Movie Poster Highlights: 1982


Previous Movie Poster Highlights: 1925, 1930, 1978

Main sources: Film on Paper, Terry-posters, Chisholm-Larsson Gallery, Emovieposter, Wrong Side of the Art

It’s that time again! The content of my year-specific posts deem that they must come after I’ve watched everything planned for any given year. But two of the traditional Top Ten By Year posts can go up any time: Poster Highlights, and the Poll. I’ve taken to putting up the Poster Highlights when I’m a fourth of the way done with my watchlist, while the Poll goes into effect at the halfway mark. And guess what? I’m 25% done with 1982!

It is so very hard to track down the full range of posters from any given year. There are so many different sites, none of them all-encompassing. Then there’s tracking down the artists. Some of these sites have done a great job doing what they can and crediting artists when possible. Every credit given to an artist in this post comes from having seen the name attributed from one of the above sites. About half of these don’t have credited artists (at least that I was able to find).

So these are my favorite posters for 1982 films. I kept it limited to posters made from the time of release. In the case of the Eastern European posters, many of these were made in the mid -to-late 80’s, and I obviously kept them. But in general I stay away from recently made posters for older films, at least for these posts, because I like to concentrate on poster art from the era itself, seeing how films were being advertised in their day, etc.

So many stand-out posters that aren’t represented, because this is simply a collection of my favorites.

(Disclaimer: the accents are missing from credited names, as it wasn’t possible to copy and paste names into the captions)

I’ll go through these based on the groupings I came up with. The first is posters with the COLORS OF THE RAINBOW, a trend that largely crops up when it comes to sci-fi/fantasy fare.

bysouth
US poster for The Sword and the Sorcerer. Artist: Brian Bysouth
E. Carugati
US poster for Sorceress. Artist: E. Carugati
german_a1_dark_crystal_SG00046_C
German poster for The Dark Crystal. Artist unknown. This is the US poster illustration but I was particularly taken with the way the border fits with the content in this one over other versions.
q_thai
Thai poster for Q: The Winged Serpent. Artist unknown.
tongdee panumas
Thai poster for Tron. Artist: Tongdee Panumas
unknown el cepo
Poster for El Cepo. Artist unknown
last_american_virgin_US_unkonwn
US poster for The Last American Virgin. Artist unknown
italian jimmy_bazilli
Italian poster for Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. Artist: Bazilli.
poltergeist_japan_unknown
Japanese poster for Poltergeist 

Speaking of Poltergeist, the now-iconic image of Heather O’Rourke in front of the TV set was very smartly the at its marketing center.

PURPLES AND PINKS AND GENRE, OH MY!

I absolutely love the purple/pink color schemes I found on so many posters for 1982 films. This seems to be a trend in movie posters of the 1980’s. The purple/pink color scheme is applied across many genres, particularly horror.

murder_by_phone unknown
US poster for Murder by Phone. Artist unknown. 
nightwarningposter_unknown
US poster for Night Warning. Artist unknown. Love that this looks like a dollar paperback cover. 
RUNAWAY-NIGHTMARE
US VHS art for Runaway Nightmare. Designer unknown. 

Here are a trio of posters from the film Android. Two of them incorporate the purple/pink scheme. The other one is just rad.

android_ver2 ernster
US poster for Android. Saw credited to Ernster but found no other info
android_joann
US poster for Android. Credited to Joann but found no other info
Android_Hungarian_Andras Felvideki
Hungarian poster for Android. Artist: Andras Felvideki

This poster for The Empire Strikes Back was made specifically for the 1982 re-release so I’m counting it:

tom jung_US rerelease
US poster for the re-release of The Empire Strikes Back. Artist: Tom Jung

Last but not least, this 48 Hrs. poster segues nicely into my next grouping:

Brian Bysouth
US poster for 48 Hrs. Artist: Brian Bysouth.

THE HYPER-DETAILED COMIC-INSPIRED ILLUSTRATION

This would phase out later in the 1980’s, replaced by the photogenic faces populating the movie star resurgence, but I suspect that the combination of high-fantasy, sci-fi, chaotic comedies, and teen flicks (not to mention the muscle-bound hero with a scantily clad woman at his side trope) from the era kept this going a bit longer.

richard hescox
US poster for Swamp Thing. Artist: Richard Hescox
creepshow_jack kamen
US poster for Creepshow. Artist: Jack Kamen
class_of_nineteen_eighty_four_unkonwn
US poster for Class of 1984. Artist unknown. 
class-of-1984-poster_unknown
US poster for Class of 1984. Artist unknown
fast times_UK unknwon
UK poster for Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Artist unknown. 
fast_rod dyer_tie-in poster
Tie-in US poster for Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Artist: Rod Dyer
Megaforce_unknown
US poster for Megaforce. Artist unknown.
NightShift_Mike Hobson_US
US poster for Night Shift. Artist: Mike Hobson
pink_motel_unknown
US poster for Pink Motel. Artist unknown
eye_of_the_evil_dead_luiz dominguez
US poster for Manhattan Baby (aka Eye of the Evil Dead). Artist: Luiz Dominguez

PHOTO COLLAGE

Next up are posters that incorporate photography or stills in some way, either on their own or with other illustrative poster design techniques.

benjamin baltimore
Poster for Identification of a Woman. Design by Benjamin Baltimore
By_design_unknown
US poster for By Design. Artist/designer unknown
Dora-Doralina-cartaz José Luiz Benicio Brazil
Brazilian poster for Dora Doralina. Artist: Jose Luiz Benicio. This is my favorite poster of the entire post. 

im_dancing_as_fast_as_i_can
US poster for I’m dancing as fast as I can. Artist/designer unknown
italian_miss right
Italian poster for Miss Right. Designer unknown
kruddart_uk
UK poster for The Draughtsman’s Contract. Artist/Designer: Kruddart
Querelle_Warhol_Germany
German poster for Querelle. Artist: Andy Warhol

NUDIES, NUDIES, NUDIES. NOTHIN’ BUT NUDIES

Turns out that posters for nudies are some of the greatest things in existence.

COnsenting Adults_unknown
US poster for Consenting Adults. Artist unknown
scoundrels_unknown
US poster for Scoundrels. Artist/designer unknown
playgirl_poster_02
US poster for The Playgirl. Artist unknown. 

These next two posters were done by Tom Tierney. He’s the man credited with making the paper doll famous! Later in life it seems that he made a good amount of posters for X-rated fare. His work makes up some of my favorite posters ever. The Wanda Whips Wall Street poster is my other favorite in this post, and it’s something I’m determined to own and have on my wall as a proper adult.

playgirl_Tierney
US poster for The Playgirl. Artist: Tom Tierney
Wanda_Tom Tierney
US poster for Wanda Whips Wall Street. Artist: Tom Tierney

CZECH POSTERS

As is well known, the Czech and the Polish have a near monopoly on incredible, bizarre, head-turning poster art. Here are some of my favorites.

