Argentina, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Russia and Spain are among the countries represented in “From Amarcord to Z,” a poster exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Academy’s Foreign Language Film award category.
The history of the award actually goes back to 1947, when the Academy recognized Shoe-Shine, from war-scarred Italy, for offering “proof to the world that the creative spirit can triumph over adversity.” The Academy presented seven more “special” or “honorary” foreign language film Oscars® before officially establishing the category in 1956. That first competitive award went to Italy for “La Strada.” The exhibition, which has been assembled from the extensive poster collection of the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library, includes the posters for both Italian films.
Most of the posters on display are originals from each film’s home country, allowing visitors to see how nations around the world have presented the work of their own filmmakers through the universal language of the movie poster. The graphic styles are as diverse as the films themselves, from the surreal design for “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” (France, 1972) to the starkly representational approach for “The Barbarian Invasions” (Canada, 2003).
Other films represented in the exhibition include “All About My Mother,” “Burnt by the Sun,” “Cinema Paradiso,” “Closely Watched Trains,” “Day for Night,” “Fanny & Alexander,” “Kolya,” “Mephisto,” “Mon Oncle,” “The Official Story,” “Pelle the Conqueror,” “The Tin Drum,” “Tsotsi” and “War and Peace.”