. He obviously had to turn over a lot of rocks (many of them in Italy, from the looks of things) to find posters like the ones you see below. Trust me, you can search through eBay for thousands of pages—I do it all the time—and not find the gold like this passionately persistent and proficient poster prospector can.

And right now—as in right now and for the next seven days only, there is a 30% off Halloween sale—every item in stock—going on at the Westgate Gallery. Just enter the discount code HFS30 at the checkout.

Here’s a selection of some of the best from the latest crop of rare posters at Westgate Gallery...


Slasher Is the Sex Maniac  (Italy, 1972)  d. Roberto Montero     Italian 4F Manifesto       55x78
 

Jack the Ripper   (Switzerland/West Germany, 1976)    d. Jess Franco     Italian 2F Manifesto   39x55
 
Many, many more after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Richard Metzger
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10.27.2016
12:45 pm
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I probably shouldn’t tell you about this online cult movie poster gallery, but I’m going to anyway
09.15.2016
05:41 pm
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Candy’ (USA/Italy, 1968) by Averardo Ciriello
 
Collecting movie posters can be a rewarding hobby—and even a lucrative one, too, if you view your collection as an investment that you’d be willing to sell later in life, after it has appreciated in value.

That’s what I try to tell my wife all the time! She’s never amused and resists my “charming rogue”/“Honey, can I spend some money?” puppydog act with a stone-faced sternness that makes me dribble away, chastened every time I run into her office with my laptop asking her to “Hey, look at this!” Because what she knows—and you don’t know—is that I really, really, really like buying movie posters. I have a lot of them. A lot a lot of them. Not hundreds upon hundreds, but certainly several dozens upon dozens of them. And the sad fact is, even with some of the beauties that I’ve amassed over the years, I have framed exactly one of them (a nice Magic Christian one-sheet that hangs in my office) while the rest have remained rolled and folded in my closet, safe, but unseen and under-appreciated.

See that nifty Italian 2-panel poster for Candy painted by artist Averardo Ciriello, above? I stumbled across that looking for something else a few days ago. And now it’s mine. I just didn’t tell my wife that I bought it. She’s probably finding out about it the same way you are. (I knew that if I asked, that she’d only say no. So I didn’t ask her!)

I got it via a Los Angeles-based high end poster gallery known as the Westgate Gallery. You can find their online presence at Westgategallery.com.

After the Candy poster was safely MINE ALL MINE I wrestled with the idea of sharing the Westgate Gallery and its wonderful wares with our readers. This is the kind of thing where you don’t want to tell too many people about it and spoil it for yourself. Yes it’s that good. Westgate Gallery—named after the Westgate Cinema, a porno theater in Bangor, Maine known to the proprietor during his obviously wayward childhood—is probably the single best-curated—and not at all picked over—high end movie poster gallery to open in recent years. Launched a bit over a year ago, the Westgate Gallery specializes in posters of Horror, Italian Giallo films, 70s and 80s “Golden Age of XXX,” classic cult films and basically exploitation films of any genre.

Westgate Gallery‘s poster concierge Christian McLaughlin, a novelist and TV/movie writer and producer based in Los Angeles, is obviously a total maven of mavens when it comes to this sort of thing. You couldn’t even begin to stock a store like this if you didn’t know exactly what you were looking for in the first place, and if you want a quick (not to mention rather visceral) idea of his level of expertise—and what a great eye he’s got—then take a gander at his world-beating selection of Giallo posters. He’s what I call a “sophisticate.”

Right now the Westgate Gallery’s flash sale has been extended through January 9th. Every item in stock is 40% off the (already reasonable) list price with the discount code “BF40” at checkout (that’s almost half off if you are bad at math.)

The selection below is only a very tiny sliver of what’s for sale at Westgategallery.com. In fact, 99% of these are culled solely from the horror and retro porn posters sections simply because I didn’t want to hip any of you motherfuckers to THE ONES THAT I WANT in the cult classics and Giallo sections.


Jean Rollin’s ‘Shiver of the Vampire’ (France, 1971)
 

Grave of the Vampire’ aka ‘Seed of Terror’  (USA, 1972)
 

The Pit’ aka ‘Teddy’ (Canada, 1981)
 
Many more macabre and sexy exploitation posters from the Westgate Gallery after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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09.15.2016
05:41 pm
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Sex, drugs and terrible things: Lurid and decadent poster art from the bad old days
06.07.2016
03:16 pm
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A Socialist “Murder of Crows” poster uses the horrors of war for its political agenda.

