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Movie Poster of the Week: Icarus Films at 40

A selection of posters from the 4-decade history of one of the US’s most discerning documentary distributors.
Above: French poster for A Grin Without a Cat (Chris Marker, France, 1977).
Starting today, the Metrograph in New York will be launching an extensive series celebrating the 40th anniversary of one of the most dedicated, unsung heroes of U.S. film distribution: Icarus Films. Founded in 1978 by filmmaker Ilan Ziv and sold two years later (in exchange for a video camera) to Jonathan Miller who has run the company ever since, Icarus has become one of the leading repositories for aesthetically challenging, politically engaged documentary cinema. The two-week long series contains 56 films (out of over 1,000 in their collection) by some of the most important names in documentary film: Chantal Akerman, Jean Rouch, Peter Watkins, Chris Marker, Marcel Ophuls and Wang Bing, to name just a few.
Finding posters for a lot of these films was not easy. Many of the titles were never really theatrical material (they range in length from 44 minutes to 345) and so a theatrical poster would not have been created for them. Luckily, there are some notable exceptions—many of them from Icarus’ greatest hits—and so I’ve chosen the 15 best posters I could find which hopefully will give a hint at the breadth and variety of this extraordinary and unmissable series.
Above: French poster for Bitter Money (Wang Bing, China, 2016).
Above: French poster for La Commune (Paris 1871) (Peter Watkins, France, 2000).
Above: Italian poster for Far from Vietnam (Godard, Resnais, Lelouch, Ivens, Marker, Varda & Klein, France, 1967). Artist: Renato Casaro.
Above: French poster for From the Other Side (Chantal Akerman, France/Belgium, 2002).
Above: US one sheet for Hotel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie (Marcel Ophuls, France, 1988).
Above: US one sheet for Le Joli Mai (Chris Marker & Pierre Lhomme, France, 1963).
Above: French poster for A Man Vanishes (Shohei Imamura, Japan, 1967).
Above: French poster for Milestones (Robert Kramer, USA, 1975).
Above: French poster for Moi, un noir (Jean Rouch, France, 1958).
Above: UK quad for The Nine Muses (John Akomfrah, UK, 2010).
Above: US one sheet for Nostalgia for the Light (Patricio Guzmán, Chile, 2010).
Above: German poster for Our Daily Bread (Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Austria, 2005).
Above: Cuban poster for The Human Pyramid (Jean Rouch, France, 1961).
Above: German poster for Tosca’s Kiss (Daniel Schmid, Switzerland, 1984).
Icarus Films at 40 plays at the Metrograph through September 30. The theater is selling the Icarus Passport which gives you a ticket to every program in the series for just $50.

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