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Sci-Fi Iconography

Science Fiction Movies: Poster Art & Iconography

The public is cordially invited to a stellar exhibition of Science Fiction Movie Poster Art and Iconography to be held at the University of New Haven's Seton Art Gallery. The exhibit will display dozens of rare posters and lobby cards from virtually every classic Science Fiction film. The exhibit, opening Thursday, November 20th, 2008 (reception 5:00-7:00 p.m.) showcases pieces from the collection of Prof. Wes Davis, Senior Lecturer In English & film at UNH.  The show is arranged by theme:  Spacemen of Distinction, Spaceships and Flying Saucers, Science Fiction Femmes Fatale, Atomic Age Monsters, I, Robot, and Invaders from Outer Space.  The pieces range from 11x 14 lobby cards, originally issued by movie studios in sets of eight, through half sheets, inserts, window cards, Belgian and Mexican posters and 1-sheets 27x41, still the standard poster size issued by studios today.  Science Fiction posters are the most valuable and sought after by collectors due to their eye-catching visuals.  These sci-fi images were used to sell the films to the public and were often better remembered than the movies they promoted!  Professor Davis, who has been collecting posters from various movie genres for almost twenty years, says the attraction for him is that each poster or lobby card is “ like owning a piece of movie history, a souvenir from a loved film.”  He has been an avid movie lover since childhood and still keeps a “movie log” of each film he sees.  “Usually I see over a hundred films a year,” he says.  “I distinguish between films I’m seeing for the first time and those I’ve seen before.  I then make a top ten list of favorite films I saw for the first time each year, plus a couple stinkers I wish I hadn’t seen!”  Davis is a historian of popular culture: literature, film, popular music and teaches courses in all three areas at UNH.  He won’t state how many years he’s been teaching film.  “Let’s just say when I first started teaching film, Hitchcock was still making movies.”  Davis says most of the films represented in the exhibition he saw at the Rivoli Theater in downtown West Haven (it’s now a bank across from the Post Office).  The exhibit includes the key images from such classics as Day the Earth Stood Still, Godzilla, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, War of the Worlds, E.T., Star Trek, Close Encounters, and images from all four live action versions of Superman, from serials of the late 1940s through the latest 2007 theatrical film Superman Returns.  Wes Davis will lecture on his collection, at the gallery, on Friday, December 12th at 7:00 pm.  The exhibit will run through December 16th.