The poster art of Silvano Campeggi is exemplary in this regard. His posters are always visually striking and enticing; he had a unique ability of being able to synthesize in a single image the power and attraction of a film. His poster for Stanley Kramer’s Judgement at Nuremberg is a brilliant illustration of the “banality of evil,” the cool, mechanization of murder that the Nuremberg trials painfully detailed. Or his poster for Michael Curtiz’s Casablanca, in which the moral, political and emotional dilemma of Humphrey Bogart is beautifully captured by a visual play with shadow and depth.
As the field of film studies evolves, scholars have come to realize that the cinema means much more than the simple ninety minutes of celluloid we see projected in dark spaces; to study the cinema as a cultural form, one must include the entire world of business, production, advertising and related art forms in order to truly understand cinema’s decisive role in helping to shape our contemporary world. The art of the movie poster is just beginning to be seriously studied and appreciated, so it’s a great pleasure to begin this long overdue celebration at the very top, with the wonderful film posters of Silvano Campeggi.
The Film Society of Lincoln Center presents curated exhibits in the Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery at the Walter Reade Theater that either compliment the programming or are film related art shows. Inaugurated in 1991, the space was designed by prestigious architectural firm Davis Brody and named in honor of the Furmans, longtime supporters of the Film Society.