Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
'No Good Deed' Reviews: And the Twist Is That It's Good! (Not Really) 'No Good Deed' Reviews: And the Twist Is That It's Good! (Not Really) The Availability Gap: What We Lose When Netflix Wins The Availability Gap: What We Lose When Netflix Wins Mysteries of Laura Review: Debra Messing on NBC Mysteries of Laura Review: Debra Messing on NBC Comparing Lena Dunham to Woody Allen Is Unfair — to Lena Dunham Comparing Lena Dunham to Woody Allen Is Unfair — to Lena Dunham Daily Reads: The 50 Worst Movies Ever Made, The Last Blockbuster Video Stores and More Daily Reads: The 50 Worst Movies Ever Made, The Last Blockbuster Video Stores and More Studio Cancels All Screenings of 'No Good Deed' to Preserve Shocking Twist That It's Probably Terrible Studio Cancels All Screenings of 'No Good Deed' to Preserve Shocking Twist That It's Probably Terrible Now Streaming: 'Silver Linings Playbook,' 'Beginners' on Netflix Now Streaming: 'Silver Linings Playbook,' 'Beginners' on Netflix Why the Unanimous Praise for 'Boyhood' Is Bad for Film Criticism — and for 'Boyhood' Why the Unanimous Praise for 'Boyhood' Is Bad for Film Criticism — and for 'Boyhood' 'While We're Young': Noah Baumbach's Xer-Millennial Comedy Ponders the Difference Between Sharing People's Lives and Stealing Them 'While We're Young': Noah Baumbach's Xer-Millennial Comedy Ponders the Difference Between Sharing People's Lives and Stealing Them Daily Reads: The Death of Adulthood, the Future of Film in 'Snowpiercer' and More Daily Reads: The Death of Adulthood, the Future of Film in 'Snowpiercer' and More 'A Walk Among the Tombstones' Reviews: A Liam Neeson Movie Worthy of Liam Neeson 'A Walk Among the Tombstones' Reviews: A Liam Neeson Movie Worthy of Liam Neeson 'The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them': 'Between Just Enough and a Bit Too Much' 'The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them': 'Between Just Enough and a Bit Too Much' David Lynch on 'Eraserhead,' Women in the TV Industry David Lynch on 'Eraserhead,' Women in the TV Industry 'The Cobbler' Reviews: 'Makes Me Want to Upgrade Everything I've Ever Seen Half a Star' 'The Cobbler' Reviews: 'Makes Me Want to Upgrade Everything I've Ever Seen Half a Star' Criticwire Classic of the Week: Werner Herzog's 'Aguirre, the Wrath of God' Criticwire Classic of the Week: Werner Herzog's 'Aguirre, the Wrath of God' 'Ocean's Twelve' Is a Great Sequel About How Hard It Is to Make a Great Sequel 'Ocean's Twelve' Is a Great Sequel About How Hard It Is to Make a Great Sequel 'The Expendables 3' Torrent and the Techno-Utopian Delusion 'The Expendables 3' Torrent and the Techno-Utopian Delusion Did 'Edge of Tomorrow' Just Get a New Title for Home Video? Did 'Edge of Tomorrow' Just Get a New Title for Home Video? Daily Reads: Why Toronto Is the Best Place for Female Filmmakers, In Praise of Fincher's Women and More Daily Reads: Why Toronto Is the Best Place for Female Filmmakers, In Praise of Fincher's Women and More NY Times TV Critic Writes Article About 'Scandal' Creator Shonda Rhimes as an 'Angry Black Woman' NY Times TV Critic Writes Article About 'Scandal' Creator Shonda Rhimes as an 'Angry Black Woman'

Hang the Film Canon On Your Wall With This Awesome Poster

Criticwire By Matt Singer | Criticwire November 14, 2012 at 10:06AM

100 years. 20 genres. 2000 films. One big honking poster.
0
History of Film 2

Indiewire's own Eric Kohn spotted this fantastic poster (via the Hollywonk blog) that charts "The History of Film" in a single 42 by 22 inch image. It contains some 2,000 titles, divided into 20 genres like Drama, Suspense, and Musical, and spread out over the course of 100 years.

The poster's designer, Larry Gormley, says he worked on the piece "on and off for the past five years:"

"I started the data collection phase by viewing copies of Variety magazine from the 1930s in the libraries at Harvard University. Over the next four years, using various sources, I collected a database of approximately 3,000 films. Each film was classified according to genre, release date, and, most importantly, the relevancy for inclusion in the final graphic. Additional information about the film was collected such as director, box office sales, and actors. Some souces used to collect this data include: the AFI database; various periodicals; and books and web sites by recognized film critics and experts in a particular genre."

Next he evaluated the candidates using four different criteria: critical acclaim; importance within a particular genre or director's body of work; awards; and box office success. He decided that 2,000 was the maximum a readable piece could comfortably hold, so he winnowed his shortlist down by a third, until he arrived at this final graphic.

History of Film full

It's tough to see the details in that full version (I encourage you to click over to the poster's home at HistoryShots.com, where you can get a much more thorough look and buy a copy) but I think you still get a sense of something that's great about it: the way it charts cyclical trends throughout the years just by the way genre groupings swell or shrink over time. You can see the Western's biggest heyday in the 1950s and '60s, and compare it to the rise of fantasy films like "The Lord of the Rings" and "Harry Potter" franchises in the last decade.

HIstory Musical

It looks like the musical never again approached the heights of its popularity in the 1940s. On the flip side, the animation genre has absolutely exploded in recent years, with the vast majority of the genre's included titles coming in just the last two decades.

History Animation

You could quibble endlessly about the movies that did ("Rapt") or did not ("Brokeback Mountain") make the list -- but I think that's part of the fun of the piece. It would make a great conversation starter for the cinephile or blogger in your life whose birthday happens to be rapidly approaching *coughlikeminecough*.

Purchase "The History of Film."


E-Mail Updates