Jan Jiskra_Czech
Czech poster for Frances. Artist: Jan Jiskra
Jan Tomanek_Czech
Czech poster for Fanny and Alexander. Artist: Jan Tomanek
Stanislav Duda_Czech
Czech poster for Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid. Artist: Stanislav Duda
Still_Czech_Vlach
Czech poster for Still of the Night. Artist: Zdenek Vlach

POLISH POSTERS

alicja_polish_Andrzej Pagowski
Polish poster for Alicja. Artist: Andrzej Pagowski
Andrzej Pagowski_Polish
Polish poster for Missing. Artist: Andrzej Pagowski 
Jakub Erol_Polish
Polish poster for E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial  Artist: Jakub Erol. I love that E.T. looks like a pervert in this one. 
Lech Majewski_ Marathon Family_Polish
Polish poster for Marathon Family. Artist: Lech Majewski
Ơevčík, Vratislav The Racket Polish
Polish poster for The Racket. Artist: Vratislav Sevcik. 
Wieslaw Walkuski_Polish
Polish poster for Spiewy po rosie. Artist: Wieslaw Walkuski 
Wieslaw Walkuski_Polish
Polish poster for Tootsie. Artist: Wieslaw Walkuski
Wlodzimierz Terechowicz_Polish
Polish poster for The Border. Artist: Wlodzimierz Terechowicz

LIPS & A VERONIKA VOSS TRIO

dolinski_bucharest identity card_polish
Polish poster for Bucharest Identity Card. Artist: Dolinski
hungarian_farang
Hungarian poster for Veronika Voss. Artist: Farang
Ơevčík, Vratislav
Polish poster for Veronika Voss. Artist: Vratislav Sevcik
veronika_voss_Topazio_US
US poster for Veronika Voss. Artist: Vincent Topazio

THE REST

parasite_unknown
US poster for Parasite. Artist unknown
satans_mistress_poster_01_unknown
US poster for Satan’s Mistress. Artist unknown
tenebre_cesaro don't quote me
Poster for Tenebre. Saw credited to Antonio Cesaro on one site but cannot confirm from more established sources
The Sender_unknown
US poster for The Sender. Artist unknown
draughtsmans_contract_Sparacio
Poster for The Draughtsman’s Contract. Artist: Sparacio 
russian for kaamchor_unknown
Russian poster for Kaamchor. Artist unknown. 
smithereens_german_brumm bar
German poster for Smithereens. Artist: Brumm Bar

Movie Poster Highlights: 1930


Previous Movie Poster Highlights posts: 1925, 1978

It’s that time again! I’m not sure there’s any Top Ten By Year related post I look forward to more than Movie Poster Highlights. It gives me a chance to really cull through works of all kinds, to try my best to track down artists, and to share my findings.

First, I’m going to put the spotlight on a couple of artists who have works represented. ERIC ROHMAN turned up in my 1925 post with a few posters. I really love his use of frames within frames, and the juxtaposition of harsh lines with soft sketches.

From PosterGuide: “Eric Rohman was a Swedish illustrator and film actor. He began designing posters around 1915-16, while based in Copenhagen. Around 1920, he had his own studio with several employees. By the 1940s, he believed that he had produced approximately 7000 movie posters.”

1930 - A Lady to Love (1930) su
Swedish poster for A Lady to Love. Artist: Eric Rohman. I am a sucker for pops of color.
undertow.png
Swedish poster for Undertow. Artist: Erik Rohman. Love the drama of the waves and the actors profiles.
tumblr_kzhwu1G9UZ1qaowneo1_500
Swedish poster for Let Us Be Gay. Artist: Eric Rohman. It’s really funny that this poster contrasts partying with Shearer’s kids because the film doesn’t care about those kids one lick.
rohman
Swedish poster for Czar of Broadway. Artist: Eric Rohman.
l_136592_f3076186
Swedish poster for Va Banque. Artist: Eric Rohman. This one is difference than the rest in font and design. It’s also for a German film whereas his others here are for US films. I’m so drawn to the color scheme and blocking as well as the off placement of arms and hands.

DOLLY RUDEMAN:
The only female Dutch poster designer of the 1920’s, Rudeman’s work through the 20’s the 30’s is incredible. Her posters utilize reds, oranges, and yellows, and are full of sweeping shadows. Here is her poster for Morocco.

dolly rudeman
Dutch poster for Morocco. Artist: Dolly Rudeman

SWEDISH POSTERS:
Sweden has by far the highest number of posters here. So here are a bunch. I did the best I could with tracking down artist info. It’s largely impossible. The only info I could find was ‘J. Olsens’ at the bottom of some, which I was hoping was an artist stamp, but seems to be a printing company.

04-Troll-Bruden-Sverige--1930-swedish-poster
Swedish poster for Trollbruden (The Troll Bride), a film I can’t find any evidence evidence of existing. Artist unknown. Printed by: J. Olsens. I love this so much. It looks so much more like an illustration you’d find in a children’s book, and there isn’t another poster I saw like this one in all of my research,
divorcee swedish
Swedish poster for The Divorcee. Artist unknown. Printed by J. Olsens. Very similar color scheme as Va Banque.
cat creeps swedish
Swedish poster for The Cat Creeps. Artist unknown. Printed by J. Olsens. Clock. Haunted house. Lady’s frightened face. Bats. Great combination.
l_20844_b5318f08
Swedish poster for Du Barry, Woman of Passion. Artist unknown. If you can’t tell, if you put an illustration of a pretty lady on your poster, I will love your poster.
Midnight Mystery
Swedish poster for Midnight Mystery. Artist: Unknown. The illustration here is so atypical and I’m fascinated by it.

Yellow is a very popular color, especially in some of these Swedish posters:

girl of the golden west swedish
Swedish poster for The Girl of the Golden West. Artist unknown. (Cannot find any indication as to what ‘Palm’ might mean)
469bcc06d3888e73985f471fccd24347
Swedish poster for Hit the Deck. Artist: Russell Patterson. Love the repetition of the svelte figures.
Swedish Man Trouble
Swedish poster for Man Trouble. Artist: Unknown
the girl said no swedish
Swedish poster for The Girl Said No. Artist: John Held Jr. Love the detail of the dirty rolled-down stockings.
l_36809_0021040_215fbeef
Swedish poster for Ladies of Leisure. Artist: Unknown
l_20842_a606fe24
Swedish poster for Die drei von der Tankstelle. Attributed to Otto G. Carlsund. This is a special one. So flat and square and perfect.

Here’s are a pair of profiles from Gosta Aberg:

7agtqhoz
Swedish poster for Feet First. Artist: Gosta Aberg.
a8lrpwin
Swedish poster for Playboy of Paris. Artist: Gosta Aberg.


