It’s been 30 years since “The Simpsons” first aired on then-fledgling TV network Fox. Since then, it’s become an integral part of our shared cultural experience. Even people who stopped watching the show two decades ago understand references to it, and an entire generation grew up using its lexicon.
To celebrate the impact of the family from Springfield, along with other cinematic cultural touchstones, the Tribeca Film Festival memorialized “The Simpsons” in a format worthy of their significance--as a tableau of hieroglyphic illustrations. There’s Homer in a muumuu, and Homer in space, drawn in the ancient, flattened perspective of the pharaohs. Sideshow Bob dangles Bart by an ankle, Maggie shoots Mr. Burns and Marge is skeptical of the monorail.
The wall-sized murals also feature scenes from “Apocalypse Now,” which is turning 40, “Say Anything,” now 30, and “This Is Spinal Tap,” which has spent 35 years as the quintessential rock mockumentary. DDB New York, which created the campaign, consulted with an Egyptologist from Brown University, who created a hieroglyphic dictionary used to render quotes from the films. A series of six glyphs form the phrase “All of the numbers reach to 11,” and Captain Willard from “Apocalypse Now” gets his own cartouche.
In addition to an installation in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the campaign is taking over the Oculus at the World Trade Center and runs through the beginning of the festival, April 24.