Friday One Sheet: Stalker re-release

A handsome, sepia-monochrome, very Criterion-ish, poster for the 2017 restoration of Andrei Tarkovsky’s head-scratching sci-fi classic, Stalker keeps the grim, and grimy nature of the film on display, while also highlighting the puzzle-box nature by adding some text/symbol elements. I have seen a couple very scratchy, beat-up prints of the film over the years, and as the clear, razor-sharp nature of this poster indicates, I am looking forward to the new restoration of the film that will be playing in select cities before heading to Blu-Ray.

Friday One Sheet: Ghost In The Shell

One final look at the international marketing for Ghost in the Shell, as the film is set to roll out one of its biggest markets, and the home of the source material and endless film, manga, OVA, and TV spin-offs.

This Japanese poster for Ghost in the Shell is big on the New Port City backdrop, and is also bullish on the ‘franchise character collection’ aesthetic popular with Disney properties like Marvel and Star Wars (and Indiana Jones). What makes it the most telling that this is the Japanese poster is the prominent head-space for ‘Beat’ Takeshi. I think it pretty bold to double down on Pink and Baby Blue, and it does make this poster stand out for all its busy design. It also gives a lot of emphasis on the Section 9 team, which I hope one day there is a directors cut of the film that features more time with the rest of the team – they are certainly present in the film, but not given a lot of screen-time outside of one conference room chat, and the sequence involving the two garbage men attacking Dr. Ouelet.

Friday One Sheet: Cannes 2017

The Cannes film festival has been on this particular design the 2006 poster of Maggie Cheung re-purposed from In The Mood For Love. That is to say, highlight the star, make it look glamorous and warm. Since about 10 years ago, things have been getting ever more minimalist, and, simply, it just works.

Despite a small imbroglio regarding the thinning of Ms. Cardinale’s figure (in reality, it is the entire source photo pinched/width adjusted, not just the actresses slightly thigh), the photo indeed captures the joy that a certain kind of cinema, The Cannes kind, is meant to project out to the world. It’s a lovely poster of an iconic actress is a warm expression. I get the concern about idealized body image, but in this case, idealizing a movie star (at the peak of her youth) for the purposes of reinforcing the notion of the most glamorous festival in the world, it is kind of the point to have the photos lie a little bit, c’est non? It’s a sticky subject, as will it ever be…photos are art, and art is lies that tell the truth, and possibly vice versa.

If you are curious, here are the Cannes posters for the past 70 or so years.

Friday One Sheet: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The title of the film is a mouthful, but the poster is a master class in negative space. From the stately (if ominous) key art, reminiscent of both No Country For Old Men, and Paris Texas, you might never guess that director Martin McDonough’s latest film is a foul-mouthed, comic farce of slapstick violence and bad behavior (albeit this is perfectly in line with his previous filmography, including In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths).

For many shits and giggles, and the most screen chewing Frances McDormand performance since Fargo, I’ve dropped in the red-band trailer below.

After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter’s murder case, Mildred Hayes makes a bold move, painting three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby, the town’s revered chief of police. When his second-in-command Officer Dixon, an immature mother’s boy with a penchant for violence, gets involved, the battle between Mildred and Ebbing’s law enforcement is only exacerbated.

Friday One Sheet: Lady MacBeth

A fine example of the power of just using a single, well produced still for your poster. By all accounts the production and design of William Oldroyd’s period drama, Lady MacBeth are superb, and it shows when you have faith in the power of an unclutter poster. A pull quote in yellow to offer context, but otherwise, Florence Pugh in conservative dress, hands grasping in front of her, and glancing sideways. It conveys a tone and it does it well.

Friday One Sheet: Diminuendo

H ere is a simple, but eye-catching poster for a shoe-string A.I. picture, Diminuendo. Someone thought it would be a good idea to use the smallest typesetting possible, and drop the weird tagline, “Even silence can be broken.” (Of course silence can be broken!) on the simulacrum’s cheek. There is so much negative space here, it seems like a strange choice. Well, so is the casting. Director Bryn Pryor who does 21st century Corman kind of stuff like #iKillr and Cowboys & Engines, as well as a fair number of porn films, has assembled Walter Koenig (Star Trek), Richard Hatch (Battlestar Galactica), Leah Cairns (Interstellar), Gigi Edgley (Farscape) and male porn star James Deen (who was pretty solid in The Canyon). Make of that what you will, but it’s really hard to read their names, if that is the aim. The poster was designed by MOTTO, who also did much of the designs for Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge

I am uncertain whether or not this poster will appear in cinema lobbies, or the film end up at a theatre Near You, but if it did, despite its flaws, you would probably look twice, and this is more than the effect of more expensively mounted one-sheet campaigns. So kudos for that.

Friday One Sheet: Like Me

SXSW is coming, and since it is a slow and uninteresting week in posters this week, I thought I would highlight this eye-catching design for Glass Eye Pix’s colourful indie drama, Like Me. Imbued with a bunch of jarring elements, palm trees with Christmas lights, a vintage car on a beach, a white mouse on the shoulder of (presumably) the protagonist (who is subtly sporting a gun as well). I know very little about the film, but the poster posits that I should check it out. I look forward from the reports from the festival next week.

Friday One Sheet: Raw

Sporting a photographically pure, that is to say, a single image with very little colour/contrast/background manipulation, allows the eye to focus on the blood (and the crisp typesetting) on display for the latest poster for Julia Ducournau’s pulse-poundingly visceral coming-of-age horror picture, Raw. The relative still nature of this Australian poster for the film belies what the film does at its best. Is that false advertising, or perhaps better setting the stage for a ‘pleasant’ (if that is the right word) surprise. The tagline, “Sister – bound by love, torn by flesh” has a kind of 1970s Italian vibe to it, and is quite at odds with the design, but salacious enough to ground Raw in the trashy space the film finds itself wandering into at key moments. This one is a keeper, and a far better design than the previous posters.

Raw is being released by Monster Pictures in Australia and New Zealand on 20 April. The film will be bowing a earlier in the USA with a theatrical release on March 10th. My recommendation: Go see it with someone who doesn’t watch horror pictures very much, and watch them squirm. Ducorneau is the real deal. Apropos of the cannibal angle, Raw would also make a swell double bill with Ana Lily Amirpour’s The Bad Batch.

Friday One Sheet: Colossal

Another day, another Kaiju picture. OK, not fair, and in these parts we have not given enough love to Nacho Vigalondo’s feminist, metaphorical-literal toxic-relationship cum monster movie, Colossal. This unorthodox (as is the film) poster, is hot pink, giving the genre the finger, while simultaneously affectionately putting on a puppet show. This is, in fact, exactly what the film is. I saw it at TIFF last year, and it is a solid genre effort that has some progressive meat on its bones; in spite nothing being subtextual, as the movie wears its ideas right on its sleeve. (I wonder if in the poster if it is a hand model, or actually Anne Hathaway’s hand.)

Just for completeness sake, we have tucked the trailer under the seat, but this movie plays better if you go in with no expectations. You’ve been warned, as with every Vigalondo picture, the discovery of the mystery/puzzle/rules is one of the chief pleasures of the thing, best not to have a trailer do the short-hand work in advance.

Would you like to know more…?