It’s only fitting that the greatest movie ever has the greatest posters. Ladies and gents, Madam Satan!

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Multiple posters from one film: Here’s The Blue Angel. 

l_17995_0020697_a0e1cd23
US poster for The Blue Angel. Artist unknown. Iconic.
029-the-blue-angel-theredlist
German poster for Der blaue Engel. Artist: Dorothea Fischer-Nosbich. Such a striking anomaly. Every inch of space is used, the forms squeezed in in unexpected ways.
DER BLAUE ENGEL - German Poster by Paul Rosié
German poster for Der blaue Engel. Artist: Paul RosiĂ©. I came across this after I had gathered all of my posters. It’s so strange to see an ad for this film without Dietrich. But weirdly enough, it’s my favorite poster for the film. The presentation is so deceptively charming; it knowingly hides the very dark content of the film, giving this a sinister edge.

Here are two posters by Roger Vacher for Le mystĂšre de la chambre jaune (The Mystery of the Yellow Room).

the-mystery-of-the-yellow-room-movie-poster-1930-1020543056
French poster for Le mystĂšre de la chambre jaune. Artist: Roger Vacher
roger vacher
French poster for Le mystĂšre de la chambre jaune. Artist: Roger Vacher

 

flame of love 2
French poster for The Flame of Love. Artist unknown
flame of love swedish
Swedish poster for The Flame of Love. Artist unknown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These next two posters remind me of each other. Maybe it’s the colors or the stare of the faces. The poster on the left, for Captain of the Guard, is INSANE.

captain of the guard
US poster for Captain of the Guard. Made by the Morgan Litho Company
green goddess
US poster for The Green Goddess. Artist unknown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A pair of William Powell posters.

sbtlabm8
US poster for Street of Chance. Artist unknown. Obsessed with this use of red. This artist understands not to take away from Powell’s eyes.
BIGGER The Benson Murder Case - 1SHT 1930 600
US poster for The Benson Murder Case. Artist unknown. So in love with the placement of every element here. Perfect balance, and again, understanding that William Powell’s eyes are guaranteed to sell any film.

And here are the rest. Hope you enjoy!

tumblr_lnpd21ZVLO1qbxoi2o1_1280
Italian poster for City Girl. Artist unknown
psNUtUWz2n3OZFHYgztD5HOepCN
French poster for Tonka of the Gallows. Artist unknown. Enticed by the mirroring effect.
poster_murder
US poster for Murder! Artist unknown. One of my favorite posters for any Hitchcock film.
poster-10507
US poster for The Big House. Artist unknown. Another anomaly. Bars and faint sketches make for a dynamic poster.
1930_PetiteLise
French poster for La petite Lise. Artist unknown. Satan and Pearls. That’s all you need.
netherlands
Dutch poster for Brand in der Oper. Artist unknown. That man does not have a good grip on that woman.
l_72725_0021522_2a155093
Spanish poster for Viennese Nights. Artist unknown
french
French poster for animated film Le roman de Renard (The Tale of the Fox). Artist unknown
l_21357_ee79b3e6
US poster for Seven Days’ Leave. Artist unknown. Gary Cooper’s beautiful face surrounded by pillars. Sold.
l_20873_e749de9e
US poster for Fast and Loose. Artist unknown. Love how bubbly and pink this is, and the sloppy and chic depiction of Miriam. 
b4fb5eac24b3c9faaf5f7aa8e843989b
US poster for Show Girl in Hollywood. Made by the Continental Litho Company
king-of-jazz-movie-poster-1930-1020198191
US poster for King of Jazz. Artist unknown

If I had to pick a favorite from 1930 it would be Joseph Koutachy’s French poster for Madam Satan. It helps that the film has special significance for me, but this stands out regardless. It’s like an ad for Catwoman decades before the fact. There isn’t another poster from 1930 like it:

8838
French poster for Madam Satan. Artist: Joseph Koutachy

Movie Poster Highlights: 1978


I’m adding a new event to the Top Ten By Year celebrations; a round-up of some of my favorite film posters from whichever year I’m focusing on.

I tried as best as I could to find artists and/or designers to credit for their work. I’ve noted where I fell short, and if you click on most of the posters, it will lead you to the site of origin.

First up: A couple of posters from Derek Jarman’s punk collage Jubilee, both focusing on Amyl Nitrate’s (Jordan) iconic “Rule Britannia” garb and snarl: 

Designer unknown
affiche-jubilee-1978-2
Artist unknown

Next up, two posters from the sleek and striped down neo-noir The Driver. What I love about the poster on the top is the street night color scheme, the stylized strokes used for hair, and the profile of Queen Adjani/how she and her hat are placed on top of the men. As for the Thai poster on the right, it’s just undeniably fun; the bright colors, the poker chips around Queen Adjani, Ryan O’Neal’s terrifying big blues and the policeman who seems to be waving hello to us in the upper right corner. 

driver
Artist: M. Daily
Driver2_Thai
Designer unknown

These next two feature bird figures of some kind and are both from Czech artist and poster designer Marek Ploza-Dolinski. Czech animator Karel Zeman’s Krabat (The Sorceror’s Apprentice) (top) features crows throughout, while The Silent Partner (bottom) does not, but how awesome is it seeing Elliot Gould rendered as a smug horned and winged creature? There’s also tribute paid to his pet goldfish who is unceremoniously murdered by Christopher Plummer in the film. 

Artist: Marek Ploza-Dolinski
Artist: Marek Ploza-Dolinski
Artist: Marek Polza-Dolinski
Artist: Marek Polza-Dolinski

Richard Amsel was one of the most distinguished American poster designers of all-time and managed a prolific and instantly recognizable body of work before his early death in 1985. His exquisitely detailed and bustling posters always managed to put focus, no matter how busy elsewhere, on the faces of stars, and that is certainly evident in his depiction of the all-star cast of Death on the Nile.

Artist: Richard Amsel
Artist: Richard Amsel

There are a ton of fantastic posters for Billy Wilder’s late career oddity Fedora. Here are my two favorites. 

Artist Unknown
Artist Unknown
fedora 2
Artist: Sovari/Country: Hungary

Next are two posters I love for films I love about girls I love. Got all that? The top is a French poster for I Wanna Hold Your Hand, here called Crazy Day. You can’t tell by the poster that it has anything to do with The Beatles, but I love the Nancy Drew quality of the thing. The bottom is a Spanish poster for Girlfriends, which I can’t find a bigger version of, but I’m drawn to the triangular use of space and the mustard yellow color. I’m also amused by the fact that though the film is called Girlfriends, this particular poster seems to feature 3 Melanie Mayron’s. 

