So, you have a nice design idea to get across the feel of your film. You choose typeface for the title, the size, shape and location of the credit block. You come up with a central element. This movie is about writing, it is about New York City. You combine these two items in a clever way, using type to draw the iconic skyline in the page, using a classic mechanical typewriter. You even subtly underscore things by adding a red period that matches the decal on the typewriter.
But then foolishly, the marketing company forces you to be generic pictures of all the mid-tier actors in a garish line of boxes at the bottom, destroying the colour symmetry, clean design, and making the whole concept look half-assed. Why? Why? Is seeing a bearded Josh Peck in a tiny box near the bottom of the poster really adding value? Would not his name suffice? Addison Timlin? Chris Noth? I’m not picking on these actors, they are fine. But when you make a poster to entice someone to consider a film, it only looks desperate to put this sort of thing in.
When advertising a ‘movie-star-vehicle,’ it barely needs to be said: Advertise the faces of your stars! Removing the credit block entirely for a clean Apple/Tesla kind of design, the science fiction-romantic-action picture indeed gets big, brightly lit studio portraits of Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. And while the dots and dashes might seem a little superfluous, they actually do say “S.O.S.” in Morse code, which is the basically the core idea of the picture.
And because we missed it earlier this week, the trailer for Passengers is also tucked the fold.
It might be a bit cliche in content (yes, another cabin in the woods horror movie) but in design, this poster is too lovely not to share. Hand drawn, confident lines (especially in the title typeface), and the matching colours in the river of blood with that bonfire happening in the background. This work is striking enough to effortlessly stand out in the multiplexes … where it will, likely, never be displayed.
The stylish (if, again, VERY cliche) trailer for Tonight She Comes is also tucked the fold.
I do not know exactly how one connects a supernatural gothic adaptation of a young adult novel to street artist Banksy, but 20th Century Fox certainly went all in with their recent marketing for Tim Burton’s upcoming Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. A whole series of character posters were made for the film. Tonally relevant or not, they are striking objects sure to stand out in a typically Photoshop-heavy multiplex environment. And so goes the truism that any rebellious art will eventually be co-opted for marketing purposes.
I became an instant fan of director Sarah Adina Smith after seeing her debut film, The Midnight Swim, at Fantasia a couple years ago. She’s back with her second feature, starring Rami Malek (and there are no shortage of Mr. Robot fans out there.) Pitched somewhere between Memento and Talk Radio, the poster immediately offers cues of things not being right. The backwards clock numbers, the odd reflection of Malek’s eyes, and the mildew-brown colour palette, which are evocative of Barton Fink.
The film premieres at Toronto International Film Festival shortly.
There is certainly nothing wrong with simplicity. This minimal poster for upcoming Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling musical, La La Land, still offers plenty of information. The posh clothing indicates a swanky night out, the stage door sign indicated that this is likely the two performing. Not sure what the cool blue tint is indicative of, but the text helpfully offers that the film is from, Damien Chazelle, the director of Whiplash.
The musical premieres in Venice and Toronto in the coming weeks before getting a limited theatrical release in December.
It’s a slow and uninteresting week in movie posters this week. And did you know that the Row Three Cinecast has been doing discussions on Brian De Palma films all summer? This coming week will focus on 1973’s Siamese Twin Split-Screen Psychological Horror Picture, Sisters. So I give you some of the marvelous international posters for the film. Above is the lurid pulp novel styled one from Italy. Below the fold are some of the even more provocative and naughtier ones from Thailand, Germany and other countries.
An esoteric, but interesting poster for the new Rachel Weisz and Michael Shannon starring picture. When one considers this is the story of a woman who re-invents herself often (note the tagline: “You Are Who You Say You Are”), then the butterfly imagery, along with the play of shadows which compose noew shapes, makes a lot of sense. Whether or not one can figure this out without knowing anything about the movie is less important than that it is eye-catchingly different than most movie posters out there, and in a crowded multiplex lobby, this matters. It is also worth noting that Complete Unknown is the latest feature film from Joshua Marston, who made Maria Full of Grace to much acclaim, back in 2004.
One of the best films I caught at this years Fantasia Film Festival was Marcin Wrona’s Polish wedding gone horribly awry tale, Demon. In the midst of his wedding celebration, the groom, one of the only celebrants not from Poland, becomes possessed by the ghosts that live on the property. The film is mounted with some impressive photography, and a delicate balance between genre and historical allegory, as the mother and father of the bride attempt to ‘keep the party going’ no matter how terrifying things become as the night goes on. The poster here reflects that as the Bride beckons while her family parties hard in the background, and the groom is blind to his fate.
The trailer also just dropped this week, and you can check it out below: