Feed the Person you want to be

By on August 23, 2022

Every year when summer comes, my local organic food store puts their sunshade up.

Every year I read the caption that says FEED THE PERSON YOU WANT TO BE…

Every year I wonder: Why would I want to feed Elvis Presley??? And how would that even be possible???

Btw, The King was not only the greatest Rock’n’Roll star this planet ever saw, he also made a good number of movies as well. Most of the films do not reach the quality of his stage performances, but JAILHOUSE ROCK from 1957 is very much worth watching, if only for his performance of the title song.

The US Onesheet is also my favorite movie poster for any Elvis film by far. As it happens, I have one in stock and available for sale:

JAILHOUSE ROCK original US Onesheet

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On the Subject of Dry Mounting Movies Posters

By on August 12, 2022

I received an email today asking me if it had been a good idea to have his original movie poster for MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO dry mounted. Here’s a sample image of the poster in question:

My Neighbor Totoro

The answer is: NO. NO. NO. And again: NO. Never ever have your vintage movie posters dry mounted!

Unfortunately, ignorant, run-of-the-mill frame shops still frequently recommend this technique. While it is widely accepted for modern photography and digital prints, it is an absolute no-go for vintage posters. It is also absolutely unacceptable to most serious collectors. Technically, dry-mounting is sometimes reversible, but it needs a highly skilled restorer to do so, and it does not always work. Also, depending on the glue that was used, ugly stains may remain on the back of the poster, so it would have to be rebacked to be presentable.

Basically, the only two backing options allowed are linenbacking and paperbacking, and both have to be performed by professional restorers. DO NOT try this at home! I do remember a seller from the Arabian world (but living in Germany) who took the word ‘linenbacking’ literally and backed several of his posters on cut-to-size, white duvet covers. With weird imprinted patterns and all. Needless to say, this is not the way to go either. More information on linenbacking and paperbacking can be found in my INFO section.

How to find a good frame shop

Which brings me to the question on how to find a trustworthy frame shop. Of course, if you have a vintage movie poster shop in your area, the easiest way would be ask the owner for a recommendation. If that is not possible, confront the person at the frame shop with the term ‘conservation framing’. For your information, the University Products website offers an excellent summary on the topic.

The frame shop of your choice should be able and willing to explain the process to you. If you get the idea that the framer does not really know what he’s talking about, find somebody else. I’m serious.
A good framer might cost you more money to begin with, but it will be worth the expense over time.

I did not get the idea that the owner of the TOTORO poster is interested in selling, but although this is my all-time favorite anime movie poster, it is extremely in demand and it has become very hard to find, and the prices have gone up dramatically I would most likely refuse to buy it dry mounted. In this condition, in my perception, the poster is worth 20% at best compared to an unbacked copy, so it’s just not worth the hassle. And of course, it would have to ship flat, which is another nightmare in itself.

I have occasionally bought dry-mounted movie posters in the past, but only if it was something extremely rare and desirable like this one:

Ciao! Manhattan original world premiere movie poster

This poster was printed for the world premiere screening on CIAO MANHATTAN in Amsterdam in 1972. It also comes with a great provenance and it is my favorite poster on the film. Truth be told, I bought this framed in an online auction, so I did not know it was mounted on art board. On the other hand, it’s such a nice piece and so extremely rare, I would have gone for it anyway.

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THE DARK CARNIVAL Part 2: Sympathy for the Devil

By on August 3, 2022

Almost exactly 60 years after their first show at London’s Marquee Jazz Club on July 12, 1962 the Rolling Stones will once again be playing in Berlin tonight. Tonight’s gig not only marks the end of their current European tour, it will most likely be the last tour if not the last show they ever play.

Tickets are long sold out of course, with the cheapest seats going for somewhat over €280. Out of curiosity, I checked the promoter’s website today and they still show a ‘VIP Package’, which includes a place in the Diamond Pit (whatever that is…), standing room only. It could be had for a lousy €849. This ticket also allows early access. We’re once again looking at 34° C (93° F) in Berlin today, and the gig is supposed to start at 6:30 pm. No doubt grilling a couple extra hours in the sun will be a lot of fun.

Anyway, this is of course the perfect opportunity to present another lot from the DARK CARNIVAL exhibition, the original 1969 release US Special movie poster for Jean-Luc Godard’s SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL:

Rolling Stones Sympathy for the Devil US Special Poster
Rolling Stones Sympathy for the Devil Detail

Admittedly, I have never been too much of a Rolling Stone fan myself, but I always adored this poster.

This is a beautiful, slightly oversized silkscreen print for the original US release of the movie. Only about 100-120 copies of this poster were made. I had a local artist at the shop at some point, and she told me that a somewhat special silkscreen technique had been used here, with the result that every single poster looks slightly different.

Here’s what the IMDB has to say about the film:

Jean-Luc Godard‘s original director’s cut (titled “One Plus One”) runs approximately 110 minutes and consists largely of additional footage of the black power militants. The film’s producers were dissatisfied with this cut and deleted 11 minutes, changed the title to “Sympathy for the Devil” to underscore the Stones connection, and added the final version of the title song to the film’s soundtrack, over a freeze-frame of the last shot. These changes were all made without Godard’s knowledge; when he finally saw them at the film’s London Film Festival premiere, he allegedly went berserk and physically attacked one of the producers.

The film is essentially Godard’s take on the 1960s Western Counter Culture, and in Godard’s vision, the Rolling Stones only played one part in it. No surprise he hated the edited version.

The movie opened in December 1968 in the UK, in April 1969 in the US and in May the same year in France.

