I really loved the first Funny Games poster, in large part because I found it upsetting in a way that movie posters rarely are. Unfortunately, this new poster doesn’t come close to matching that reaction.
It reminds me a little of the SAW posters, due to the white background and to the bloody image in the foreground. And much like the SAW posters I think there is a certain humor and irony to the poster that allows me to feel more detached towards the horrors it hints at. Looking at it is a much less visceral experience because of that.
But none of this should be taken to mean that I find this to be a bad poster. As a matter of fact, I quite like it. It is a strong, clear image. The golf club, the gloves and even all the whiteness match well with the visual elements we saw in the trailer, and even the humor and irony I pointed to above also show up in the trailer and, I imagine, in the movie.
Still, I just don’t think it conveys emotionally what the movie will be like as well as the previous poster did.
(From FirstShowing, Via RowThree)
I don’t understand the choice to use this kind of drawing on the poster. The style of the artwork reminds me of the cover of cheap pulp mystery novels and of the box art of second rate computer games. Not flattering comparisons, I think.
A very weird choice.
I didn’t like the first poster for Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead because I thought the tone the poster conveyed was too light for the movie. This new poster is basically exactly like the last one, but with a black background, white letters and a new tagline. The new background does give the poster a darker feel, but it still doesn’t quite match the tone I’m getting from the film’s trailer and from the few reviews I have read. The horns and crooked tail still feel a little too cutesy.
Originally I also didn’t think the black background was a good match for the style of the title, but the combination is growing on me the more I look at the poster. And I do like the idea of having a white and a black version of the poster. But I just don’t think either version manages to make a strong sell that matches the movie well.
I find this poster upsetting in a very visceral way. This closeup image of a crying Naomi Watts just has a certain rawness that makes it disturbing in a way that I don’t often find movie posters to be. And even the placement of the title and credits helps to make the poster feel slightly wrong in a upsetting way. It makes the poster seem less like just another movie poster.
Of course, I imagine that is exactly the type of reaction they were going for. The New York Times had an interesting story about Michael Haneke, director and writer of Funny Games, which highlighted how much he likes to challenge the audience and to force them to consider why they feel like they feel about certain things. In particular he likes to take on the general attitude towards violence in the typical Hollywood film. So his films are unlikely to offer a comfortable experience to the audience, and I like that the poster embraces that, instead of trying to make the film look like a more typical and easy to watch thriller.
As an aside, this poster is for the remake of Funny Games, which is very close to being a shot by shot remake of the original, which was also directed and written by Haneke. However, the original poster was very different.
(Via Cinematical and Archiv für Filmposter)
If you have a film that takes place in a prestigious university and that involves the use of mathematical symbols in order to solve murders, I think you can do a lot worse than using the imagery of a blackboard filled with mathematical mumbo jumbo and splattered with blood. The blood splatter in this poster looks particularly fake, but besides that I think it’s a decent execution of the concept.
This is not a terribly memorable poster, and it’s no likely to win any awards. But it does get the point across.
If you go over to Jeff Well’s blog you will find a nice discussion of how this poster was influenced by the works of Saul Bass.You will also find a statement from ThinkFilm president Mark Urman about how they wanted an image that had lots of room for review quotes that could be placed in the newspaper adds. And this poster certainly meets that requirement.
However, as interesting as all that is, I’m not very fond of the poster. The movie itself is supposedly a rather dark thriller, but to me the poster seems like it should belong to a comedy. Perhaps a naughty, slightly dark comedy, but a comedy still.
I’m not sure why I get that feeling, but I guess it’s in large part because of the red horns and the crooked tail. For me those images evoke a mischievous but ultimately not very harmful devil. You know, the one that we generally see sitting in somebody’s shoulder, telling him to grab the last doughnut or something like that. The imagery is too on the nose for me to really take it seriously.
And as much as I like the Saul Bass, his style feels a bit old and outdated nowadays. Which is not to say that you can’t use it, but you do have to be careful about how you do it. The style would probably be a good match for a a lighter film that took place a few decades ago. But it will be very hard to make it work with a contemporary thriller.
Then again maybe I’m just a stupid kid and it will work with people older than me.
(Via Movie Marketing Madness)
Could it be true? A final poster for Southland Tales? Does this mean the movie will actually get released this time? Impressive.
Ok, now that I’m over the shock, let me take a look at the poster. Well, there is certainly a lot going on in there, isn’t it? We have the faces of many of the actors, we have several stripes we very busy backgrounds, we have sort of a poster inside of a poster and we have an upside down/reversed American flag being formed by the composition of all of that. Yes a lot of stuff indeed, and I’m sure that this will also be true of the actual movie.
Honestly, this is too much stuff for my tastes, and it doesn’t really amount to any coherent whole. I don’t hate the idea, but I don’t think this particular execution works.
(Via Cinematical, thanks to John Allison for tipping me off to it)