the act of seeing

The guy who made Bronson and Drive wants to take you on a trip to the 42nd Street of ’60s and ’70s New York City. As a guidebook, he offers a collection of lurid and strange movie posters.

Of course Nicolas Winding Refn, a writer and director, and a participant in The American Genre Film Archive, is a wildly knowledgable cinephile. He has an incredible collection of exploitation movie posters that is now being published as the book Nicolas Winding Refn: The Act of Seeing. Guided by Refn and written by Alan Jones, the founder of Film 4 Fright Fest, The Act of Seeing gives museum treatment to posters that were thought of as anything but art when they adorned the windows of grindhouse theaters decades ago.

I spoke to Refn about his collection and the appeal of the films these posters represent, even when the posters are less than honest about the movies they’re selling. Our conversation ranged into the raw basement design of bootlegged images for stolen films, and the appeal of the 1961 Dennis Hopper film Night Tide. Read More »