Thomas Negovan, the gallerist behind the quirky Los Angeles-based Century Guild specializes in Art Nouveau and the Symbolist movement. He’s an expert at tracking down weird and wonderful things and now he’s offering new “Patronage Prints” struck from rare images from his archives. The prints are produced in small editions and prices start under $50. The idea is to support the research and also make it so that affordable versions of what would otherwise be ungodly expensive can be appreciated without spending your life savings. (And if you want to do that, no problem, he can sell you the originals.)

The originals of these posters are excruciatingly rare works on paper; in some cases, the ones Century Guild have exist in quantities fewer than five and they’re primarily in museums.  They’re true “underground” modern art. When they were created, they were meant to be destroyed, not kept, but their designs and sensibilities permeated the underground art culture and informed works that blossomed decades—or a century—later. Their common thread is that they were once trash, but we recognize them today as incredibly modern treasures—and the reason is because of that underground influence.

They’re printed on 11” x 14” archival paper. Order from Century Guild.


Decadent Weimar-era icon Anita Berber seductively reveals her heroin injection marks in a 1919 film titled ‘Prostitution,’ its racy subject matter disguised under the auspices of being a “social hygiene film.”
 

A giant poster celebrating a 1907 novel studying the life—and death—of Nostradamus.
 

White Slavery was a hot button in popular culture, capitalized upon in this 1927 “grand adventure” film by legendary political illustrator Mihaly Biró.
 
More mayhem after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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06.07.2016
03:16 pm
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Socialist artist Vladimir Mayakovsky’s agitprop posters for revolutionary Russia

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Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky (1893-1930) was a poet, playwright, artist and actor. He cut a rather dashing, nay swashbuckling figure—with his shaved head and Crowleyan features—during the height of the Russian Revolution. He dressed like a dandy. He was hailed as the “artistic genius of the Revolution.” Performed poetry exhorting workers to rally to the cause. Produced plays that were considered the greatest of their day. And he created a series of agitprop posters—promoting news and political ideas—that became an art form launching a whole new approach to Soviet propaganda and graphic design.

In the 1980s, I was fortunate enough to see an exhibition of Mayakovsky’s artwork at the the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh. The exhibition was dominated by his bright, colorful posters with their (often simplistic) political messages. These fragile yellowed sheets of paper had once been displayed in shop windows or distributed to the countryside to inspire the largely illiterate Russian populace.

When he was a student in 1907, Mayakovsky claimed that he’d:

Never cared for fiction. For me it was philosophy, Hegel, natural sciences, but first and foremost, Marxism. There’d be no higher art for me than “The Foreword” by Marx.

He was expelled from college for non-payment of fees the following year. He then involved himself with the Bolsheviks—distributing leaflets, organizing meetings, and on one occasion he helped a female prisoner escape from jail. Such activities led to his eventual sentence of eleven months in prison. Here he started writing poetry and the fusion of “Revolution and poetry got entangled in [his] head and became one.”

On his release, Mayakovsky dedicated himself to the socialist cause. Not as a revolutionary leader but as an artist producing “Socialist Art.” He performed poetry, wrote plays, disseminated political pamphlets and produced agitprop posters. His work as a playwright and poet brought him considerable success and fame. He became the leading figure among the young revolutionary writers and artists of the day.

Come the Russian Revolution, Mayakovsky saw no question on what had to be done. He embraced the revolution wholeheartedly.  In 1919, he joined the Russian State Telegraph Agency (ROSTA). Here he was responsible for designing and writing many of the now legendary political posters. Unlike many of contemporaries, Mayakovsky kept to the tradition of hand-made posters—using linocut and stencils, rather than the more clean cut graphic design of Alexander Rodchenko—though the two did later collaborate on several designs.

Mayakovsky also embraced the artistic Futurist and Constructivist movements, which caused him to lose favor with some Party members including the new soviet leader Josef Stalin, who had replaced Lenin after his death in 1924.

During the 1920s, Mayakovsky became involved with the Left Art Front. In their manifesto the poet controversially stated the group’s policy as:

..[a] re-examining [of] the ideology and practices of the so-called leftist art, rejecting individualism and increasing Art’s value for the developing Communism…

As the decade progressed, Stalin implemented radical and oppressive changes which caused Mayakovsky to question the direction the Communist Party and the country were heading. He was deeply concerned by the oppression of the arts and the silencing of any dissenting voices. Mayakovsky raised some of his hopes and fears in a poem “Conversation with Comrade Lenin” in 1929, where he imagined himself giving a progress report to the dead soviet leader:

Without you,
        there’s many
              have got out of hand,

all the sparring
        and squabbling
                      does one in.
There’s scum
        in plenty
              hounding our land,

outside the borders
            and also
                  within.

