They don't make 'em like they used to: neither movies nor the posters that advertise 'em. Ira M. Resnick is a film historian, poster collector and founder of the Motion Picture Arts Gallery in New York. Of the 2,000 posters and 1,500 stills in his personal collection, he's gathered 250 of the former and 40 of the latter in his gorgeous new coffee table book Starstruck: Vintage Movie Posters From Classic Hollywood(Abbeville Press), which includes a foreword by some cat named Scorsese. Resnick will give a chat and sign copies at Book Soup. As a sign of how things have deteriorated, the graphics in his book, spanning the years 1912 to 1962, are more artful and entertaining than most contemporary feature-length films. The lobby card for the Bogart classic To Have and Have Not shows a black and white pic of Hoagy Carmichael -- one of the greatest songwriters to ever scribe a lyric or melody -- at the 88s, surrounded by elegantly dressed extras, with a smoldering, carnal Lauren Bacall, barely 20, in the foreground staring into the camera. There's nothing of comparable subtle power in today's over-the-top Hollywood where everything's designed to appeal to the 12-year old demographic.
Sun., March 14, 4 p.m., 2010