Fast forward to December 6, 1969: The Rolling Stones hire some local Hell’s Angels as security for the Free Altamont Open-Air Festival. The producers expected 80.000 people, when 300.000 show up, all hell breaks loose and the Hell’s Angels wreck havoc among the visitors. Their violence is not limited to the audience, musicians like Neil Young and Jefferson Airplane singer Marty Balin are attacked on stage as well.

While the Rolling Stones are playing ‘Under my Thumb’ and the cameras are rolling, a member of the Hell’s Angels stabs 18 year-old African-American Meredith Hunter in the back five times and he dies in front of the stage. The Hell’s Angel later claims that Hunter pointed a gun at him and is aquitted in a court of law. This day is widely considered ‘the end of the hippie era.’

I don’t know what the US distributor had in mind when he opted for this amazing, but somewhat disturbing image of the band inside a large skull with headphones.
According to the IMDB, SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL opened in the US in April 22, 1969, almost eight months before Altamont. With this in mind, the poster design, great as it is, gets a fairly creepy and also a very dark prophetic quality.

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The Dark Carnival : A Movie Poster & Art Exhibition

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Truth be told, Galerie filmposter.net never drew much walk-in business. The subject of buying and displaying vintage movie posters is apparently still too esoteric for most people, at least in Germany.
On the other hand, I spend a good deal of my lifetime at the gallery, so at some point I decided it was about time to tidy the place up some. The idea of creating my own personal exhibition has been in my head pretty much since I opened my first shop in 2004, and almost 20 years later I finally realized it.
It may not be anybody’s liking (and why should it), but I am actually very happy with the outcome.
The exhibition shows a broad range of items, from the mundane to the elusive to several one of a kind pieces. I will discuss them individually over several posts in the next months.

Today, let me start with my inspiration for the project: In 2012 I visited the Dennis Hopper photo exhibition in Berlin’s Gropius Bau. The image shown below is from the exhibition catalog and shows scenes from Hopper’s living room in 1965. I still find that paper maché clown under the ceiling impressive and nothing short of amazing.

Dennis Hopper Photography

Hardly any of Hopper’s photos appear to be arranged or staged, instead he was a master of ‘framing’ interesting people and/or remarkable scenes. The catalog shows about 400 photos. There are several editions on the market, so this is one photo book that can still be found at a very moderate price. I paid about €20 for my like-new hardcover copy on ebay and I highly recommend it.

After visiting the exhibition I knew I wanted to do something involving clowns at some point. I really don’t know why, it just seemed like a good idea and it still does. If you ask for any further motivation, I guess I’m with this guy:

Also, I had this amazing, but perfectly worthless vintage circus poster shown below sitting in one of my lockers for ages. I believe that it is from the 1950s or so, but there were tons of them printed. While these have become somewhat hard to find, the monetary value is somewhat neglectable. For my perception, the display value is second to none. Matter of fact, the frame cost me a lot more than the poster is worth, but I absolute adore this piece. It also reminds me very much of the clown painting from Dennis Hopper’s apartment you can see above.
For those who are interested in this kind of material: I still have a small handful of vintage circus posters and circus related movie posters for sale, they can be found in my CATALOG.

Sells and Gray Circus Poster

Actually, the beautiful vase you see on the photo was made by a ceramic artist on the next block and the dry flower arrangement is Made in Berlin as well. Before I bought the vase, this spot was occupied by one of my junk movie poster boxes. I sold a good deal of junk material to a local collector in a bulk deal a while ago and used the money to pay for the vase. I am still EXTREMELY pleased with that deal!

Anyway, I’m getting distracted here… I always knew I needed to do something with the poster above, but I never really had a plan. At some point, I briefly pondered the idea of pasting it on the door at the end of a long hallway in my home, but looking this guy right in the eye every time I come home seemed a tad too creepy even for my taste.

It now servers as both an ‘opener’ and a ‘cornerstone’ of the shop exhibition and I am mighty glad I found such a great place for it!

More on the first set of my other exhibits next time!

Happy Trails,

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Willie Nelson: The Man, the Myth, the Movie Posters

By on August 2, 2022

Woke up this morning with Willie Nelson singing ‘My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys’ in my head. For those of you who have not yet discovered the blessings of sad country music, here it is:

The song was written by Sharon Vaughn and originally taped by fellow country music outlaw Waylon Jennings. Willie’s version was recorded for the soundtrack of THE ELECTRIC HORSEMAN in 1979 and can be heard in the opening credits. Truth be told, I never liked any of the movie posters for this film (or the movie itself) too much, so I don’t have any of them in stock right now and I’m not overly eager to replace them.

What I DO have in stock, and here comes part one of this blatant cross-marketing attempt, is a US insert for HONEYSUCKLE ROSE from 1980:

Honeysuckle Rose Insert

The movie is pretty much a two hour long country song and more or less recommended to Willie Nelson fans only. Willie’s now classic song ‘On the Road again’ was nominated for an Academy Award but did not win. It did win another award, though: Amy Irving received the first ever Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress for this one. I always thought that was a tad unfair. She sure ain’t no great actress, but I did not think she was that bad either.
Honeysuckle Rose is of course the name of Willie’s tour bus, that can also be seen in the poster.

And since this is a cross-marketing post: I also have the US Onesheet for THE RED-HEADED STRANGER from 1986 available:

Red Headed Stranger US Onesheet

The movie is based on Willie’s immensly successful album of the same name. In my book, the album is one of the all-time greatest country music recordings ever. It definitely is a lot better than the film…
On the other hand, the movie gave us this wonderful Willie Nelson poster. For me, this one has everything any serious fan could wish for.

Needless to say, in the world of vintage movie posters, cross-marketing attempts like this one never really seem to work, but I figure it can’t hurt tryin’ either…

Happy Trails,

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