Friday One Sheet: The Post

It is no secret, I love negative space in poster design. Here is the key art for Steven Spielberg’s Nixon Era ‘document leak’ movie, The Post, starring Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and a slew of others. The poster offers out of the ‘boxes of all the actors’ hack style poster, and goes for the ‘large steps of an institution’ image, with a tiny Hanks & Streep (facing away from the viewer) dwarfed by those steps. In light of the crisp Helvetica typeface, I do like the included handwritten signature of a release date, particularly because it seems that the story of the film is to obtain that signature to publish the secret government documents.

I have tucked the trailer below the fold to give you an idea of the kind of Oscar-bait America-Feel-Good exercise that the film might be. Cynicism aside, it feels clearly motivated by something like previous Oscar-winner Spotlight (And in the rich history of movies about newspapers, Zodiac and All The President’s Men) and that is pretty fine. It also feels a bit like a spiritual sequel to Bridge of Spies, one of Spielberg’s more underrated recent films.

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Trailer: Swinging Safari

It has been a few years since The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – 23 in fact – and while director Stephen Elliot has been working on and off in the ensuing decades, it appears here he has returned to the over-the-top form that made for such a wonderful cult film. Swinging Safari is a very broad and colourful comedy set in an very over-styled swinging-1970s Aussie milieu, the film stars Guy Pearce and Kylie Minogue, among others goofing it up at key parties and other poolside shenanigans. Will it work for 90 minutes? Who knows, but it looks like a lot of silly fun.

1970s Australia: A 200-ton blue whale washes up on a local beach and the kids think it’s the biggest thing that’s ever happened in their lives. Behind closed doors, the Mums and Dads of this quiet suburban cul-de-sac celebrate in their own special way, by joining the sexual revolution. It’s a time of boxed wine, bad hair, bad styles, bad choices, but good times. And like the rotting whale, it’s all about to go spectacularly wrong.

Friday One Sheet: In The Fade

A gorgeous one-sheet featuring a gorgeous actress: Diane Kruger. Here she is working with German-Turkish director Fatih Akin examining the after-effects of a terrorist bombing on one woman who loses her son and husband in the attack. It’s difficult, exactly, to tell this from this glittery urban-lit poster, that is as reminiscent of Blade Runner as it is of Old Boy. Maybe the rain makes things seems sad? But the first rule of old-school marketing is sell the star, and this picture does so magnificently. It even drops the laurel in the top left corner indicating Ms. Kruger picked up the best acting nod at this years Cannes festival. And just to show you how much Photoshop is used these days (you know this already, of course) here is Ms. Kruger not in the rain.

Friday One Sheet: Colour Chart [Lady Bird]

Making subtle use of the classic photo colour chart as a border/trim, the new poster for the directorial debut of Greta Gerwig (which was a huge hit at this years TIFF) goes for photographic intensity of its lead actress, Saoirse Ronan, sans freckles. For those who noticed the christian cross and ‘monastery font’ of the original poster, you can see these themes you can see they remain here, although the emphasis is strictly on ‘portrait photography.’ Typically this is the domain of the South Koreans when designing posters, but I like it when it gets adopted on this side of the pond.

Trailer: P.T. Anderson’s Phantom Thread

“Whatever you do, do it … carefully.” There, ladies and gents is the mission statement of P.T. Anderson in a nutshell. His latest film, Phantom Thread, which has quietly been winding its way through post production reunites the director with his star Daniel Day-Lewis, here strangely channeling late-period Ralph Fiennes (just close your eyes, and you can see Fiennes in the role just through the audio association). Of course, it is clear from the trailer that Day-Lewis shall deliver as mesmerizing a performance as his Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood. Here he plays a mysterious tailor that likes to sew mysteries into his garments. The film follows his relationship with a waitress (Vicky Krieps) he courts, and eventually makes a model for his clothes.

Set in the glamour of 1950’s post-war London, renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock and his sister Cyril are at the center of British fashion, dressing royalty, movie stars, heiresses, socialites, debutantes and dames with the distinct style of The House of Woodcock. Women come and go through Woodcock’s life, providing the confirmed bachelor with inspiration and companionship, until he comes across a young, strong-willed woman, Alma , who soon becomes a fixture in his life as his muse and lover. Once controlled and planned, he finds his carefully tailored life disrupted by love.

