Neighborhood: Chinatown
Type of Place: Posters Arts

You don't need me to tell you, but the holidays are approaching. And
with the bustle and the celebration comes...the holiday shopping.
Overwhelmed by what to get for whom? Over the next few weeks, I'll be offering
some beyond-the-obvious gift suggestions. After all, everyone on your
list knows you can find your way to the Gap; but do they know you might
offer up, say, original art from their favorite film?

Perhaps even you did not know you could do that, let alone with ease. I
didn't know I could, either; until I discovered Posteritati, a
charming film-art gallery in between Chinatown and SoHo, and became an instant

The gallery recently celebrated its 15-year anniversary in this
spare-but-comfortable, soothing, and well-ordered space. Classic jazz was
playing when I entered, and a helpful employee greeted me in a friendly but
not at all pushy way. An exhibit of art from Bergman and Antonioni
films is up through January 31st, to honor the two directing legends who
died, within days of one another, a few months ago. Much of the Bergman
merchandise, it turned out, was bought by a collector the day before my
arrival; but what remained, from both directors, was riveting.

Posteritati has over 12,000 film-art items in its inventory, though
some of its items are loaned out at times to theaters and cultural
centers. If you're looking for a specific item, or an item from a specific
film, the staff here will be happy to help you find it, whether or not
they have it in stock. All the art is original and in good condition;
prices range "from $25 to $25,000." And at every price point along the way,
there's a lot to love.

To get you started, the gallery has a totally convenient
computer-search system set up. You can search inventory by film, actor, year, price,
etc. Searching for John Cusack (aren't we all?!), I found a great
double-sided poster from "High Fidelity" ($75). Searching offerings $50 and
under, I found a beautiful poster from Wong Kar Wai's "2046" ($45); a
suitably sly and creepy poster from "The Addams Family" ($50); an
adorable poster from "Babe" ($35, and what child wouldn't love it?); a poster
from the yuppie classic "The Big Chill" ($35); a sharp-looking poster
from Sydney Poitier's "Brother John" ($45); and a delightful still
photo from 1960's "Bells Are Ringing" that amused me so much I forgot to
write down the price. Selections are listed alphabetically, and I was
barely into the B's in this category when I realized I was in danger of
staying all day. Last, on a whim, I searched Cary Grant--and found a
fabulous poster from the reknowned "An Affair to Remember" ($1500). If
that's a stretch for your budget, a Spanish poster for the same film is
priced at $600.

If you're film lover or shopping for one, this is your place. And even
if you don't identify as a film lover when you arrive here, you just
might be one by the time you leave.
  - Pamela Grossman; Nov 18, 2007

239 Centre St.
New York, NY 10013
(212) 226-2207