Try to
    count ’em
          and
            tab ’em -
                  it’s no go,

there’s all kinds,
          and they’re
                  thick as nettles:
kulaks,
    red tapists,
          and,
              down the row,
drunkards,
      sectarians,
            lickspittles.
They strut around
            proudly
                as peacocks,
badges and fountain pens
                studding their chests.
We’ll lick the lot of ’em-
                but
                  to lick ’em
is no easy job
        at the very best.

Stalin and his cronies branded Mayakovsky as a “fellow traveler”—which damned the poet as untrustworthy. A smear campaign was orchestrated against him. He was denounced in the press and loyal party members barracked him during poetry readings. It seemed his fate had been sealed.

On April 12th, 1930, Mayakovsky committed suicide by shooting himself through the heart. His suicide note read:

To all of you. I die, but don’t blame anyone for it, and please do not gossip. The deceased terribly disliked this sort of thing. Mother, sisters, comrades, forgive me—this is not a good method (I do not recommend it to others), but there is no other way out for me.

Mayakovsky’s agitprop posters were never intended to be exhibited in galleries or museums. They were propaganda used to spread revolutionary ideas, to satirize and expose injustices, and inspire the mass of the Russian public to take control of their lives. Ironically, the message was lost and it was the museums and galleries that have kept Mayakovsky’s art and ideas alive.
 
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Do you want to join? (circa 1920).
 
More of Comrade Mayakovsky’s posters, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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03.16.2016
12:21 pm
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Beyond the Valley of the Lurid Exploitation Film Posters of the 50s, 60s & 70s
02.05.2016
04:16 pm
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Night Tide

A Lovecraftian poster for an odd 1960s mermaid thriller starring Dennis Hopper with a freaky cameo appearance by Marjorie Cameron, the bohemian witch of Los Angeles.

This is a sampling from a private collection of rare, massive 40” x 60” posters that were printed on cardstock for drive-In movie theaters.  More posters and related merchandise are online at hautecampe.com (“Archeaologists of the Strange”).  All are for sale at auction until February 8, when the bidding closes.

Haute Campe offers a collection of original rare, vintage film posters from the 1940s-1970s originating mostly from drive-ins and grindhouse theaters. Most of the posters went through a single distributor called National Screen Service, hence the “property of N.S.S.” at the bottom of 99% of the movie posters printed in the 20th century!  While many posters were destroyed by the elements and others were pulled off the wall by collectors, a great many returned to the distributor’s archives and piled up for many many years. 

We were fortunate enough to be able to acquire a large part of the archives and the treasures were fantastic, including rarely-seen posters that were for small run promotions and exceedingly impossible to find sizes like the gorgeous and massive 40” x 60” silkscreens created for drive-in movie theaters.

This is a selection from the latter part of the alphabet. You can see A to N at an earlier post here.
 

Ordered to Love

An American distributor purchased a historical film and repackaged it as a Nazisploitation thrill; the fact that the movie was years old at this point was sold to the audience as the film having been “censored until now!”
 

Please, Not Now!

A towel-clad Brigitte Bardot stuns in this incredible 1961 Pop Art poster.
 

Rasputin the Mad Monk/The Reptile

A giant poster advertising a 1966 Hammer double-feature where theatergoers would get their own Rasputin beard!
 

Runaway Daughters
 
More after the jump…
 

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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02.05.2016
04:16 pm
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Particularly lurid exploitation film posters of the 50s, 60s and 70s
01.30.2016
12:44 pm
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The Black Klansman

Forty years before Chappelle’s Show made the joke, a black man spends his nights in a most curious manner…

This is a sampling from a private collection of rare, massive 40” x 60” posters that were printed on cardstock for drive-In movie theaters.  More posters and related merchandise are online at hautecampe.com (“Archeaologists of the Strange”).  All are for sale at auction until February 8, when the bidding closes.

Haute Campe offers a collection of original rare, vintage film posters from the 1940s-1970s originating mostly from drive-ins and grindhouse theaters. Most of the posters went through a single distributor called National Screen Service, hence the “property of N.S.S.” at the bottom of 99% of the movie posters printed in the 20th century!  While many posters were destroyed by the elements and others were pulled off the wall by collectors, a great many returned to the distributor’s archives and piled up for many many years. 

We were fortunate enough to be able to acquire a large part of the archives and the treasures were fantastic, including rarely-seen posters that were for small run promotions and exceedingly impossible to find sizes like the gorgeous and massive 40” x 60” silkscreens created for drive-in movie theaters.

