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…?

Friday One Sheet: Skull Island

For the past few months, I have been deeply impressed with the poster campaign for the upcoming King Kong picture, Skull Island. From wide British Quad highlighting the scale of the beast, to this unabashed homage to Apocalypse Now! the promise from these graphic designs has been a muscular undiluted B-film with an big budget (of which There are enough these days.)

But along comes this Japanese poster which is all Kaiju hand-painted collage goodness! This poster is exceptional, both historically, and from a contemporary point of view, it also promises lots of secondary creature (tentacles, spines, tongues oh my!), and strong imagery. It is busy, but in the best possible way, and I would happily hang this one on a wall, if I could get my hands on it.

Friday One Sheet: John Wick 2

Do I look civilized to you?” Criminally underseen in theaters in 2014, John Wick took the internet fanboy forums by storm and within a year was an instant cult classic and has everyone drooling for the further adventures of Mr. Wick in his assassin underworld. Needless to say, part deux will be a much bigger success at the box office than its predecessor was.

Here is a nice bit of marketing that is eye-catching in its high-contrast, near black and white facade. It’s also a pretty nice use of the top/down aesthetic and cleverly using the dual wielding pistols of Keanu Reeves to form part of the title of the movie.

All signs point to a high bit of ass-kicking awesomeness in the theaters next weekend.

Friday One Sheet: Dark Night

I have not been keeping a close eye on Sundance this year, but Tim Sutton’s documentary on the Aurora, Colorado mass shooting that took place in a movie theater showing The Dark Knight, played Sundance last year. Dark Night is getting a commercial release shortly (February 3 in NY, February 9th in LA.)

The poster has a lovely use of negative space, and grain. I like the red emphasis on the exit light of the cinema which matches the title and unconventional location of the credit block. The three street lights echo the ‘shine a light’ on the subject which is obviously the intent of the docudrama.

Friday One Sheet: Personal Shopper

A beautifully restrained poster for Olivier Assayas’ latest film, Personal Shopper, still offers the hint of the ‘supernatural’ with the gauzy curtain obscuring half of Kristin Stewart. Perhaps the most subtle allusion seen in key art in some time, but I think that is the core concept of the design. As a bonus, this white element offers a high contrast for the credit block, pull quotes, festival laurels, and other textual elements. And yet the film retains the key marketing element of the film, high end consumer fashion items and actress Kristen Stewart. I also appreciate the quiet/tranquil aspects, a rarity in this sort of marketing.

Friday One Sheet: Split

No promises that the movie will be any good (the trailers that have been running for months have, in fact, been terrible) but we talk about posters in this column, not the films themselves. And on that note, the ‘escape’ theme, combined with the multiple personalities, and the association with the title are all supremely well executed here. If movies were as good as their posters…

Friday One Sheet: Raindrops, After The Storm

Is this design simple, or eyecatching or both? A movie poster viewed through a wet window, the droplets generally distorting the man and the child. It should be said, that unabashedly, I do love Hirokazu Kore-Eda’s gently marvelous After The Storm. The concrete of the apartment complex forms much of the negative space, has been toned warm by the designer here. In fact the whole poster has a warm tone, which is somewhat at odds with what you think of with damp, wet weather, but is very much in sync with the tone of the film.

Not pictured in the poster is the wonderful Kirin Kiki, who is the boys grandmother. But then again, is she the one looking out the window?

Furthermore, while this feels more like a festival poster than a full release poster, I find the placement of the title (and Cannes laurel) to be highly satisfying in the centre, and much lower (or higher) than is typical of key art. It is a thousand-fold improvement over this lazy mess.

Lastly, while it may be a cliche, I cannot get enough of cherry blossoms in Japanese cinema. See also Sweet Bean, co-incidentally, also starring Kirin.

Friday One Sheet: Fugly!

As many have said: Good riddance 2016!

We end this year with perhaps the most garish, 80s wannabe-ish and booby-ish of posters. I would specifically call foul on the ‘floating eyeball’ cliche used here (twice), if the production company’s name was not, in fact, Floating Eye Films. The trend of resurrecting 1980s horror cliches (both in the film, and the poster design) hopefully it has run its course, and here we have the bottom of the barrel by way of cheap comparisons to bargain basement movies such as Sleepaway Camp, Slumberparty Massacre, and possibly Hot Pursuit, with the visual equivalent to a dog-whistle for fans of Evil Dead II, who, based on this poster design, should be avoiding this at a 3rd rate genre-film festival nowhere near you.

We welcome originality and artfulness in the forthcoming new year.

Friday One Sheet: Merry Christmas

It is profoundly difficult to find one well designed poster for a Christmas movie, that factors in the holiday itself. I challenge you this. So for the penultimate poster column this year, I leave you with this set of minimalist posters that highlight the yule in movies about or set in and around, Christmas. It is done in a delightfully simple and succinct fashion: with simple colour palettes.
Check out more of them at designer (and Christmas enthusiast) Vicky Taylor’s site.