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Movie Poster of the Week: The Posters of the Maysles Brothers

Above: Us poster for Salesman (Maysles Brothers & Charlotte Zwerin, USA, 1968). Designer: Henry Wolf. Courtesy of Film/Art Gallery.Starting today, Film Forum in New York is hosting The Maysles & Co., a comprehensive two-week long retrospective of the work of the legendary “Direct Cinema” documentarians Albert and David Maysles—best known for Gimme Shelter (1970) and Grey Gardens (1976)—and their various collaborators, most especially Charlotte Zwerin. Grey Gardens, a film whose title has entered the lingua franca, is the only documentary ever to be turned into a Tony-winning Broadway musical, an Emmy-winning TV dramatization, and an SNL-alumni parody, but its poster, a simple framing of a photograph by Herb Goro, doesn’t really do the film justice. Gimme Shelter, on the other hand—the Maysles’ biggest international success—has inspired a wide variety of designs. For me, the stand-out is the stark black and white one sheet with all-Helvetica type, the first one featured below.

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