Mar 9, 2007

The joy of a beautiful film poster

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Poster boy: Will Oldham, star of Old Joy.

It's not often, nowadays, that a film poster will stop you in your tracks. Make you want to watch the movie without even knowing what it is about, who it's starring or whether the critics thought it worth its salt in stars. The last time it happened was standing in a bus stop in Sydney, when I turned to see the slippered feet and hairy legs of a dressing gown-clad man dangling below the simple, white type of Lost In Translation. I immediately knew I wanted to watch that film before even making a solid connection with Bill Murray and Sofia Coppola and Scarlett Johansson.
Browsing the Solace in Cinema blog today, that very thing happened again when I came across their post on the Old Joy film poster. I was about to tell you that the film stars Will Oldham aka anti-folk artist Bonnie Prince Billy. But forget that. Look at the poster, drink in its clear colour and subtle design, and let that motivate you.

I agree with Ryan Gilbey that the art of poster collecting is rather futile now, with the brilliant designs of days gone by - from Apocalypse Now to Taxi Driver - reduced to little more than a fight for space between garish images and hyperbolic straplines. As Solace In Cinema says, the Old Joy poster makes a refreshing change from the floating heads and terrible fonts you come to expect from today's designers. And maybe its Coppola's photographic film shot that makes the Lost In Translation poster so tantalising, rather than the design itself. But are these just rare flashes of creativity, or are there other film posters from recent releases that have blinded you to all else but the art?

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