Artist unknown
Artist unknown/Country: France
Artist unknown (although the central image is from the US poster for the film)
Artist unknown (although the central image is from the US poster for the film)

Two Polish posters, one from the Truffaut film The Green Room (La chambre verte) and the other from Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven

Artist: Jaime Carlos Nieto
Artist: Jaime Carlos Nieto
Artist: Wiktor Sadowski
Artist: Wiktor Sadowski

Here are two posters that live and die on partially shielded photographs of enigmatic unknowable women framed by black with the film titles displayed in similar shades of pinkish red. Queen Huppert’s Violette Noziere looks straight at us, while Geraldine Chaplin gives us sunglasses, a cigarette and her profile, the film’s title telling us to remember her name…or else. 

Designer unknown
Designer unknown
Designer unknown
Designer unknown

Finally, my two favorite posters from 1978. On the top is the precise and doomed purple radiance of Petrus Wandrey for the Rainer Werner Fassbinder film Despair. On the bottom is Josef Vylet’al’s hauntingly direct yet endlessly mysterious work for the Czech fairy tale film Panna a Netvor (Beauty and the Beast or Virgin and the Monster)

Artist: Petrus Wandrey
Artist: Petrus Wandrey
Artist: Josef Vylet'al
Artist: Josef Vylet’al

What I’ll Remember About the Films of 2014: A Love Letter


I started my What I’ll Remember posts in 2012 and have since expanded to include one for each year in my Top Ten By Year project. The idea is that while everyone simply posts a Top Ten to cap off the past 12 months, I want to remember and pay tribute to the little things, those indelible moments within (and outside of) the myriad of films any given year has to offer. Because no matter what anyone else says, every year is a great year for film; you just need to know where to look. So without further ado, below are some of the meaningful smatterings and takeaways from 2014 films I hope to take with me moving forward:

Previous What I’ll Remember posts: 1943, 1958, 1965, 1992, 2012, 2013

I forgot to post my favorite posters of the year in my Top Fives post, so this post will be interspersed with the poster designs that stuck out the most to me along with credit to the designers/illustrators.

Some Blind Spots: Love is Strange, Selma, Goodbye to Language, Dear White People, Norte the End of History, Closed Curtain, The Strange Little Cat, Mr. Turner, The Rover, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Beyond the Lights, Wild, Still Alice, Why Don’t You Play in Hell, Leviathan, A Most Violent Year, Laggies, Top Five, Begin Again, etc)

Philip Seymour Hoffman
2014 will always be first the foremost The Year We Lost Philip

2014 will always be, second, the year I got to see and hear Joanna Newsom on the silver screen (Inherent Vice)

Under the Skin, my favorite film so far this decade. This whole list could just be specifics from this, so I’m just giving it a uniform shoutout. Changes the way you see the world around you, and yourself. Challenges what narrative filmmaking is/can be capable of.

A banner year (comparatively of course) for female directors (Selma, Unbroken, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, CitizenFour, Obvious Child, Honeymoon, It Felt Like Love, Night Moves, Beyond the Lights, Belle, Palo Alto, Olive Kitteridge, The Babadook, Hellion, 20,000 Days on Earth, Thou Was Mild and Lovely, See No Evil 2, Abuse of Weakness, Endless Love, Step Up All In, Laggies, Fed Up, Last Days in Vietnam, Awake, Fort Bliss, etc)

Gutsy narrative decisions in mainstream children’s fare (Maleficent, How to Train Your Dragon 2, The LEGO Movie)

Jim Jarmusch, always distinguishing and foregrounding his own experience/sense of location, this time with Detroit and Tangier (Only Lovers Left Alive)

Angelina Jolie and (and her subtly digitally enhanced beauty) in Maleficent, showing us the potential and gravitas of true star power. Film itself aside, she did not get enough credit for her work here

Satirizing and/or communicating through media (Gone Girl, Nightcrawler, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1)

Meta ruminations on the relevance of aging actors playing versions of themselves (The Congress, Birdman)

Designed by Jay Shaw
Designed by Jay Shaw

“Hate the sport! Hate the sport! Hate hate hate hate hate the sport!” (We Are the Best!)

Tyler Perry throwing gummy bears at Ben Affleck’s head (Gone Girl)

Just leave the music in your movies at the door and keep the rest, thanks (Into the Woods, Interstellar)

Michael Keaton isn’t playing himself in Birdman but Edward Norton certainly is

Oh how dearly I’d missed the Neptune crowd (Veronica Mars)

“Boy with Apple” and how long it takes Dmitry to realize its missing (The Grand Budapest Hotel)

The joys of watching actors actually act together in the same high-wire space (Birdman)

Realizing I’m a Gale/Liam Hemsworth apologist (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1)

Painted by Laura Baran, lettering by Theresa Berens
Painted by Laura Baran, lettering by Theresa Berens

Bigfoot and the chocolate banana (Inherent Vice)

Movies that provoked controversy and lively if exhaustive and often reductive discussions: The Wind Rises, Gone Girl, Boyhood

Edge of Tomorrow’s narrative switcharoo, slyly putting Tom Cruise ahead of the audience halfway through. Now we’re playing catch-up. We’re Emily Blunt.

Lots of dog killings this year you guys (John Wick, The Babadook, Cheap Thrills, Cavalry, Joe)

Thinking The Wind Rises was the most beautiful Studio Ghibli film I had seen…and then seeing The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Nicolas Cage’s delivery of “Kristy, call the cops before someone gets kills. Would you do that for me honey?”, quite literally the only thing about Joe I liked

The second time I’ve seen trichotillomania depicted in a film (Starry Eyes)

Spaceship? Spaceship! SPACESHIP! SPACESHIP!!!” (The LEGO Movie)

If anyone can tell me who designed this, I'd appreciate it!
If anyone can tell me who designed this, I’d appreciate it!

Holy shit, Emma Roberts can actually act (Palo Alto)

Acting Winners of 2014: Scarlett Johansson (Under the Skin, Lucy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier). Runners Up: Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow, Into the Woods), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle, Beyond the Lights), Marion Cotillard (The Immigrant, Two Days, One Night), Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men” S7.1, The One I Love, Listen Up Philip)

That kiss. My God, that kiss. (Philip Seymour Hoffman and Nina Hoss, A Most Wanted Man)

“Nothing in my hands, nothing in my hands” (The Babadook)

Jenny Agutter getting to kick so much ass in Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Doppelgangers! (The Double, Enemy, The One I Love, Coherence, Muppets Most Wanted)

Bible Epics! (Noah, Exodus: Gods and Kings)

Sheila Vand, serving up vampiric Winona Ryder and Jane Adams as The Girl (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night)

The jarring experience of seeing dubbed versions of The Wind Rises and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya in theaters even though they are the most explicitly Japanese/engaged with Japanese history and culture films Studio Ghibli have ever released

Design and illustration by BLT Communications, LLC
Design and illustration by BLT Communications, LLC

Now that’s what horror can do. That’s why horror is the best (The Babadook)

