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Art & Copy (2009)
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Art & Copy (2009)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,312 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 7 user | 27 critic | 10 from Metacritic.com

ART & COPY is a powerful new film about advertising and inspiration. Directed by Doug Pray (SURFWISE, SCRATCH, HYPE!), it reveals the work and wisdom of some of the most influential ... See full summary »

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Lee Clow ...
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Jim Durfee ...
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Cliff Freeman ...
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Jeff Goodby ...
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David Kennedy ...
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Hal Riney ...
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Phyllis K. Robinson ...
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Rich Silverstein ...
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ART & COPY is a powerful new film about advertising and inspiration. Directed by Doug Pray (SURFWISE, SCRATCH, HYPE!), it reveals the work and wisdom of some of the most influential advertising creatives of our time -- people who've profoundly impacted our culture, yet are virtually unknown outside their industry. Exploding forth from advertising's "creative revolution" of the 1960s, these artists and writers all brought a surprisingly rebellious spirit to their work in a business more often associated with mediocrity or manipulation: George Lois, Mary Wells, Dan Wieden, Lee Clow, Hal Riney and others featured in ART & COPY were responsible for "Just Do It," "I Love NY," "Where's the Beef?," "Got Milk," "Think Different," and brilliant campaigns for everything from cars to presidents. They managed to grab the attention of millions and truly move them. Visually interwoven with their stories, TV satellites are launched, billboards are erected, and the social and cultural impact of their... Written by Anonymous

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Creativity can solve anything

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Documentary

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21 August 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tehni kai diafimisi  »

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Hal Riney: [First lines] The frightening and most difficult thing about being what somebody calls a creative person is that you have absolutely no idea where any of your thoughts come from, really. And especially, you don't have any idea about where they're going to come from tomorrow.
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Capture
6 May 2010 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

I love it when the matter and the form align.

This is a documentary about the top creative folks in (US) advertising. It traces an explosion of influence from either putting creatives in charge or allowing the graphic/cinema guys to be up front — depending on who is being interviewed. And it is primarily about the interviews with the people who did some pretty memorable things, most notably for Nike and Apple, but interestingly for milk, Volkswagon, Reagan and Hilfiger. The people are engaging because that is their dual business: they have to be engaging in capturing clients and subsequently in capturing the public for those clients.

By themselves, the interviews are outstanding, and arranged in a way that first builds a story, then highlights the differences, even contradictory approaches of the competing personalities and firms. Then we have layered on the interviews the ads themselves, which we all know from previous experience. That also is a rewarding experience because it "explains" what we thought we already knew.

Layered on that is some infographics: facts about the size and influence of the business. This is less engaging. There are several framing devices. One has a specific billboard worker appearing throughout. Another has the space shuttle slowly advancing toward its pad and at the end taking off to the same uplifting techniques we have just had explained. Also, throughout are some very beautiful shots of landscapes and objects in landscapes, not always relevant but they establish temporal and visual rhythms that tells me that this filmmaker knows his stuff.

The interviews put some of the obvious things clearly on the table: most ads are junk and harmful to the imagination; the manipulation behind the most successful work has moral dimensions. While these are profound issues, they are glibly explained away by people who are professions at justifying themselves. This could easily have been one of those tsk tsk stories that we have about food, medicine and the defense industry, where society is destroyed for profit. Instead, this celebrates advertising as art, perhaps real art; perhaps the only real art.

The fold here is that the business of advertising advertises itself. In a sense, that is what we have here, and it works. Whether you will leave happy or not is up to you. But either way, you will likely wonder about it for a long time.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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Terrific study of a subject we've all been over-exposed to. moore2772
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