Friday One Sheet: The Post

It is no secret, I love negative space in poster design. Here is the key art for Steven Spielberg’s Nixon Era ‘document leak’ movie, The Post, starring Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and a slew of others. The poster offers out of the ‘boxes of all the actors’ hack style poster, and goes for the ‘large steps of an institution’ image, with a tiny Hanks & Streep (facing away from the viewer) dwarfed by those steps. In light of the crisp Helvetica typeface, I do like the included handwritten signature of a release date, particularly because it seems that the story of the film is to obtain that signature to publish the secret government documents.

I have tucked the trailer below the fold to give you an idea of the kind of Oscar-bait America-Feel-Good exercise that the film might be. Cynicism aside, it feels clearly motivated by something like previous Oscar-winner Spotlight (And in the rich history of movies about newspapers, Zodiac and All The President’s Men) and that is pretty fine. It also feels a bit like a spiritual sequel to Bridge of Spies, one of Spielberg’s more underrated recent films.

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Friday One Sheet: In The Fade

A gorgeous one-sheet featuring a gorgeous actress: Diane Kruger. Here she is working with German-Turkish director Fatih Akin examining the after-effects of a terrorist bombing on one woman who loses her son and husband in the attack. It’s difficult, exactly, to tell this from this glittery urban-lit poster, that is as reminiscent of Blade Runner as it is of Old Boy. Maybe the rain makes things seems sad? But the first rule of old-school marketing is sell the star, and this picture does so magnificently. It even drops the laurel in the top left corner indicating Ms. Kruger picked up the best acting nod at this years Cannes festival. And just to show you how much Photoshop is used these days (you know this already, of course) here is Ms. Kruger not in the rain.

Friday One Sheet: Colour Chart [Lady Bird]

Making subtle use of the classic photo colour chart as a border/trim, the new poster for the directorial debut of Greta Gerwig (which was a huge hit at this years TIFF) goes for photographic intensity of its lead actress, Saoirse Ronan, sans freckles. For those who noticed the christian cross and ‘monastery font’ of the original poster, you can see these themes you can see they remain here, although the emphasis is strictly on ‘portrait photography.’ Typically this is the domain of the South Koreans when designing posters, but I like it when it gets adopted on this side of the pond.

Friday One Sheet: Minimalist Medusa [Acrimony]

A minimalist, two colour poster for Tyler Perry’s latest non-Madea film, Acrimony showcases the Greek creature Medusa in stark black against a red field. There is shadow that resembles a curtain, but otherwise the poster favours simplicity. There is no credit block, just the name of the film, the lead actress (Hidden Figures‘ Taraji P. Henson), and the R-Rating logo down in the lower left corner. Note there is another pink (of course, it’s 2017) minimalist, poster with a similar hand-drawn and stenciled look, that plays with what is probably the first act of the film, if the Medusa is the ‘revenge; portion of the film described as, “a faithful wife tired of standing by her devious husband is enraged when it becomes clear she has been betrayed.”

Friday One Sheet: The Killing Of A Sacred Deer

Yorgos Lanthimos Killing of a Sacred Deer is so nice that I had to see it twice, at different festivals on opposite sides of the world. All of the posters for his films have been noteworthy, and while this one is not quite as remarkable as the first poster, which happens to be my favourite one-sheet of 2017, it is a curious design. Upside down, kind of collage-y and I’m not exactly sure if Nicole Kidman’s neck is really that long, or it is just a trick of the eyes with the superposition. But this one is certain to cause double takes if it happens to be hanging at the local multiplex.

Friday One Sheet: Thoroughbreds

Foregrounded text continues to be a dominating aspect of movie posters these days (Since the poster for David Fincher’s The Social Network. But this poster for Cory Finley’s suburban drama, Thoroughbreds uses the two lead actresses eye-lines to create a harmony with the text. While it does feel more like a book cover than a movie poster, it is that distinction that makes it stand out just a little bit.

Friday One Sheet: Ronin

Arrow Video recently gave a deluxe Bluray release of John Frankenheimer’s final feature, and late 1990s adult-action classic, Ronin. While they went with a rather boring de-saturated ‘stack of actors sporting guns’ design for the cover, designer ChungKong released this minimalist, warm toned poster that highlights the French locations while emphasizing the over-sized Macguffin, a large silver case used for transporting ice-skates, at the heart of the ‘late unpleasantness.’

Friday One Sheet: Wonder Wheel

Woody Allen’s latest takes place in New York’s Coney Island amusement park in the 1950s. And this key art delivers a nostalgic glow on the eponymous ferris wheel in the title. It also foregrounds a stern but relaxed (?) and nearly unrecognizable Kate Winslet writing in a journal on the worlds smallest day-bed. The warm glow of her hair is at odds with the severity of her expression. Thus lending the tension, will this film be swimming in rosy nostalgia, or be a darker, deeper consideration of New York’s most frivolous, and often dangerous districts.

Friday One Sheet: The Shape of Charcoal

Fresh off its big Golden Lion win at Venice, its hot-ticket premiere at TIFF, and Opening Film slot announcement at the upcoming at Sitges, Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape Of Water gets this handsome charcoal-sketch poster that is a variant of sorts from the water-colour teaser design. Clearly articulating the ‘Creature From The Black Lagoon’-as-a-love-story angle of the film and wearing its festival laurels in the corner, this one will be an eye catcher when it is hung (hopefully on paper, not on a screen) in multiplex lobbies in December. Me, I will be standing in the rush line in Toronto (hey, I’ve been here all week!) at TIFF hoping to see if the film lives up to its praise, or I will be waiting until December like the rest of you.

Friday One Sheet: Valley of Shadows

The Toronto International Film Festival has gotten underway as of yesterday, and I would be remiss if I didn’t offer one of my favourite posters, for one of my favourite films playing the festival. Valley of Shadows is a gorgeous modern version of a classic fairy tale. The story is basically simple: A boy goes into the deep dark woods to look for his lost dog, but discovers unexpected things in his journey. But the construction is impressively formal in how it conveys its images and tone.

The poster emphasizes what much of the film-making language tries tries to impart. Namely, is the lead character dreaming or is this wandering quest a reality? The large moon, and the long winding river both converge on the sleeping form of the lead character, Aslak. The boy, the dog and a boat offer the beginning of the journey at the bottom of the poster. The colours and texture is all gloomy fog, and imposing wilderness. But what is the most eye-catching is how of a piece, the sleeping body of the boy integrates with the horizon. It’s evocative, and original, like the film.

The trailer for the film is tucked under the fold.

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Friday One Sheet: Minimalism and Text

Here is one way to stand out in a crowd. Take the imagery right out of the poster and go almost entirely with text. Looking like a paperback novel from the 1960s, the key art for Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, Lady Bird only graphic elements are a small crow on a white cross and a series of warm colour bars along the sides. It’s bold in its own way for avoiding the usual faces of the stars of the film (Saoirse Ronan has a particular striking visage). I doubt you will ever see this as a trend – note the missing credit block, which makes this more of a teaser poster than the ‘real thing.’ Nevertheless, I applaud the restraint and taste here. It works.