Why oh why is Disney so committed to making everything look so visually ugly and/or flat? The mystery continues (Maleficent, Into the Woods)

The year that Scarlett Johannsson showed new levels of control, naturalism, and range in her craft. I’m convinced Broadway had something to do with it (Under the Skin, Lucy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

Angelina Jolie making sure we feel the central violation/rape metaphor in Maleficent

Beginning of the end/end of an era melancholy that creeps up on you in The Grand Budapest Hotel and Inherent Vice

Whiplash throwing me for a loop by not being the competitive jazz drumming film I’d assumed, but a blistering sadomasochistic portrait of mutual destruction in the efforts to attain a futile level of greatness 

Marion Cotillard mastering the acute body language of depression (Two Days, One Night)

Realizing I need to listen to all the James Brown music (Get on Up)

Who would have thought a member of the Naked Brothers Band could unnerve me? (Palo Alto)

Designed by Brandon Schaefer
Designed by Brandon Schaefer

Red streaks in the sky; the descent (Godzilla)

Jake Gyllenhaal looking like Gumby in Nightcrawler, starring the whites of his eyes

“Play with my balls” (Birdman)

One last Philip Seymour Hoffman/Julianne Moore reunion for the road (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1)

Matt Damon making surprise appearances (Interstellar, The Zero Theorem)

Edge of Tomorrow for being the biggest surprise of 2014, an outlier in its comparatively original/non-franchise status

Lucy calls her mother (Lucy)

Rosamund Pike in her skivvies, crawling across the floor like some sort of arachnid in Gone Girl

Designed by Jay Shaw
Designed by Jay Shaw

The more I think about the bizarre sound mixing in Interstellar, the more I’m okay with it. If I can’t hear crucial not-so-great dialogue in favor of Hans Zimmer’s score, maybe this isn’t such a bad thing?

The Tom Hooper school of framing; sometimes magical, often off-putting (Ida)

A death scene to end all death scenes (Gone Girl)

Michael C. Hall’s character taking an eventual backseat in his own film (Cold in July)

The pastel streaks on human faces in The Boxtrolls’s and the film’s admirable commitment to filthiness

Being basically the only person who loves Vampire Academy. You’ll all come around eventually

Living in an age of blockbuster spectacles in which the industry has no idea how to instill wonder…except, all its other misgivings aside, Godzilla

Most successful use of exposition: Oculus

Teddy Blanks of CHIPS with artwork by Anna Bak-Kvapil
Teddy Blanks of CHIPS with artwork by Anna Bak-Kvapil

Joaquin Phoenix going full-Brando at the end of The Immigrant

Overreaching doppelganger atmospheres (piss-yellow and wiry Toronto in Enemy, admirable but tiresome Gilliam copy The Double)

A question for the ages; who is scarier – Ben Mendelsohn or J.K Simmons? (Answer? You’re both wrong, it’s Peter Mullan) (Starred Up, Whiplash)

Tom Hardy’s velvety voice in Locke

It’s so nice to see you again!! Sheila Kelley (The Guest), Nicholas Brendan (Coherence), Sherilyn Fenn (Raze), Sheryl Lee (White Bird in a Blizzard), Taylor Nichols (Godzilla)

“Be a shoe” (Snowpiercer)

Having a new favorite Wes Anderson character in Gustave (The Grand Budapest Hotel)

Tilda Swinton in lots of makeup (Snowpiercer, The Zero Theorem, The Grand Budapest Hotel)

Reunions! Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line/Inherent Vice), Zoe Bell and Tracie Thoms (Death Proof/Raze), Song Kang-ho and Ko Ah-sung (The Host/Snowpiercer), the cast of Veronica Mars. I know there are others, but I’m blanking

Designed by Empire Design
Designed by Empire Design

That long take of Michel (Christophe Paou) coming out of the water as a killerthen he begins to put on his sneakers and puts himself back together as someone we, and Franck, recognize (Stranger by the Lake)

Reminder that Katee Sackhoff should be in everything (Oculus)

Inspired casting goes a long way folks (Gone Girl, Snowpiercer, Inherent Vice)

6 months later and I’m still wishing that Peter Gabriel’s “Shock the Monkey” had been worked into Dawn of the Planet of the Apes somehow

Crying a lot during movies I’m lukewarm to because I’m a sap (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Interstellar)

And then sobbing at the end of The Wind Rises, knowing I had now seen all the Miyazaki there was to see

The first shot of Karen Gillan and her swinging ponytail in Oculus 

Watching Starred Up and having it gradually transform into the most invested narrative experience I had in 2014

Watching Tom Cruise play around with his persona and die over and over again (Edge of Tomorrow)

Designed by Neil Kellerhouse
Designed by Neil Kellerhouse

Realizing how attracted I am to ‘a mysterious man/woman enters the lives of etc.’ narratives (Borgman, The Guest)

Poor Ian (Only Lovers Left Alive)

Lyle Vincent’s black-and-white digital cinematography in A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

The remarkable achievement of Space in Interstellar

The Robert DeNiro party (Neighbors)

Another age-old question: does Lucky McKee have another May in him? My hopes sink ever further (All Cheerleaders Die)

Coherence showing you can make an exceptional genre film with zero budget (and I mean zero budget)

Elisabeth Moss’s Ashley when Philip leaves her apartment, the most striking acting moment of 2014 (Listen Up Philip

Vin Diesel doing good by humankind for basically resurrecting his role in The Iron Giant (Guardians of the Galaxy)

Marion Cotillard’s coral pink tank in Two Days, One Night 

Seeing 20,000 Days on Earth in NYC with Nick Cave Q&A and solo piano performance, directors Q&A

More stuntmen who inherently understand the mechanics of action directing films please (John Wick)

Seeing There Will be Blood on a massive screen with live orchestral accompaniment and Jonny Greenwood was a year highlight for sure and my favorite theatrical experience of 2014

Films Seen in Theaters: 32
2014 Films Seen: 100

2014 Double Features I Had:
Birdman/John Wick
Only Lovers Left Alive/A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

List: Top 20 Film Posters of 2012


It’s that time of year again; and joy and elation of 2012 lists! The others will be posted in January, far after everyone is sick of reading round-ups of the past 12 months. But since I’ve got stuff to catch up on, the date stays.

The poster lists are perhaps the ones I always look forward to the most. The vast majority of film posters, in their primary advertising function, are rehashes of the same basic format depending on the genre and plot. Not to sound too condescending but casual movie-goers tend to gravitate towards repetition and the comfort of being able to rely on concrete expectations. Posters have to sell this too. Marketers want people to be able to look at a poster and know what they are going to get when they walk into that theater.

But this is a considerable generalization; for all the forgettable to questionable images each year has to offer, there are a lot of top-notch posters too. These are the 20 posters that rank as my favorites from 2012. The only condition is that it had to get a US release this year and only one poster per film. Since most films do not get released here, it disqualifies a lot of great work, but it would just be too hard to sift through everything otherwise.

