While trailers are clearly the main means by which movies are advertised, it almost feels like posters have become more important than ever now that they’re basically each movie’s avatar that follows it every time you google the movie or go online to buy tickets. When studios are able to look past the “faces in patterns” format coolness results. For the record, I’m only counting posters that were actual U.S. one sheets, not foreign posters or semi-official art prints. Also, I’m only considering posters for movies I’ve actually seen as I need to be able to weigh if they capture the film’s essence.
- The Birth of a Nation:
The release of Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation didn’t quite go as well as some may have wanted for a variety of reasons but you can’t accuse Fox Searchlight of not at least trying to bring the film to a wide audience. This rather bold poster which, like the film itself, tries to argue that the Nat Turner revolt is weaved into the fabric of American history and the fact that those red stripes look like they’re soaked in blood does make quite the statement.
It would have been easy to try to give Deadpool a more straightforward ad campaign which made the Deadpool character look like a more conventional action hero, but instead they went with an extensive campaign that showed the character in various irreverent lights. This teaser poster in particular is rather… in your face… with that crude sense of humor what with the crotch shot with the phallic pistol. That “wait ‘til you get a load of me” tagline in particular really drives the point home.
If you’re going to do a “photoshop poster” where you add a bunch of character faces, you should probably find a new and interesting way to do it and this poster for High-Rise seems to have done that. The three triangles motif is reminiscent of the poster for A Clockwork Orange and it gives the poster a sleek symmetry and there are neat details from the movie all over the place in the design.
- Knight of Cups:
The title for Knight of Cups refers to the tarot card of the same name and this poster makes the connection between the film and the card explicit. Positioning Christian Bale upside down at the top of the card (a bit like a face card but inverted) against a moon (which I’m sure is also symbolic of something) is striking and the L.A. palm trees underneath give a good indication of some of the film’s actual setting and content.
If this poster isn’t a great visual metaphor for the movie I don’t know what is. It depicts a somewhat clueless looking Anthony Weiner thinking he can march forward with his campaign not knowing that he’s going to march right into his scandalous past in doing so. The image is pretty well made too, really looking like the street he’s marching on and the street covered in tabloid newspapers are one in the same.