Reading Sight and Sound this morning I came across an article on Polish Film Posters. I’d been introduced to this a few months earlier at the monthly BFI film quiz in a fatal picture round. The concept is that all imported films have their posters designed by national artists. Free from commercial restraints, the designers can indulge in thematic abstraction, or even childlike simplicity. A few exhibitions run by Cinephilia have run over the last couple of months.
Then – reading The Independent this afternoon – I came across a like-minded article on the recent surge in graphic designers uploading their own interpretations of classic films (in poster forms) to the internet, to boost their own portfolios. They hark back to Bob Peak or channel Saul Bass and almost give the films they promote a moment of freshness, as if they are to be released this very weekend and the entire world would experience them anew.
It’s such a progressive and productive notion, and one that surely can’t be too harming to the film industry, to give movie posters the space and liberty to transcend into something more artistic – of a much higher caliber than the increasingly similar output mainstream currently provides. As Tim Walker noted, “Modern movie posters tend to follow a fairly banal formula…red and white for rom-coms, or cool blue juxtaposed with explosive orange for action blockbusters”.
Here’s a few examples of what could potentially decorate our billboards, provoking awe and thought, rather than our actor-filled, tag-line centered tosh…
and my personal fav, Ibraheem Youssef