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Movie Poster of the Week: “The American Friend” and the Posters of Margrit and Peter Sickert

A look at an exhibition of film posters at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival.

Above: German poster for The American Friend (Wim Wenders, West Germany, 1977).

Running concurrently with the Berlin International Film Festival, at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele, there is a beautiful exhibition of some fifty posters by husband and wife graphic artists Margrit and Peter Sickert, who sign their posters simply “Sickerts.” In a year in which the festival seems to have been less than rosy for the old guard of the New German Cinema, it is nice to see some of the posters from the movement’s heyday on display.

The Sickerts, who attended the opening of the exhibition, created over 300 posters from the 1960s to the 1990s in a wide variety of styles ranging from hyperrealist illustration to monochrome photographic minimalism. Their painting of Dennis Hopper and Bruno Ganz for Wim Wenders’ The American Friend—which for years I thought was by Belgian artist Guy Peellaert who did many of Wenders’ posters—is by far their best known piece. And their illustrative style is also on display in their lovely banal scenario for Fassbinder’s Mother Küsters Goes to Heaven and that unforgettable image of domestic surrealism for Peter Handke’s The Left-Handed Woman.

For those of you lucky enough to be in Berlin, the exhibition runs through Sunday February 15.

Above: German poster for The Left-Handed Woman (Peter Handke, West Germany, 1978).

Above: Margrit and Peter Sickert at the opening of their exhibition. Photo: Berlinale.

Above: German poster for Yesterday Girl (Alexander Kluge, West Germany, 1966).

Above: Visitors looking at a 1960s re-release poster of Rotation (Wolfgang Staude, East Germany, 1949) and a poster for Young Törless (Volker Schlöndorff, West Germany, 1966). Photo: Berlinale.

Above: German poster for Mother Küsters Goes to Heaven (R.W. Fassbinder, West Germany, 1975).

Above: a visitor viewing the exhibition. Photo: Berlinale.

Above: German poster for Wings of Desire (Wim Wenders, West Germany, 1987).

See more photos from the exhibition at the Berlinale website.

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