USA, 2009, 86 minutes
Fri, Apr 24 / 6:30 / Kabuki / ART24K
Sun, Apr 26 / 12:15 / Kabuki / ART26K
Tue, Apr 28 / 4:00 / Kabuki / ART28K
At their best, great ad campaigns are magic. They somehow transcend grubby, ingratiating mercantilism to open new ways of thinking, seeing, being. TV spots such as “1984” for Apple and Budweiser’s “True” are like great hit singles, while print campaigns featuring artist-designed Absolut bottles or the myriad “Got Milk?” variations have become endlessly inventive old friends. The “Just Do It” campaign for Nike is so powerful it’s practically a movement, a provocation for everything from personal fitness to political action. Art & Copy, the newest film by Doug Pray (Scratch, Surfwise, Hype!), reveals the personal and professional stories behind some of the most influential advertising campaigns of our time. Commissioned by the industry’s One Club, the film focuses on several Advertising Hall of Fame visionaries, a good number of them based in San Francisco, to capture the intelligence, passion and—I know you may be skeptical of this—the high-minded idealism that goes into the billion-dollar business of tarting up and selling products. It might be too much to suggest that advertising is liberating, inasmuch as its sole reason for being is to put us in thrall to widgets, but its creative energy is undeniably exhilarating. Over the course of the film, it becomes clear many of the great advertising campaigns were crafted despite their clients, almost independently of their products. If there is such a thing as soul in a slogan, you will find it here, in the words, images and ideas of the finest Mad Men in the business.
West Coast Premiere.
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