Friday One Sheet: Youth

This provocative, and somewhat digitally airbrushed, poster for the latest film from Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty, Il Divo) is certainly eye catching. From both points of view – ours, as well, I imagine as that of Harvey Keitel and Michael Cain. The film will debut in competition at the Cannes Film Festival this month.

The trailer is also tucked under the seat.

Would you like to know more…?

Friday One Sheet: Hot Docs!

Toronto’s massive documentary film festival, Hot Docs has started up and will be showcasing hundreds of documentary films over the next few days. May of these films have one-sheets that will be on display, here are two of my favourites, both framing people dwarfed by their own landscapes.

Above is the mythic American West in the 21st century, as four cattle drivers attempt a trail from Mexico to Canada with their herd in Unbranded. Below is the barren desert in Waziristan, one of many subjects tackled in the frightening documentary about the asymmetry of modern warfare, Drone.

Friday One Sheet: Advertising is a Climb

A simple, if text-heavy poster for Sundance dramedy, Results emphasizes the fitness aspect of the film (two of the characters are personal trainers, the other one, a bit of a schlub) through the only photographic elements. The rest is text. Is that to imply the film is perhaps smarter? Or lower key than your usual Rom-Com? Maybe. This seems to fit similarly with the trailer, which doesn’t over promise, but doesn’t exactly scream ‘tasteless and crass’ which, alas, the romantic comedy genre seems to have devolved (at least the studio entries) in the past few years.

The advertising may not immediately sell the movie, or even tell you exactly what it is, but it’s inviting enough to look a little closer. The tagline, “They’re going to feel it in the morning” implies both the work out, as well as love triangle.

Friday One Sheet: Orange and Steel

With the marketing engine for the long delayed Mad Max sequel/reboot hitting its peak in the last couple weeks, here comes all the outdoor and big-cinema exterior banners. This super-quad gives a fresh new feel to the typical 21st century action-movie Orange & Teal cinematography-style. The crisp bold titles with the films two stars poised and ready against the post-apocalyptic world is all one needs to know. Mad Max: Fury Road will certainly not be a movie for wide audiences, but for the core fan-base and lovers of pure action cinema, all of the marketing has been hitting the sweet spot.

Friday One Sheet: Marketing Approaches of Cannes vs. Sitges

Two of Europe’s prestige festivals, one king of the art-house world and granddaddy of all film festivals, Cannes, and the other king of the genre-festivals, the equally sprawling Sitges festival in Catalunya, recently put out movie style posters.

Above is the Cannes poster, highlighting (original photo by David Seymour) silver screen star Ingrid Bergman. There is also a documentary on the actress “Ingrid Bergman, in Her Own Words” playing at the festival to mark her 100th birthday. The festival which has been as much about celebrity and opulent life-style as it is about the power of cinema, has recently been issuing posters highlighting icons, from Marcello Mastroianni, Juliette Binoche, Paul Newman, Maggie Cheung, Marilyn Monroe and Faye Dunaway.

Meanwhile, in Spain, Sitges has had an ongoing theme as well, highlighting classic genre films that have lifted or added a bit of class to an otherwise exploitative B-film vibe to many of these films. This year (below) they have highlighted David Fincher’s Seven in their poster, which nicely doubles as a metaphor for film festivals in general, but more particularly genre themed festivals; namely “What’s in the Box!?” Previous sitges posters have highlighted The Shining, Rosemary’s Baby, Blue Velvet, King Kong, Alien and Jaws.

Friday One Sheet: Ran

Much like the dearth of quality cinema in the first few months of the year, quality one-sheets are hard to come by. So for the second week in a row, we go back to a classic image, this for Kurosawa’s last big hurrah, the period-war epic, Ran. The movie was in colour, but this quad poster emphasizes the fog, the scale and the motion with high contrast black and white, blood red accents on the flags, banners and pennants, and a canted angle.


There is something to be said about reducing the colour palette to make a striking. (Even if, in a more recent case, it is just a late career action picture with Sean Penn.)

(Hattip to Tederick Tumbles for pointing out this rare-ish Japanese Quad)

Friday One Sheet: Frankenstein Three Sheet

Got a spare $225000 burning a hole in your pocket? This ultra-rare 3-panel (2 meter long, 1 meter wide) “3-Sheet” poster for the Universal Monster classic, 1931s Frankenstein, is up for auction. It is a ultra-large sized variant of the original one-sheeet design which was only printed in small supply for promotion of the film upon its original release, and all were though lost or destroyed until this one was discovered in the 1970s in an abandoned movie house on Long Island. I’m confident that this is the most expensive “floaty head” poster in existence.

The Daily Mail has more.

Friday One Sheet: Dark Places

This French poster for Gilles Paquet-Brenner procedural thriller, Dark Places is so utterly simple one might be tempted to write it off as merely forgettable. But in a time of over-cluttered, floaty-head designs, simplicity (to to be confused with minimal) is often best. Charlize Theron lays down on a black background either at rest a near fetal position, or judging from the orientation of the photo, possibly ready to spring into action. This is for an adaptation of another Gillian Flynn novel (the poster makes note of this by mentioning Gone Girl in the upper corner.