Festival International du Film à Cannes Poster
Festival International du Film à Cannes Poster

PAUL COLIN (1892-1985)

Festival International du Film à Cannes Poster

1946 France

Offered by The Reel Poster Gallery

£12,500 gbp
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The Cannes Film Festival is the world’s largest and most celebrated film festival, a place where talents are discovered and reputations made. The first international film festival was held in Venice in 1932. As the decade progressed, however, the festival began to show marked signs of bias towards the fascist powers of Europe. The situation came to a head in 1939 when Jean Renoir’s French anti-war film, a sure bet to win, failed to get the top prize. Instead it was awarded jointly to Germany for the German Ministry of Propaganda film Olympia, and Italy for Luciano Serra’s Pilota, a film whose supervising director was Vittorio Mussolini, the Italian dictator’s son. The French, British and Americans all withdrew from the competition in disgust. As an alternative, France proposed its own international event, which would embrace fair and open competition.

The location chosen was Cannes in southern France, with the first Festival scheduled for September 1939. However, the declaration of war in Europe caused the inaugural Festival to be cancelled after only one opening night (the only film that managed to be shown was William Dieterle’s Hunchback of Notre Dame). It was not until 1946 that the first full-length Festival took place, and in the spirit of peace and diplomacy, all countries that entered a film that year won an award. It is interesting to note that the Festival’s first jury president was Louis Lumière – one of the co-founding fathers of cinema. The 1946 poster depicts a camera in place of a machine gun, with the world’s flags instead of bullets. Bold and vibrant, the poster is a moving statement on the power of the arts to heal and overcome the violence the world had endured for six years. Paul Colin was one of the pre-eminent French graphic designers of the 20th century.

Colin became famous for his 1925 poster for the Josephine Baker show Revue Nègre. His design was so popular that he was asked to join the artistic staff at the Parisian theatre that hosted the show. Colin and Josephine Baker became lovers and lifelong friends, and Baker remained his muse for many years. In 1929 Colin produced La Tumulte Noir, a portfolio of colourful Art Deco lithographs depicting the Jazz Age exuberance of Paris. Widely acclaimed, this publication further secured Colin’s reputation as one of France’s leading graphic designers. The following year he founded the first poster design school in Paris, which produced a number of respected future graphic designers, including the celebrated F. H. K. Henrion. Colin is remembered for his punchy characterizations and the bold geometry of his compositions, which remain as forceful and lively today as the day they left the printers.
Excellent. Fewer than ten of these posters are known to have survived. This poster has been conservation Linen-backed.
Height 155.00 cm (61.02 inches)
Width 114.00 cm (44.88 inches)
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