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Art & Copy -- Film Review

Benjamin Walker
Jason Kempin/Getty Images
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Sundance Film Festival

PARK CITY -- The best advertisements can change how you feel. "Art & Copy" takes us behind the scenes with the creative people who came up with some of our iconic ads: "Plop, plop,fizz, fizz ...," "Just Do It" and other memorable moments in our national psyche.

A comprehensive history of modern-day advertising, this Sundance documentary entrant is an embracing glimpse into big industry, pop culture and the creative process. Filmmaker Doug Pray opens up a window into the advertising world, unveiling the cast of creative characters who have composed some of the most successful ad campaigns.

The film is also a hard-eyed glimpse into the challenges of creating successful ads, which often starts with convincing the left-brained business world that a boring enumeration of their products' virtues is not going to engage the public.

Interspersing some of this country's most memorable broadcast ads with interview footage, Pray has peeled off a great layer of Americana, showing through these inventive ads the essences of what makes this country tick.

Like a good ad, "Art & Copy" bounds along and never bores. That's a big credit to Pray's savvy compilation and of editor Phillip Owens' crisp cuts.

Production company: The One Club
Director: Doug Pray
Screenwriter: Timothy Sexton; original concept by Gregory Beauchamp and Kirk Souder
Producers: Jimmy Greenway, Michael Nadeau
Executive producers: David Baldwin, Gregory Beauchamp, Kirk Souder, Mary Warlick
Director of photography: Peter Nelson
Music: Jeff Martin
Editor: Phillip Owens

Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Jason Kempin/Getty Images

No MPAA rating, 89 minutes