(above: unused Struzan posters for “Back to the Future”)
The Art of the Modern Movie Poster, a tomb released in 2008 that could quite possibly stop a bullet, collects “more than 1500 international posters”, making it “the ultimate book on movie poster design from the last 60 years”. It makes a hell of an effort, and gives American audiences in particular a place to experience some of the greatest interpretations of film advertising to come out of countries around the globe. But there’s a gaping hole at the center of its look at key art in the United States: one of the most influential poster artists at the end of the 20th century is almost completely absent despite being responsible for well over a hundred one-sheets while bringing to life some of the most iconic properties that continue to exist today. You’ve seen his art even if you never knew his name, and if you’re a product of 1980s/early 1990s American culture, your life has definitely been touched in some way by his work. The man was a machine, and his output was everywhere.