Here is 2011’s list: https://cinenthusiast.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/list-top-20-film-posters-of-2011/

And 2010’s: https://cinenthusiast.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/top-20-film-posters-of-2010/

The best poster I came across that I could not count (but will post here anyways because, um, amazing) is Xavier Dolan’s latest Laurence Anyways which right now has no US release date. Does it even have distribution yet? Not sure. Anyways, it’s very Last Tango in Paris, very effortlessly retro, very pink and just all-around sickening.

laurence_anyways_ver2

So while in theory, this is supposed to be about the poster art and not the films attached to them, it is impossible not to bring that context into the proceedings. If this list has is skewed towards my own taste (I’ve seen 16/20 of the films) from this year than that would be why.

two_days_in_new_york

Honorable Mention:  2 Days in New York

My reason for this is the instantaneous reaction to the colors which are vibrant, lively and look almost crayon-like in execution. It is a very simple and even bland image, even if it feels sacrilegious to refer to a picture of Julie Delpy as bland. But I am easy to please and while there were plenty of more creative options out there to choose from, my instinct said ‘oooooh cooolllllooooorrrsssss’. I also cannot get enough of how the colors ever so slightly run into their hair.

gerhard_richter_painting

20. Gerhard Richter Painting

We continue on the ‘Katie is Easily Pleased by Colors’ theme (an ongoing one that will appear constantly). The poster quite literally reflects the title of the film. Cheeky. The long sequences in this doc that show Gerhard Richter painting is some of the best documentary footage from this year. Honestly, this could have been the whole film and it would likely have an even higher spot on my year-end list.  So the poster evokes a sequence I could not take my eyes off of, so between that and the startling colors = on the list.

lincoln

19. Lincoln

This is a surreally uncanny image that immediately immortalizes the idea of Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln. It’s actually disturbingly uncanny. The longer you look at it the more reality seems to implode on itself. Has Daniel Day-Lewis always been Lincoln? Was Lincoln in fact Daniel Day-Lewis? Oh, the questions this poster raises. The profile shot and the statuesque look really make this the best it can be.

zero_dark_thirty

18. Zero Dark Thirty

I love me some minimalist posters. This one is a teaser image that just sticks with you immediately. I cannot get enough of the redaction and how the only actual additional non-text element of this poster is something that tries to take away. Like everyone else I cannot wait to see what Kathryn Bigelow does with this film and the way its advertising was handled has been thoroughly successful.

michael

17. Michael

Another really minimal poster, but with all honesty, how does one go about advertising a difficult-to-watch (but for my money worth it) arthouse film about a pedophile who has a boy in his basement? So I’d call this a resounding success on all counts considering that it gets around the challenge and is fabulous to boot. The color choice is memorable as well as the puzzle concept allowing for subtle shading and dimension.

girl_model

16. Girl Model

This poster is really just one of the first shots of Girl Model, a haunting documentary that just scratches the surface of the unsurprisingly seedy underbelly of the bottom rungs of the modeling industry. The mirror image creates a slight distortion that reflects the sad logic of how this occupational world works. And I love slightly out-of-focus images and the mirror gives it that inestimable ‘feel’ that I am so drawn to.

attenberg-poster-300

15. Attenberg

I could have easily chosen another poster from the film but went with this one which really captures the off-kilter strangeness of the small but very significant recent wave of Greek films to make their way over here. First of all, I love this scene. Throughout Attenberg are sprinkled scenes of the main character and her friend walking along a street in increasingly complex synchronization. There is something about two young girls letting in their instincts and being confrontational about it that reminds the amazing feminist and surrealist film Daisies. So there’s that. The poster has a great combination of having a simple background that forces focus to the pose and stance of the subjects. It reflects the extremely strong focus these films have on the body and body language with its possible contortions and positions.

Here is the scene containing the pose depicted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SrOfBIvrpQ

frankenweenie_ver14

14. Frankenweenie

It’s a Tim Burton sketch so of course this poster rules. It is like they are saying ‘don’t forget Tim Burton was once capable of not sucking’. It is a strong enforcer of the idea that Burton is revisiting and updating his roots with this one. This was not one of the main posters used for the marketing, which from that standpoint I understand. But it’s a gorgeous illustration that brings the Sparky design back to its “Family Dog” influence (more like replica) and he has just about the quirkiest expression of endearment I’ve ever seen.

paul

13. Paul Williams Still Alive

Stop Making Sense font; check. The top of Paul Williams head; check. Number 13 spot; check.

elena_ver2

12. Elena

The illustration here is so stark and evocative. It depicts two colors, trees, the outline of a person looking out and a bird flying by. The color feels like the sun is just about to rise which is how Elena starts. The left side is used for some deserved festival bracket whoring. It’s a foreboding image with a blue I cannot take my eyes off of. And I love that microscopic eye detail on the bird.

cabin_in_the_woods_ver6

11. The Cabin in the Woods

Another poster that was nowhere near the primary one used but thankfully it was given the frameworthy poster treatment. A take on Escher’s Relativity, the sepia-toned drawing nails what Drew Goddard/Joss Whedon’s film is really about. The picture gets the trapped and constructed environment of the characters. And the tagline, which seems clichĂ© at first glance, just like the purposely broad title, is actually perfect.

sound_of_my_voice_ver2

10. Sound of My Voice

This is so mysterious and ambiguous just like the film’s conceit. The handshake feels like another language. The instructional format feels like a retro kitsch-piece. The crunched up folding makes it seem like we are looking at something we shouldn’t be seeing. It feels like something from a pastime, which is apt given what the characters in the story’s cult are wont to believe.

paranorman_ver7

9. Paranorman

There is a whole batch of Paranorman posters equally fabulous that could be in its place. Again, the main posters were certainly serviceable but there is a whole slew of great artwork that was done to promote the Focus Features film. It’s the blocking of the different images that draws me in as well as, again, the use of the orange, green and blue colors. The way the font is strewn across the poster is reminiscent of a 50’s B-movie.

compliance

8. Compliance

This is my number one movie I haven’t seen this year. I feel like it’s got a fair shot at being near the top of my year-end list, however unfair those expectations may be. Dreama Walker, who can be seen on “Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23”, has a somehow enigmatic expressionlessness. I just love this shot and where she is in the frame related to the text. And quotes galore! Quotes make you go ‘ooooh what is this about’. Walker’s prominence in the poster could mean anything. Add in the dubious title and I was dying to find out what all the fuss and controversy of the film was about and whether or not it was justified. It grabbed my interest immediately; exactly what a poster is supposed to do.