This is just a selection from the first part of the alphabet…
 

Blood and Black Lace

Mario Bava directed this 1964 film that created the template for the “body count” slasher films of the 1980s.
 

Blood Bath

A 1966 stinker that started out in Yugoslavia as a spy film and—being judged unreleasable—had extra sequences filmed in Venice, California and was re-edited as a horror movie.
 
Many, many more movie posters, after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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01.30.2016
12:44 pm
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These horrifying posters make great gifts for all of the freaks (and dope fiends) on your Xmas list
12.09.2015
07:18 pm
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‘Syphilis: L’Hecatombe’ (“The Mass Slaughter of Syphilis”) by Louis Raemaekers, 1922.  Dutch soldiers returning home from the front with “The French Pox” caused a massive spike in STD-related deaths in the years following the war.

My pal Thomas Negovan owns the Century Guild gallery. Originally founded in Chicago in 1999, in December 2012 he opened a location in the Culver City Arts District of Los Angeles. Tom specializes in Art Nouveau and Symbolist works from Germany, Austria, France, and Italy done between 1880-1920, and includes the lithography of significant artists such as Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Alphonse Mucha, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec; important Symbolist Artworks; and artifacts from the silent film era and German cabaret. Works from his collection are on permanent display in The Art Institute of Chicago, The Detroit Institute of Art, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

This Christmas season, the gallery has selected some of their most macabre and fantastic posters to be printed as limited edition Patronage Prints. Priced under $50, they’ll certainly make… unusual presents for all the weirdos (and drug addicts) on your shopping list…


‘Shadows and Light’ by Walter Schnackenberg is a 1919 Munich cabaret performance depicting a ‘Beauty and the Beast’ theme.


Fritz Lang wrote the silent film script of a woman leading men to their demise in ‘The Dance of Death’ (1919).


A poster advertising the The Grand-Guignol theater, a legendary landmark of terror.  Performances there ran the gamut from horror to comedy, stimulating both extremes of human response.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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12.09.2015
07:18 pm
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Be careful with that hammer & sickle, Eugene: Soviet accident prevention posters
06.05.2015
09:48 am
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During the 19th century posters were primarily used as a means of advertising and publicity. It would take the events of the First World War and the Russian Revolution to change their use from commercial to a means of propaganda and education. Posters became a means to educate or re-educate a nation according to the beliefs of their leaders—whether as a rallying point in war or to inspire revolution.

For Soviet Russia the poster was a means of spreading state information targeting the population across a vast and diverse country. Literacy had been a problem in Russia—according to 1897 national census, under Tsarist rule just 28.4% of the populace were literate. After the revolution, Lenin promised to “liquidate illiteracy” and by 1926, 56.6% of Russians were registered as literate.

However, knowing that at least half of your workforce was illiterate was a hinderance to the planned Soviet industrialization of the country.The workforce had to be educated as quickly and successfully as possible. To solve the problem accident prevention posters were produced disseminating clear and succinct warnings to all possible hazards faced by the Soviet workforce in industry and agriculture. “Be careful with a fork,” “Hey Scatterbrain! Don’t cripple your Friends!” or “Don’t Walk on Fish!” reinforced the need for the individual to take responsibility of their own actions for the benefit of the greater good. Though many of the messages may strike us now as bizarre or strange (“A fan is a friend of labor. Let it work forever.”), they all reflect a revolutionary change to the quality of health and safety at work.
 
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‘Hide the Hair.’
 
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‘Don’t Walk on Fish!’
 
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‘Chemical containers should have accurate inscriptions!’
 
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‘Hey Scatterbrain! Don’t cripple your Friends!’
 
More health and safety notices from Soviet era Russia, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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06.05.2015
09:48 am
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Rude, nude and lewd: Lurid 1970s Sexploitation posters
05.20.2015
10:29 am
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When I was a kid growing up in Edinburgh during the 1970s, I became aware of a cinema called the Jacey on the city’s main thoroughfare Princes Street. It was difficult not to be aware of the Jacey—with its brightly lit foyer, white-painted exterior and beautiful French-styled windows—it looked like some kind of respectable brothel or a dodgy gentleman’s club—which wasn’t too far away from the truth, as the Jacey was an adult cinema showing imported Scandinavian porn and American sexploitation movies.

