East German movie posters

I’ve been collecting movie posters for almost exactly three years and recently finished acquiring and framing a set of five distinctive East German posters. The poster mania started 1 Nov 2020 (according to my catalog notes) which was of course eight months into the pandemic when we were all finding new interests with our idle hands. It started with me describing the Italian sci-fi movie Wild, Wild Planet (I criminali della galassia, 1966) to Lisa with way more information than anyone would care to have who doesn’t love quirky, 60s, European sci-fi (“ok, so it’s directed by Antonio Margherita and is part of a loose four film cycle centered around the crew of the space station Gamma One…”). In my waxing about the movie I looked up the poster and made the fateful statement of how amazing it would be if I could find an original copy.

Well apparently it’s easy to find. And reasonably priced.

And as soon as Lisa saw the purple boots she didn’t care how boring it is that “Margheriti was otherwise known as a Giallo director and went by the name Anthony Dawson for this film to appeal to American audiences. Not to mention that he’s slyly referenced in Inglourius Basterds.” After I ordered it I was worried I was getting a reprint, but the back of the copy I received looks aged and has a stamp that looks authentic. And anyway, who wouldn’t want this on their wall:

Laser-Ray Girls? Count me in! There’s not one square inch on that poster that isn’t bonkers.
One section of the back of the poster, folded. 67-201 is the NSS number: it was released in 1967 and was the 201st film to be assigned a number. More info that, for some reason?!?, Lisa didn’t care about
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Getting introduced to the Barbarella canon

A month or so ago a picture from one of the Barbarella comic books came across my feed and it was graphic design catnip. There was an unexpected clarity from something I would have expected to be garish at best. I’ve learned that there is a legacy that she has left that is more respectful and appreciative than I would have thought. I mean, how can I be blamed…

Yes, she is in a clear vinyl outfit while lying in a shag-carpeted aquarium.
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Recent movies (and TV)

I’ve been on a viewing jag over the last couple of weeks. Marx Brothers films, Russ Meyer films, an old TV show, a rare Japanese thriller, and a Mario Bava giallo.

  • Marx Brothers
    • A Night at the Opera (1935) [ IMDB ]
    • A Day at the Races (1937) [ IMDB ]
  • Russ Meyer
    • Lorna (1964) [ IMDB ]
    • Supervixens (1975) [ IMDB ]
    • Up! (1976) [ IMDB | Wikipedia ]
    • Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens (1979) [ IMDB ]
  • McMillan and Wife (1971-1977) [ IMDB ]
  • Angel Dust (1994) [ IMDB | Letterboxd | Wikipedia ]
  • Five Dolls for an August Moon (1970) [ IMDB ]
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A few years back I watched the Swedish sci-fi film Aniara [ IMDB | Wikipedia ] and it shook me. The prompting to watch was from some now-lost review that described it as eccentric and bleak (my remembered words, not theirs) and highly recommended it but with warning w/r/t that last characteristic. And it is that last characteristic that continually resurfaces to shake me.

image from IMDB
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The magazines on display during a scene from the 1970 action movie Airport

Watching old movies, I often latch onto a scene that pulls me back to the year that the film was made with both a realization that the artifacts contained within the scene were of-the-time, and an amazement that they are easily find-able now with the Internet. I’d had almost-success finding a dive bar called The Moonfire Inn from MST3K’s riff on The Hellcats (1968), and even if the abandoned old building I found on Google Street View wasn’t it, I learned a lot about the the place’s cultural proximity to both a Paul Newman movie and the Manson Family. Since movies aren’t real, this fascination with old movie artifacts as historical documents can be a bit of a degraded version of the (more understandable) fascination with long-distant history as we walk through ancient ruins. Here though, as with the Hellcats biker bar, the artifacts are real and are not, say, the prop of a Maltese falcon.

A scene from the movie Airport (1970) @23:00
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