Movie review: 'Art & Copy' a great documentary

  • Article by: PETER SCHILLING , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 5, 2009 - 5:07 PM
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'Art & Copy'

A thoroughly entertaining documentary about the ad industry and the people who make it sparkle, "Art & Copy" -- unlike that popular TV show -- eschews soap opera to celebrate the brains behind such iconic ads as Volkswagen's "Lemon" campaign of the early 1960s, "Got Milk?" and everything Apple. Director Doug Pray follows a fascinating array of characters, including the woman who persuaded Braniff Airlines to paint its fleet in rainbow colors; the strait-laced Republican who put the San Francisco ad scene on the map, and even a fourth-generation "rotator" -- the guy who slaps up those annoying billboards.

Too often Pray shows a tendency to overstatement, and don't expect him to genuinely question advertising's morality. "Art & Copy" offers an intriguing -- some might say frightening -- glimpse into the world that has prompted a generation of Americans to religiously tune into the Super Bowl just to watch those short movies that sell product.

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