American Artifact: The Rise of American Rock Poster Art | Chicago Reader

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Rated NR · 88 minutes · 2009

Documentary
As you might guess from the portentous title and redundant subtitle, video maker Merle Becker suffers from an inflated sense of her subject's importance, amplified in the narration by her references to "the poster movement" (for some reason, every pop-culture trend has to be consecrated as a movement). The artists she interviews don't take themselves so seriously, thank God, and they're as colorful, irreverent, and expressive as their prints. Becker traces the modern rock poster's history back to San Francisco in the late 60s, when Bill Graham used after-show giveaways to clear the Fillmore West, and follows it through the no-budget era of photocopied punk flyers up to the present day, when screen-printed posters quickly become collector's items. The artists—from psychedelic vets like Stanley Mouse and Victor Moscoso to 90s trendsetters like Frank Kozik and Art Chantry—take considerable delight in each other's work, which heightens the sense of an idyllic, if not always profitable, counterculture.
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Director: Merle Becker
Producer: Merle Becker
Cast: Mark Arminski, Julie Belcher, Leia Bell, Kevin Bradley, Art Chantry, Connie Collingsworth, Coop, Mat Daly, Ron Donovan, Emek, Gary Grimshaw, Justin Hampton and Derek Hess

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