The Artist Poster

The Artist Poster

So, for context, ‘The Artist’ is a movie about a silent star struggling with the advent of sound, that itself is a black and white silent movie. It was apparently quite the hit in Cannes and will be released in the U.S. in November.

The poster, which is mostly black and white (and silent!) is perfectly evocative of that coolness and glamour we now associate (fairly or not) with the pre-sound period, and clearly marks the film as a high-minded, ‘artistic’ film. It’s not necessarily very evocative of the actual posters that were produced back them, but that doesn’t strike me as very important. This is, after all, a modern film, catering to a modern audience, despite the use of old-fashioned techniques.

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Martha Marcy May Marlene Poster

Martha Marcy May Marlene Poster

This design is, in general terms, fine. Minimalistic and clean. But I would like to raise two objections:

1) I really hate the proliferation of QR codes in posters. I knows, this is a highly personal preference, and it probably marks me as some sort of neo-luddite, out-of-touch, old person, but there it is.

2) Quick, what’s the name of the film? Well, you probably read this post’s title, so you know. But think of this from the perspective of someone encountering just the poster. As a general rule, if you have a somewhat long, somewhat hard to remember name, the last thing you want to do is hide said name by making it seem like a list of actresses that are in the movie.

Of course, I’m ready to admit that the biggest problem here is that the name is awful (from a marketing perspective at least) and that it is very hard to work it into an image. And I sympathize with the poster designer’s wish that the movie was simply called M. But it isn’t, and just giving up doesn’t seem like a good answer.

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The Lady Poster

The Lady Poster

So Luc Besson is making a movie, called The Lady, about Burmese pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi. A couple of years ago, artist Shepard Fairey made a poster celebrating the real Aung San Suu Kyi, which went on to become somewhat famous. So now the guys behind the film asked him to come up with a version of that poster that they could use to promote the film. The result can be seen above, the original poster is below and a statement from Shepard can be read here.

An obvious choice, but a good one nevertheless. Even if the new poster doesn’t add anything, artistically speaking, to the previous one.

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American Reunion

American Reunion Poster

I’m pretty sure American Reunion is a bad idea, likely to lead to a bad movie. I mean, considering that this series has already released a bunch of straight to video films, how can I believe that this is anything but a somewhat desperate attempt from a bunch of people to revive more successful days? Considering that the third movie was clearly already meant to be a final outing, what makes this one any more of a “last”? And doesn’t the fact that they had to go back to a gag from the very first movie show that this is a series that ran out of steam a looooooong time ago?

That said, this is the movie, and all the advertising people can do is work with whatever material they have. And this is a pretty good example of doing that. They created a simple, clean and clearly identifiable image that makes us think of the best moments in the series. Can’t really ask for much more than that.

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Safe Poster

Considering this together with the poster for Contagion that was released a while ago we can already see the cool new trend: Posters with a weathered look that are mostly taken by the title, displayed vertically. Hott.

Honestly, I like both posters, probably because I’m just a sucker for a weathered, beaten down look (remember how much fun I had with Grindhouse posters?). But the poster for contagion strikes me as the superior effort.

First, because the the choice of visual elements and iconography matches so well with the theme of the film. It complements the message, instead of being just something cool to look at.

Second, because of it’s use of city names, a clever little way of conveying the huge scope of the disaster without relying on some epic images, which they might not have been able to get from the film itself. Again, looks good, but also tells me something about the story.

The character posters, on the other hand, left me pretty cold. The tagline is great though.

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Contagion Poster

5 Classics, New Clothes

Because seeing other artist’s vision of what a poster for a classic films could be is always fun, here are five posters for Sci-Fi Classics, as created by Dean Walton.

One of the most interesting things about this batch, at least for me, is that most of the films depicted also had great posters back when they were being released. Sometimes the movie just gives the poster artist more material to work with.

(Via)