Visually impressive, yet somehow cold and austere as well, in a fashion that brings Anderson closer to Kubrick and further from Altman. I expect the dual meaning title Phantom Thread will be a stand out in a year that has been a spectacular year of ambitiously visual projects, including Dunkirk, Blade Runner 2049, mother!, Okja, War For The Planet Of The Apes, Lady MacBeth, Hagazussa, Valley of Shadows, The Killing of A Sacred Deer, A Cure For Wellness, and The Florida Project.

Friday One Sheet: Minimalist Medusa [Acrimony]

A minimalist, two colour poster for Tyler Perry’s latest non-Madea film, Acrimony showcases the Greek creature Medusa in stark black against a red field. There is shadow that resembles a curtain, but otherwise the poster favours simplicity. There is no credit block, just the name of the film, the lead actress (Hidden Figures‘ Taraji P. Henson), and the R-Rating logo down in the lower left corner. Note there is another pink (of course, it’s 2017) minimalist, poster with a similar hand-drawn and stenciled look, that plays with what is probably the first act of the film, if the Medusa is the ‘revenge; portion of the film described as, “a faithful wife tired of standing by her devious husband is enraged when it becomes clear she has been betrayed.”

Teaser: I, Tonya

After making big waves at this years edition of the Toronto International Film Festival, both in terms of audience appreciation, as well as upstart distribution Neon paying $5 Million dollars for the rights, the Margot Robbie starring biopic I, Tonya gets a snappy, stylish and snarling little teaser to when the palette. Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl, Fright Night) directs and Allison Janney (shown only briefly here) also stars in the flip side of the story of Tonya Harding, the exceptionally talented figure skater that defied the image of the sport by being a whole-lot ‘trailer trash’ in terms of her presentation. If you were around in the 1990s, she became a household name in North America and the woman everyone loved to hate during the 1994 Olympics after details (and a guilty plea) came to light about her violent assault on fellow American skater Nancy Kerrigan.

Trailer: Marvel’s Black Panther

I have read more than a few afro-future science fiction novels, and I have to say, that despite the Marvel brand on this film, I’m impressed with the world that Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed) and his team have built with Black Panther. Helped enormously by the big paydays with the Guardians of the Galaxy films, a more gonzo and original feel to the latest Marvel movies makes them visually impressive to say the least. We don’t post a ton of trailers for comic books around here these days because they are all starting to look the same, but lo and behold, he comes a new look.

After the events of Captain America: Civil War, King T’Challa returns home to Wakanda. He soon finds his sovereignty challenged by factions within his own country. When two enemies conspire to bring down the kingdom, T’Challa must team up, as the Black Panther, with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje—Wakanda’s special forces—to prevent a world war.

Friday One Sheet: The Killing Of A Sacred Deer

Yorgos Lanthimos Killing of a Sacred Deer is so nice that I had to see it twice, at different festivals on opposite sides of the world. All of the posters for his films have been noteworthy, and while this one is not quite as remarkable as the first poster, which happens to be my favourite one-sheet of 2017, it is a curious design. Upside down, kind of collage-y and I’m not exactly sure if Nicole Kidman’s neck is really that long, or it is just a trick of the eyes with the superposition. But this one is certain to cause double takes if it happens to be hanging at the local multiplex.

Friday One Sheet: Thoroughbreds

Foregrounded text continues to be a dominating aspect of movie posters these days (Since the poster for David Fincher’s The Social Network. But this poster for Cory Finley’s suburban drama, Thoroughbreds uses the two lead actresses eye-lines to create a harmony with the text. While it does feel more like a book cover than a movie poster, it is that distinction that makes it stand out just a little bit.

Trailer: Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel

The annual Woody Allen joint for 2017, Wonder Wheel, is a mob story set on Coney Island in the 1950s seemingly in Technicolor. Starring Kate Winslet (in Romance & Cigarettes mode), Juno Temple, Justin Timberlake, and a very potbellied Jim Belushi. The film revolves around Ginny (Winslet), the wife of a carousel operator (Belushi), who perks up when she falls for a handsome lifeguard, Mickey (Timberlake). But when her husband’s estranged daughter (Temple) resurfaces and also sets her sights on Mickey, it begins ‘the great unraveling of Ginny. Not as baroque or kooky as Jonathan Demme’s Married To The Mob, but still it looks like Allen stepping a (wee) bit outside his comfort zone here. Once again, Amazon Studios is funding, and while the film will premiere at the New York Film Festival on October 14, it will be seeing a wider release on December 1st.

The eponymous Coney Island Ferris Wheel is no stranger to being on screen, as it is featured in The Taking of Pelham 123, Remo Williams, Angel Heart, underwater in A.I., and in the opening credits of Walter Hill’s iconic, The Warriors.