Posters mean a hell of a lot to the film industry. They can make a real difference when it comes to box office, yet the artistic qualities of a ‘one-sheet’ or ‘quad’ are increasingly overlooked in the modern film industry. A poster was once a great chance for a production company to give the audience a taste for a film’s artistic qualities, yet now most posters contain a generic five-star review extract from some sell-out wank rag reviewer. Here’s two of my all-time favorite posters:
This poster literally screams German expressionism; the distorted angles, industrial straight lines and the urban location add to the expected stylistic cinematic approach. Even though film noir was another twenty years down the road, this poster has the shadows and aesthetics of the genre. Immediately, my eyes are drawn to the face of an intriguing sci-fi character, then it takes an age to drag your eyes up through the central image of the city and up to the bold film title.
This film is an exploration of isolation in an urban setting and you can really see this in the poster. Travis Bickle and his trusty taxi are all alone in New York at night, away from all of the “whores, skunk pussies, buggers, queens, fairies, dopers and junkies”. Although the big apple is a hive of activity at night, the city we are shown is desolate. The simplicity of the image’s juxtaposition and the text is striking and adds to the mood of the film.