Manchester studio Dorothy has released two new litho prints celebrating Hollywood history. Printed on 120gsm uncoated paper, Hollywood Star Charts feature constellations of some of the most acclaimed actors and films to have emerged from Hollywood since 1927.
The ‘Golden Age’ chart is based on the night sky over Los Angeles on October 6 1927 – the release date of Al Johnson’s The Jazz Singer. Johnson’s film was the world’s first feature length motion picture to include synchronised dialogue sequences and is credited with kickstarting the era of ‘talkies’ and the decline of the silent film.
The ‘Modern Day’ chart represents the night sky over New York on June 16 1960 – the date of the first showing of Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller Pyscho at New York’s DeMille theatre. Psycho was selected for preservation by the US National Film Registry in 1992 for its cultural significance, and is one of the largest-grossing black-and-white films of all time.
A key at the base of each print lists the actors featured on each chart, as well as the date of any Oscar wins or nominations they received and the position of their star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
Films featured include those chosen by the US Film Preservation Board for inclusion in the National Film Registry and films that have won Academy Awards – as well as a few of Dorothy’s personal favourites.
Dorothy co-owner Jim Quail developed the idea for the star charts after the studio’s Film Map (a map featuring place names that are film titles) proved a success.
“When I was younger, I was fascinated with space and star charts. I started to think about Hollywood film stars and the movies they’d been in and it became a bit of a challenge to try and connect them together. The idea of the star charts just clicked into place from there,” he says.
It’s a lovely idea and one that has taken a lot of research and skill to execute. “Because the night sky is based on the position of the stars on a specific day, positioning the films in a way that allowed stars to interconnect was an intricate and sometimes frustrating job,” explains co-owner Ali Johnson.
“Rear Window, for example, needed to be placed near It’s a Wonderful Life as James Stewart appeared in both, but Rear Window also had to be placed near to High Noon because of Grace Kelly. This tested even laid back Jim’s patience, and with the amount of detail in the prints, proofing them took a good few months.”
Dorothy initially planned to release just the Golden Age star chart but created the Modern Day after getting “carried away”. “We doubled our workload but it’s hard to know when to stop – we’re science fiction and horror fans, so we’re working on some genre-specific prints too,” adds Johnson.
Both prints are available to buy at wearedorothy.com. Signed and stamped limited edition prints are priced at £100 (plus P&P) and open edition prints (top) at £25.
Pink Floyd fans may recognise the cover of our June issue. It’s the original marked-up artwork for Dark Side of the Moon: one of a number of treasures from the archive of design studio Hipgnosis featured in the issue, along with an interview with Aubrey Powell, co-founder of Hipgnosis with the late, great Storm Thorgerson. Elsewhere in the issue we take a first look at The Purple Book: Symbolism and Sensuality in Contemporary Illustration, hear from the curators of a fascinating new V&A show conceived as a ‘walk-in book’ plus we have all the regular debate and analysis on the world of visual communications.
CR for the iPad
Read in-depth features and analysis plus exclusive iPad-only content in the Creative Review iPad App. Longer, more in-depth features than we run on the blog, portfolios of great, full-screen images and hi-res video. If the blog is about news, comment and debate, the iPad is about inspiration, viewing and reading. As well as providing exclusive, iPad-only content, the app updates with new content throughout each month. Get it here