Friday One Sheet(s): Jack Davis 1924 – 2016

Illustrator and cartoonist Jack Davis was probably most famous for Mad Magazine, but the man did a heck of a lot of movie posters, some of the great ones too! His signature was distorted images of full-length people in a crowd, and I really do love his one-sheet for the difficult to market The Long GoodBye. Who puts dialogue bubbles on a movie poster? Jack Did. He also illustrated posters for Spaghetti Westerns, star-studded comedy blockbusters, kids movies, musicals and the like, almost all of his work was for films with quirky (or farcical) comic inflection, and yes, that certainly includes Robert Altman’s revisionist noir starring Elliot Gould.

A big hat-tip to ImpAwards for bringing this to my attention. You can find more of Jack’s superlative work over at their site.

Friday One Sheet: American Pastoral

This handsome, exceptionally well designed, one sheet for Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut, American Pastoral is eye catching in part due to the sepia-on-fire colour palette, but mainly due to the 90 degree tilt. Lovely use of both the large tree, and the negative space for which to put an unconventional title placement (notably in the smoke of the fire). Based on the Philip Roth novel of the same name, one can hope that the film itself is as good and thoughtful as the energy that went into the poster design!

Friday One Sheet: The Neon Demon

I can’t stop posting marketing materials from Nicolas Winding Refn’s forthcoming feature, The Neon Demon. This one is from the prolific Mondo imprint, who always take a less marketing driven approach and go for something a bit more artistic. The inverted triangles are well featured in the film, so that design element makes sense, and otherwise, the geometric, sterile weirdness is entirely the tone of the film (which, btw I’ve seen and is one of the most brilliant uses of tone and structure since Mulholland Dr.). A strange choice to go black and white when the film is all about the use of colour, but in our photoshopped and instagrammed filtered world, a black and white poster, with no shades of grey, certainly stands out in a crowd. As does The Neon Demon.

Poster: Kevin Smith’s Yoga-Hosers

What’s going on in the View-Askew universe* in the last couple years has mostly escaped me. Kevin Smith has run aground with interesting creations as far as I’m concerned; so I had no idea that his next project (which already screened at Sundance) was a kids film in which a couple of teen yoga enthusiasts battle “an evil presence” (something to do with miniature, Nazi Canadians).

Reviews have been less than great and if this marketing is anything to go by, I guess I’m not surprised. That said, this movie probably wasn’t made with the usual Smith fanboys in mind. It’s a film that appears to be geared towards younger teenage girls to OMG about – the critics voices maybe shouldn’t be taken as gospel at this point.

Still, judging by the trailer and the poster featured below, I feel like there is an intentional campiness on display from Smith here. Did he just not care about the project or are the effects supposed to look like an early 1990s after-school special and the poster supposed to look like early 2000s straight to DVD cover? I don’t know what’s going on here, but if I had to venture a guess, Smith has just given up.**

yoga-hoser-poster

You’ll be able to judge the movie for yourself (or not) on July 29th. The starring leads are Lily-Rose Melody Depp and Harley Quinn Smith (yes, that is Kevin Smith and Johnny Depp’s daughters), and also features the likes of Johnny Depp, Kevin Smith, Haley Joel Osment, Vanessa Paradis, Adam Brody, Justin Long, Tony Hale, and Jason Mewes among others.

*I realize that not all of his movies are View Askew productions. That’s just what I call Kevin Smith movies.
** I’m pretty excited about Clerks III though.

Friday One Sheet: Wiener-Dog

Todd Solondz has been rather quiet in the past few years. Cinephiles in the 1990s immediately warmed to the tone of his awkward-by-design black comedy, Welcome To The Dollhouse, which featured a shy tween girl, Dawn Wiener (aka Wiener-Dog), getting into unpleasant situations. Now, 20 Years later, Solondz has made this sort-of sequel cum anthology film. Dawn Weiner (now played by Greta Gerwig, not Heather Matarazzo) is in one of the parts, but the film is not named after her. The wiener dog is quite literally present here, not just a nasty nick-name, and is the one element that binds the four stories together. The eponymous canine, or at least its hind quarters, are featured on the rather minimalist poster for the film,

The quite funny, and talent loaded trailer is also tucked under the seat, for the curious.

Would you like to know more…?

Friday One Sheet: Cosmos

The spirit of Polish poster design is alive and well with this, the one-sheet for the final film from art-horror master, Andrej Żuławski. The director of 1981’s marital freak out, Possession, as well as 1996’s scandalous drug and sex laced Szamanka passed on this year at 75, but not before completing his final film, Cosmos who passed on earlier this year. It may look simple, but there are some nice details in this design, the branches of the trees looking like both dendrites and constellations, the woman’s face who is looking heavenward with one eye, but at us the the other. And the tiny bird token hanging from the branch about the title and super condensed credit block. This poster is a work of art.

Friday One Sheet: The Birth Of A Nation

TheBirthOfANation

Sundance hit, and brilliant act of cultural re-appropriation, The Birth Of A Nation got a striking ‘sepia-flag’ styled poster in both still form, and (below) motion form. This is the first time I’ve heard the concept of a motion poster expressed as a ‘living poster.’ Not sure if that is a construct of the marketing department here, or if this is a wider change in language for an advertising concept that has yet to truly take off. Either way, this is perhaps the best execution of a motion poster to date.

Still form or ‘living’ form, both focus on how things go from a single act of rebellion or idealism to a full blown movement.