master_ver4

7. The Master

The film is quite a bit like a Rorschach test. Though one pops up early in The Master, this image also reflects the open-wide interpretive room of the characters and how they interact with and change each other. It’s an enigma but at the same time it’s not. Again, loving the folded-up quality, making it seem like a pamphlet of sorts. There is a black-and-white version but I actually prefer the color. In a substantial misrepresentation, Joaquin Phoenix is looking far too sane, no?

holy_motors

6. Holy Motors

This would have been in the top 5 if not for the distracting title art. The title art and font look very cheap to me and is not successfully integrated into the rest of the poster. It looks like the title is uncomfortably resting on top instead of being part of. But Denis Lavant, playing many different identities here, is seen as a black shadowed blank slate. The headlights of the limo are the eyes, placed in the headspace, which is likely where the film takes place. At the very least Holy Motors has its own internal logic that gleefully defies any explanation. And the poster certainly hints at this. My favorite thing about this is the sketchy yellow scribble. Just one of those inspired touches.

beauty_is_embarrassing

5. Beauty is Embarrassing

Using Wayne White work in a documentary about Wayne White equals a spot in my Top 5 posters. It’s playfully bizarre and the way the letters form a kind of landscape in the background is seamlessly appropriate.

alps-movie-poster-2011-1020744017

4. Alps

Here is yet another minimalist poster. The abstract Dogtooth poster had a place this high as well two years ago. This one actually has the characters in it and I find the shape their placement creates to be hypnotic, much like the film. There is an almost slightly oversaturated grainy quality to the images that make them blend in with the background in interesting ways. And anything featuring Aggeliki Papoulia’s mesmerizing face is okay by me.

barbara_ver2

3. Barbara

I think you all know what’s coming. You can sense it the second you look at the poster. COLORS!!!! Oh the glorious combination of these colors! Look at how lush this visual is. It’s quite stunning. Everything pops here and it’s a really creative poster in a lot of subtle ways. The red! The green! The yellow! The title placement! See? Subtle.

loneliest_planet

2. The Loneliest Planet

Let’s start with that intensely profound statement at the top. Jeez Louise. Talk about lofty expectations. After Compliance and Amour, this is probably what I’m craving to see the most that I haven’t yet. Luckily it’s on demand so first thing when I get back to CT? Yep. This gorgeous green, which just barely reveals itself as actual land is to die for, as is the juxtaposition of the two close-up faces against their far-away selves amidst the green. And let’s talk about that red hair! Well, okay I’ve got nothing more to say about it
.but look at it! And are her eyes green too? This poster just stuck with me instantaneously and its pleasing to look at but also further piques my interest.

innkeepers

1. The Innkeepers

I already knew this would be my number 1 poster before even doing my 2011 list last year. Since The Innkeepers had been kicking around at fests for a while, the poster has been out for quite some time. It’s so intricate and beautifully haunting. It’s got a snarky tagline. The blue-grays, the title design, the borders and shapes; all of it is flawless. There’s a lot going on here but it’s not too much. And lastly, it’s got my favorite film character from a 2012 film no contest. Yeah, I’m looking at you Sara Paxton.
Stay tuned because within the next week my Top 10 Worst Posters of 2012 will be posted.

List: Top 20 Film Posters of 2011


If you have eyes, then I’m guessing you’re sick of seeing the same images again in again with different actors acting as various ciphers. There’s Photoshopping galore, some it truly sad. Each genre has its own set of expectations. They have all become tired; heaps of tragically unaware self-parodies plastered everywhere. Each year we can lament and question; where has the magic of movie posters gone?

Well, it’s not entirely gone. Hopefully my choices this year will emphasize that periodically something aesthetically worthy comes along. I cannot lie though; the countless mediocre/pitiful posters I had to go through to get to these is more than a little disheartening. I would go through 100 posters before anything stuck out.

The ‘Worst Posters’ list will soon follow. But I prefer this list this year. Why? Because there have been a few Worst Posters list to come out already and I must admit that after doing my own research, they hit the nail on the head for nearly all of them. Which means that my list and theirs will be very similar.

What were your personal favorite posters of the year? Here are the 20 film posters of 2011 that represent mine. The rule was only 1 poster per film. I do not claim these to be the best; just the ones that caught my eye the most and that I find myself most drawn to. I have seen 14/20 of the films here. A few of these films I’m not really a fan of but a great poster is a great poster regardless of the quality of the film it represents (and I won’t be getting into which films those are here). Off we go.


20. Shit Year
Here, we get Ellen Barkin, whose presence seems to be single-handedly melting the watercolors (Watercolors? Inked water? I suck). She looks like a clown, has a cigarette hanging out of her mouth and the title indicates this was not a very good year for her. This poster makes me want to find out why.

As the list continues, you will see a lot of ‘it makes me want to know more’. That is what a poster should do. It is first and foremost an advertisement. If it can do this in a way that is not tired or a simple rehash of the ten stock images we get from posters these days, it is a success.


19. Hobo with a Shotgun

Last year I had a couple of posters on my list that evoked the exploitation era. Hobo with a Shotgun, coming from Robert Rodriguez’s Grindhouse trailer contest, follows suit in what has now become a welcome trend. Creases, lots of action overlapping with each other, a self-aware tagline; it’s all there.

You will see as we go through the list just how represented Magnet releases are (five total). They do some of the most consistent poster work out there and they deserve their due for presenting advertisements in a way that promotes creativity.


18. Drive Angry
Again with the Grindhouse inspired kind of look. This just works on every level for me from the font size to the artificial messiness of it. It is unfortunate that this poster was not the one mainly used, but such is the case; even the few great posters exist to be largely unused.


17. The Devil’s Double
An in-your-face concept that goes for the jugular as far as poster concepts go. It goes to an extreme to make its point and for that, it deserves major props. The only thing working against it is the oddly misrepresentative tagline; a minute irritation. I still say Dominic Cooper looks more like Michael C. Hall here than Dominic Cooper. I can’t be the only one that sees this; can I?


16. The Muppets
Out of all the imaginative send-ups for the return of the Muppets, I chose a sparse Kermit-centric one, the only reason being that I have a soft spot for Kermit the Frog. Any poster with his head on it earns a spot on this list. Just look at that smile; oh how it melts my heart.


15. The Future
It is hard to articulate what it is about this poster that I find so memorable. The centered upside-down photo with the font contained within has an unexpectedly long-lasting effect on the mind. There’s just something about it
.


14. I Saw the Devil

I was so happy to be able to get this on here as it really stuck with me throughout the year. This is a haunting use of space with the victimized yellow car illuminating the shadowy figure just enough to get a sense his weapon but not his identity. Those who have seen the film will recognize this as a reference to the opening sequence.


13. We Need to Talk About Kevin
There is suspicion and paranoia afoot as Swinton’s temperament towards her child is shown with this image. I love posters that have this purple-brown hue to them. Just look at I Saw the Devil’s poster for further proof. I don’t know how else to describe it so there you go; purple-brown hue. My description skills are clearly tops.


