There is a nice moment in the documentary Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds where Carrie’s brother Todd is showing the filmmakers a wall in his living room that tells the story of his mother’s life through movie posters. When Debbie Reynolds passed away on December 28—the day after her daughter Carrie in what was certifiably the last straw of 2016— I tried to find a great poster to commemorate her, but I couldn’t find anything really worthy of her (she was rarely the star of her own posters for one thing). I had forgotten, however, about this lovely Italian poster for Singing’ in the Rain which captures her as the burst of sunshine she always was.
More often than I would have liked last year I found myself using my Movie Poster of the Day Tumblr as a memorial, saluting recently departed film legends. Looking back over my 2016 posts I was shocked at the names I had already forgotten that we lost. We are all woefully aware of the music legends who died in 2016, but I had forgotten how many great film directors passed away: Jacques Rivette, Abbas Kiarostami, Michael Cimino, Andrzej Wajda, Andrzej Żuławski, Ettore Scola and Pierre Étaix, to name just the big ones. And we also said goodbye to three of the greatest cinematographers: Vilmos Zsigmond, Raoul Coutard and Jean “Umbrellas of Cherbourg” Rabier.
So to remember one more time those we lost I thought I would collect my In Memoriam posts of 2016. And I also added one that I hadn’t posted at the time because I couldn’t find a suitable poster for Alan Rickman—not even for Truly, Madly, Deeply. As his poster says “It All Ends.”
Poster sources are all credited on Movie Poster of the Day but I should give a special shout out to the source of the Singing’ in the Rain poster, which is Mike Kaplan’s excellent book Gotta Dance: The Art of the Dance Movie Poster.