The disappearing art of hand-painted Bollywood posters is the topic of Original Copy. Sheikh Rehman is a painter living in Mumbai and is the last in the city to create hand-painted movie posters. Working behind the screen of an old Hindi cinema, Rehman and his team work to create meticulously detailed larger than life banners. However, with attendance dwindling and the theatre switching to plastic posters, Rehman’s art might become a relic of the past.
There was a time when movie posters were something more than a bunch of heads photoshopped together. From the early days of cinema all the way to Star Wars, it used to be much more of a normal occurrence for movie posters to be hand painted by artists. Sheikh Rehman learned his profession from his father and he refuses to give up, even though his family decided to adopt other careers. Not content to make standard movie scenes, Rehman creates impressive lifelike paintings with pink, orange, and blue skin tones on the characters.
Throughout the course of Original Copy, Rehman and his team are working on a large banner for the theatre, which begins as merely a sketch and turns into a very beautiful piece of art. As such, it is kind of heartbreaking that this banner isn’t really appreciated as art and is just treated as merely the marquee for the current film playing at the cinema. In a roundabout way, Original Copy says a lot about the state of the film industry, where attendance is down and there is no longer really a need for artists like Sheikh Rehman. It is definitely a real shame.
★ ★ ★ ★ | LIKED IT
- Sun, Apr 26, 6:30 PM – Innis Town Hall
- Tue, Apr 28, 12:30 PM – ROM Theatre
- Sun, May 3, 6:00 PM – Scotiabank Theatre 7