12. Martha Marcy May Marlene
A case of the fuzzies. I can’t help it; I love out-of-focus images on posters. This really captures Jody Lee Lipes’ cinematography on the film which is still my personal favorite of the year. The poster provides a hook; why is she running away? Who from? Does she make it? Coincidentally, it is almost a reverse shot of the Margaret poster which was the last I cut for this list. And both have ‘M’ names. Weird.


11. 13 Assassins
A marvelous illustration for yet another Magnet release. Busy but not too busy, and positively engaging.


10. Black Death
I flat-out love this bleak and foreboding poster for a film that unfairly went under the radar. For those counting, this is the fourth Magnet release on the list. That endlessly hopeless feel the Middle Ages have (at least for me) is truly represented here. I think I caught the Plague just looking at it.


9. Gainsbourg
It goes without saying that Serge Gainsbourg equals suave. A poster for this biopic needs to be able to capture the personality we all think of when we hear the French lady killer’s name. This version adds the perfect touch in capturing his demeanor through the cool blue and lusty red. Just looking at this makes me want to listen to “Histoire de Melody Nelson” for the billionth time. In fact….


8. Rubber
….yeah, I put the album on; I couldn’t resist.

This graphic brings you front and center to the leering eye of a tire; a directly anthropomorphized illustration. It advertises its unconventionality, wearing it on its sleeve, begging onlookers to dig deeper into the unknown.


7. Certified Copy
I almost went with the equally impressive color-splatter poster for the film featuring the same image. The grey in this one allows Juliette Bincohe’s startling paleness to stick out as well as the ruby red of her lips and earrings in this important moment from the film.

6. Le Havre
In addition to having an irresistible illustration that is at once sparse and full of intrigue. I want to know more about what I am seeing. Who are the players and how do they relate to each other?


5. The Skin I Live In
What strikes me most about this poster is that it looks like a mid-twentieth century middle school textbook. Would it actually be found in a classroom? Who knows? But it gives off that kind of educational vibe with an artistic twist that really drew me in.


4. Shame
The poster for Shame evokes with its ruffled bed sheets an immediate context of the film’s title. It is slightly confrontational with its placement of the title smack dab in the middle; this film is not tiptoeing around its subject matter. Whether you have seen the film or not, the poster says a lot about the kind of experience it provides.  Well, that quote does not exactly scream subtlety as an allusion to the film’s content. Either way; we get the idea.


3. Cold Weather
There is an exquisite use of patterning going on and I love the placement of the actors. Even the font kills. It’s just perfect.


2. Sleeping Beauty
Emily Browning’s porcelain exterior blends right in with the beautiful embroidered couch behind her. The poster’s color palette is gorgeous. Her supposed vulnerability is being subverted just like in the film (although the film is questionably successful at this). What we would expect to be a pleading look is actually a stern stare-down daring us to pass judgment on her.


1. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
As soon as I saw this poster, I knew it would be likely impossible that another poster would take its place at the top of the pack. Designed by Chris Ware, best known for his visually complex graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth, everything here is absolutely captivating. Ware also designed the equally impressive poster for 2007’s The Savages. The color scheme, the symmetry, the jellyfish-like middle, the water, trees; there is so much happening and it is all done through abstraction. So many aspects of the film are emphasized here, but you don’t have to know that to appreciate this masterful work on display.


The 10 Worst Film Posters of 2010


I’m sure someone else could find 10 other film posters just as bad as these. Fact of the matter is, poster art is not what it used to be. Mostly, it is yet another way for the industry to put their films in a predictable and precise box that tells the viewer exactly what to expect if they choose to go see their film. Casual moviegoers want to know what they are going into and the poster art woefully reflects the main goal of these advertisements instead of piquing interest. Here are the posters that were the worst of the many offenders to choose from.

10. The Truth

Haven’t we had enough posters with fragmented composition populated with awkward photos of actors? John Heard and Daniel Baldwin look like they don’t even know where they are. Then we have the tagline The Truth..is always complicated. Rough stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

9. Sex and the City 2

I have never been a “Sex and the City” fan. It has always been an obnoxious representation of the modern woman even if it might have been somewhat progressive for TV at the time. The campaign for the likely unnecessary sequel was through and through atrocious. Believe me, there were other posters from this film worthy of the number 9 spot. This teaser took the cake with its terrible tagline “There are other ways to score” and that Carrie’s shoe is the only thing on this poster that has anything to do with the film. This has nothing to do with soccer!!

 

 

 

 

8. The King’s Speech

Yes, there are probably other posters that could have been here. However, for a film that is one of the FRONTRUNNERS for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars, there is no excuse for this to not only be dull as dirt, but horribly executed with unconvincing photoshop work. Even director Tom Hooper is ashamed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

The main reason this was picked over similarly painful animal movie posters like Marmaduke and Yogi Bear is because the dog and cat pictured on this poster freak me out. What is with those faces?!

 

 

 

 

 

6. I Spit on Your Grave

A lazy rehash of the original poster; just as vulgar and twice as dull. As if we need the knife placed near her ass to look at it. It also starts its offensive as the opening day being the “Day of the Woman”. Keep going with that desperate attempt at faux feminist empowerment bullshit that nobody buys in relation to this schlock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Grown Ups

This is such a fake poster; where to begin? Everything is so poorly cropped and photoshopped. Everyone has weird faces. The sky in the background as well as the top of the slide look amateurish at best.

 

 

 

 

 

4. Accidents Happen

I see what this was going for. It could have been serviceable. What we have though, is a confused and awkwardly ineffective poster. Look at Geena Davis’ face. Does that make you want to watch Accidents Happen? I didn’t think so.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Shrek Forever After 3D

This represents the type of pop culture humor of Shrek at its worst. Taking a sexist and outdated phrase, changing one letter and pretending that this children’s franchise is on top of what’s hip. Yeah Shrek; you’ve still got it.

 

 

 

 

 

2. Killers

I almost admire this poster; however did they manage to cram everything I dislike about these two actors into one picture as well as reinforcing age old stereotypes that simply aren’t funny nor relevant? Katherine Heigl doesn’t like holding a gun; I’m guessing it’s because she’s a girl and not because she has any actual moral conviction. Look! She can barely touch it! Then there’s Kutcher sporting his “Come on!” face most commonly seen on “Punk’D” or..anything else he has ever been involved in.

 

 

 

1. Saw 3D

I would love if someone could explain what I’m looking at. For the record, I’ve always enjoyed the Saw poster campaigns. What is happening here? Machines are building a huge Jigsaw structure? Are there no people? Was there an apocalypse on Saw VI? Smokestacks? What am I looking at? What’s the concept? Big Jigsaw structure representing the release of the film being a big event? I cannot wrap my head around the logic going into this ad.