A simple, but quite lovely, design for the upcoming adaptation of the novel, The Girl On The Train. I have not read the book, but clearly the designers are aimed at ‘you will not see what is coming’ with the zipper/train motif on a woman’s back, as she faces away from us. They used the stylized type from the cover of the source novel, fine, but why use a different font (and colour) everywhere else? Not entirely sure. It’s a quibble in an otherwise pretty striking, yet delightfully minimal poster.
Hotdocs is coming to Toronto, and this film has a little bit of buzz (from it’s Sundance debut), and a lot of ‘intentional mystery,’ about it. The film is ostensibly about ‘competitive endurance tickling’ (which, not surprisingly, is a thing) but clearly from the clawed hand in this poster, there is something sinister going on. What does this poster say to you?
After stumbling upon a bizarre “competitive endurance tickling” video online, wherein young men are paid to be tied up and tickled, reporter David Farrier reaches out to request a story from the company. But the reply he receives is shocking—the sender mocks Farrier’s sexual orientation and threatens extreme legal action should he dig any deeper. So, like any good journalist confronted by a bully, he does just the opposite: he travels to the hidden tickling facilities in Los Angeles and uncovers a vast empire, known for harassing and harming the lives of those who protest their involvement in these films. The more he investigates, the stranger it gets, discovering secret identities and criminal activity.
Text is a powerful tool in the poster design arsenal. As I mentioned with last weeks poster, so is a single iconic token. Here we have Colin Firth’s tortoise-shell glasses, missing a lens, and text implying that the sequel to the sleeper spy movie of 2014, The Kingsmen will indeed feature Firth back in some role. The text serves the role to remind folks exactly what when down in the last film regarding the biggest British star in the cast.
If you want the flip side of care or creativity, look no further than the posters for Gus Van Sant’s still unreleased Sea of Trees, which is just a few bordered stills of the actors (concerned, bored?) faces overlayed on vaguely coloured or sepia toned backgrounds. Ouch, this is walmart sales-rack bad. If you must: Here, here and here. I would still very much like to see the film, which is set in Japan’s ‘forest of sadness,’ and got booed at Cannes a couple years ago (this is usually a good sign for me), but man, the marketing campaign is doing the film no favours.
This is my kind of poster design. A simple, clear message that evokes a feeling. And while I am generally not a fan of the sugar-mill output of James Wan’s brand of horror film (Wan is producer here), I cannot argue with putting the concept of the film, right front and centre on the advertising. You may recall a short film from a few years ago from director David Sandberg that had ghosts appearing literally when the lights were clicked out, this is that short blown into a feature.
The trailer is also tucked below the seat.
Based on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico and directed by Peter Berg (The Rundown, Hancock), this poster caught my eye because the entire poster is pretty much competing negative space: A large expanse of sky, a large expanse of water, and an ever widening column of smoke from the oil-well which is on fire in the corner. Hopefully, the powers that be will never attempt to integrate Mark Wahlberg’s floaty head into the design.
This is not Disney remaking their classic animations into live action, this is a smaller studio taking a crack at live-action fairy tale. The initial poster design, to me, is very evocative of the analog, steam-punk clutter, of Terry Gilliam. The press on this is billing it as a ‘fantasy thriller’ and, well, I have to admit that I am intrigued by this.
We are still loving the phoenix-like renaissance of the Western genre over the past couple years, and it appears that cult indie director Ti West is getting in on the game with In A Valley Of Violence. He has an interesting cast with Ethan Hawke, Karen Gillan (Dr. Who, Guardians of the Galaxy) and John Travolta. But we’re here to talk about this vintage style poster, which almost has a 50’s TV-show style with both the typesetting (“A man can only take so much!”) and the tiny man-on-horse (with dog) on the barrel of the gun. I expect many more posters for this film, as West has a history of getting a lot of key-art for his films (see also, House of the Devil and The Innkeepers in the Rowthree poster archives.)
Arguably the best film if 1986, and one of the most interesting American films of the 1980s, David Lynch was stung pretty hard with his Studio experience with the big budget flop of Dune in 1984, so he made a very small, very probing art-film inquiry into the small town American experience. Blue Velvet turns 30 this year in September, and there is a planned theatrical re-release to celebrate this. Unlike the US marketing which favoured the established stars, Isabella Rossellini and Dennis Hopper in the promotional artwork (where white picket-fence imagery also abounds), the Italians decided to market the film like a Giallo, and this poster which looks more like a full blown horror-thriller (which it often is!) I do not recall any scene in the movie involving a pool table, but the internet tells me there was indeed a scene that was cut out of the film, but left in the European where this designer decided to make the image a wee bit exploitive for marketing purposes. The scene is now included in the delete scene collection on the 2012 release of the Blu Ray.
The re-release trailer is tucked under the fold.
I have little interest in the young adult novel-to-film adaptations of the Divergent series. But credit to the Saul Bass riff of this Vertigo-Spirograph styled poster, that favours a monochrome presentation, except for the title. The angular lines are accented by dropping the shadow of the main character in to the mix. This is a wonderful design.