As soon as I saw this poster for Death Of A President I was smitten with it. Nevertheless it is very un-poster-like – the black and white image is a mess, without any clear composition. People scrambling, looking on in horror, a bald guy pinning someone down in the lower left-hand corner, and to the right another guy frozen in a bizarre, even ridiculous pose. It’s completely unclear what’s happening in this jumble. And that is what makes this atypical poster so good. It illustrates the chaos and confusion created by the murder, the defining event around which the entire movie hinges, and propels you straight in the heart of the action. The type is also a perfect fit. The red, white and blue combination of Bodoni Condensed and Futura Extrabold is reminiscent of presidential campaign posters. (No, I’m not going to link to those. Really. Don’t even ask. ;)
We move from dramatic death to death as a comedic device. This is a good example of the ‘not-quite-enough-information’ image. The poster for Death At A Funeral clearly wants to say something about the content of the comedy, but what is not exactly clear. The end result is a somewhat bizarre image that doesn’t seem to make much sense and altogether isn’t that funny. The movie title was set in a shattered Penumbra – a less obvious alternative to the otherwise inescapable Trajan – which comes in a Sans, Flare and Serif variation.
We’ve had a couple of requests in the past on the Type Identification Board for the letters and numbers that can be found on playing cards. The poster for Lucky You features such characters, which are pretty similar to Boton – a font family for which I fear Albert Boton won’t be getting any royalties anymore, thanks to He Whose Lawyers Fill Up Their Jacuzzis With Champagne. Stymie Condensed and Serifa Condensed are somewhat in the same ball park.
For this version of the poster for Triad Election we see a similar motif to The Sopranos television series logo – a gun silhouette which is used for the Compacta lowercase ‘r’. On top of that the movie logo also has a knife for an ‘i’ and a hand grenade for an ‘o’. The image is very will shot, although a little too conventional…
… when compared to the version we see in Belgium and The Netherlands, a striking stylized illustration in red and black. The beautiful Chinese calligraphy is just icing on the cake. Although nothing can beat the real thing, FontShop also has Chinese in their catalogue for those who are not versed in Pinyin nor Hanzi.
Hey, look, another example of an illustration substituting for a character in the poster for Le Lièvre de Vatanen! This time the ‘V’ has been replaced by… errr… the ears of the hare? Well… <sigh> (Don’t even ask. Again.)
The first thing that came to my mind when seeing this wonderful poster for the Moroccan movie Heaven’s Doors was the art of Eduardo Risso, artist of the acclaimed comic book series 100 Bullets, and also the hybrid imagery of Alex Maleev, Michael Gaydos, and David Mazzucchelli – all in all four superb comic book artists. The high contrast black and white figures in the beautifully textured orange rectangles almost literally jump off the poster. I’ll forgive the use of Helvetica Compressed as it works so well in combination with the strict yet lively rhythm of those rectangles. The palm tree that doubles up as a counter for the ‘O’ in the movie title is a nice detail, and what great use of white as well.
Another very nice poster is this one for Le Dernier Des Fous. The straightforward composition with a slightly disturbing, almost monochrome image in the top big half and reversed out DIN 1451 Engschrift* capitals in the bottom half works remarkably well. It’s not rocket science, but sometimes it doesn’t need to be. *Also check the improved, expanded and immensely popular FF DIN family.
There really is a bunch of good indie posters in this edition. The female figure on the poster for Play almost becomes a silhouette against the backdrop of sunrise over Santiago de Chile, with the sun shining out of her… armpit!? A truly wondrous sight if I ever saw one. :P The reversed out ITC Avant Garde Gothic is neatly touching the white zone at the bottom of the poster. It’s just a real pity that the credits are set in squooshed Futura.
And on the poster for Très Bien Merci it looks like the designer has gone all Jack The Ripper on that same ITC Avant Garde Gothic. The funny thing is that in Dutch having ‘a corner cut off’ means you are quite insane. The main character in the movie ends up in a psychiatric hospital. This is what I call evocative type manipulation. ;)
When I saw the poster for I Could Never Be Your Woman I had this strange sensation that I’d seen it before. Then I realised I’d actually seen it several times, but for other romantic comedies. And indeed, it appears to be a trend. In a matter of minutes I managed to find three more posters with the same alternating horizontal bands of white and pictures, with either a Bodoni- or Didot-type face in red or black. So who knows how many more are there out there? And more importantly, do we want to know? Not only is it not a very good poster, but on top of that it’s not original. The only redeeming factor this incarnation has is that it uses Torino a.k.a. Industrial 736. But that’s too little too late.
23.07.2007 - 23.34.25
Posted by Unzipper
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