Outside, directly visible to all passing trade, were small framed windows where customers could view the promotional photographs, lobby cards and posters for the forthcoming attractions. Like many inquisitive schoolboys, I stopped here on the way home from school (for purely educational purposes, of course…) to view the photos of scantily clad men and women in black & white or garish colors frolicking as nature intended. This display became like a kind of barometer for me as it reflected the “atmospheric” changes in public taste for adult entertainment. At first, there was the innocent healthy lifestyle documentaries on nudist camps with fit youngsters playing games, stretching muscles and touching their toes. Then the more specialized films from Sweden with young blondes quieting their existential angst with spontaneous sexual adventures with strangers. Then American movies that mixed bad sex with bad acting and bad dialog. On occasion, there were screenings of arthouse films by Pasolini (Canterbury Tales) and Fellini (Satyricon)—perhaps the titles had suggested more than these films delivered? The Jacey closed around May 1973, its last double-bill was I Am Sexy and Do You Want To Remain a Virgin Forever?

As this “golden age” of seventies blue movies waned there arrived the awful British sex comedies that regularly starred Anthony Booth (father-in-law of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair) and a host of respected character actors (including Beryl Reid, Roy Kinnear and Richard Briers), and even employed the writing skills of Monty Python’s John Cleese and Graham Chapman.

The audiences seemed to change too—from old men to liberated and progressive young couples to teenage boys their first flush of lust. This was a time when virginity was still considered “sacred” and sex before marriage was generally discouraged—which made having a porn cinema on Edinburgh’s most famous and busiest street an odd comment on what was deemed acceptable. Edinburgh was then a very genteel city, and “sex” for most of its middle class citizens was what the coal was delivered in.

Then again, apart form their saucy taglines, most of these films rarely had anything as explicit than can be found on the pages of Tumblr today. This collection of 1970’s sexploitation posters covers all the bases—from nasty stag films, to smut movies starring Batman‘s Adam West, to the saucy comic Brit flicks.
 
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More after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.20.2015
10:29 am
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‘Separate Cinema’: Unsettling and gorgeous posters from the age of segregated movies
03.20.2015
02:16 pm
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Birthright, 1939. A black Harvard graduate confronts racism.
 
The images on this page come from a remarkable book that came out late last year, Separate Cinema: The First 100 Years of Black Poster Art, by John Duke Kisch; it’s an incredibly wide-ranging look at the posters of “black cinema” writ large, a category that includes not just the “race films” shown here but also Birth of a Nation, earnest Hollywood dramas, The Jazz Singer, Blaxploitation flicks, South African movies addressing apartheid, breakdancing movies from the 1980s, and much more. The book’s credibility couldn’t be greater, insofar as Henry Louis Gates Jr. supplies the foreword and Spike Lee the afterword.

The posters depicted here tell a tale of true segregation, a “separate but equal” industry, so to speak, that served up gripping melodramas to its chosen audience just as surely as Warner Bros. did for white audiences. The undisputed master of this period is Oscar Micheaux, who directed a couple of these movies. By Kisch’s lights “the most successful early black independent film producer and director,” Micheaux was the son of a Kentucky slave before working as a railway porter and homesteader; around World War I he started directing and producing movies, of which he directed more than 40 before he was done. Kisch describes his basic formula as follows:
 

Micheaux’s features were usually far superior to those made by other independent black studios, largely because he took a familiar Hollywood genre and gave it a distinctive African-American slant. Committed to “racial uplift,” he cast black characters in non-stereotypical roles, as farmers, oil men, explorers, professors, Broadway producers, or Secret Service agents.  … He brought to the screen diverse social issues that faced black America, and also portrayed an ideal world in which blacks were affluent, educated, and cultured. In the 1930s, his films represented a radical departure from Hollywood’s portrayal of African Americans as jesters and servants.

 
In our age, posters like this are simultaneously dazzling and upsetting, almost as taboo as the interracial drama The Exile (below) was in its day. Underlying so much of the rhetoric surrounding the racial situation in America is the understanding that all those bad things belonged to and are limited to the past; the horrors of Ferguson, Staten Island, Cleveland in 2014 showed everyone that no such assumptions are safe—even as Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave (it’s included in the book too) both harks back to these unsettling movies and signals the potential for lasting change. 
 

Bosambo, 1935. British District Officer in Nigeria in the 1930’s rules his area strictly but justly, and struggles with gun-runners and slavers with the aid of a loyal native chief.
 

Black Gold, 1928. A town abandons its previous ways of life for the glamour and drama of the oil drilling trade.
 

The Flying Ace, 1926. A veteran World War I fighter pilot returns home a war hero and immediately regains his former job as a railroad company detective.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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03.20.2015
02:16 pm
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