Welcome to my movie blog, containing reviews and articles. I've been writing since 2004 - with a short break during 2009.

Poster analysis

I'm at a loss for what to talk about today, so I thought I'd be cheap...I'm simply going to paste in my film studies prep...

Said prep was to find a movie poster, and analyse it in some detail - naturally I spent a loooong time looking before I settled on the one I'd started with. In all cases, I chose films I hadn't seen so my reaction would be that of someone just looking. As you can see, I started in the a section and went on down. Here's some of the ones I liked:

American Dreams - I love this poster. The colour scheme is red, white and blue recalling the American flag. The description of this "future" country invites the reaction "but doesn't that happen at the moment?!" The comment about pop idol is mirrored in the Statue of Liberty - a symbol of the country - which has gone rock and roll. The letter i has a bullet hole above it, subtly suggesting a bit of the plot. Note the director's name isn't as famous as the name of his films, listed at the bottom. The actor's names are blissfully tiny - I hate it when they try to use their star's fame to sell a film (see below) It's a pity the film was (apparently) no good, as the poster was so catchy.

Art School Confidential - What on earth is this one about? I don't know, but I can tell you an awful lot about the tone of the film. Quirky, right? Gotta be with a poster like that. Small-ish names, the biggest face on the poster is a pencil sketch. Again the director is less famous than his films - both odd but acclaimed. The bubble with the names is cunningly placed...

Brick - the fact this is currently holding a heroic fourth place on my "want to see" list may have been behind this decision...I also looked at this one because of the traditional placing - hero+heroine // baddie. But if you look at the heroine, she's formed from the smoke, almost like she's fading and about to fall away. They can't quite touch. It's a plot point - I'm guessing the film will use flashbacks to give the deceased something to do. There's the cigarette, which adds to the noiry-ness. And then there's the telephone box on the corner, isolated and surrounded by oppressive darkness - a single light about to be drowned.

The Bridge - Never heard of it. But the poster is very very striking. At first glanced I thought it'd be a disaster movie - but a check on IMDB proves me wrong. And now I know it's about the various people who jumped off it, I can see how it's just as suitable for that topic. It's a very cold poster, very sad in a way - now the bridge itself is like a metaphor for something none too pretty. The fog is obscuring half of the bridge itself like...I don't know...

Candy - the reason I didn't do this one is that I had very little to say about it; I just thought the colours were pretty.

Children of Men just liked the tagline...

Clerks II - ditto

The Contract - I considered this thriller because the poster is so typical. You know exactly what you're going to get. I can even envisage the trailer perfectly. It's a pretty image, but it's such an obvious choice for the film all subtlty is lost. This includes the tagline and the way the actors names are made BIG.

Conversations with God - I love films about faith, and this poster is lovely. The cloudy background is very natural, magical almost. Whenever I watch Donnie Darko, I doodle clouds for the next few days. There's the box in the head image, like metaphorically sitting down by a golden field is always within us, we just need to unlock it. It uses a lot of evocative words - "truth", "emotional journey", "inspired"...

Conversation(s) with Other Women - this was my second choice after the one I settled on. It won a lot of awards - not at the Oscars, but at film festivals which shows integrity and tempts a certain sort of crowd. I like the addition of the brackets around the S. The thing I liked best is how the poster is split. It took me a while to notice it, but the image is splintered in half creating an odd effect. I'd recommend this to the Eternal Sunshine fans, on the strength of this poster alone.

Eventually, as I said, I scurried back to Tideland which is the one I'd always intended to do. It's an utterly great poster. It's not simply flipped upside down - the girl in the tree is the right way up. It's very disorientating - especially because the brown makes the poster top heavy. If you look in the ground, there's a dagger and statue and possibly a skull - buried like secrets. they're the type of thing a young girl wishes was under her house. As goes that, it seems like it's about to fall straight off. She's wearing rather odd clothing, she's got a disembodied doll's head on her finger and the tree she's in is less than ordinary. Noticably, the biggest name on the poster is that of the director - though anyone who knows anything about him could have guessed without seeing it. The tagline (what the hell does that mean?! TG's taglines are usually great though:
The Fisher King -"A good, old-fashioned story of guilt, poverty, love, madness and free video club membership. " Brazil -"It's about flights of fantasy. And the nightmare of reality. Terrorist bombings. And late night shopping. True Love. And creative plumbing." Time Bandits - "Mercifully free of the ravages of intelligence.") just finishes off the quirky picture. Indeed, the one handy word you can use to describe it is Gilliamesque.

A bit of shameless plugging - is simply the best place on the web to look at posters (i.e. you can't buy, which is a good thing cos I hate sites trying to sell things...

Now I said see below...well, I'm starting a film club at my school (Rule 1 - we do not talk about film club. Rule 2 - we do NOT talk about film club) to save the Adam Sandler generation from bad girly flicks. I'm doing quirky, classic and foreign films that my 12-14 yearolds won't have seen, and if you've got any suggestions please comment. Anyway, I'm showing Edward Scissorhands first and I made a poster to promote the club. Guess what were the largest words on the poster were. It's the name of the guy in the largest photo. I feel tainted! But hopefully the unsubtle "JOHNNY DEPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" will pursuade people to come once...

On Sunday mum+dad had guests so i sat on my own and watched Indecent Proposal. It was awful. It had its moments - the opening and closing shots were pretty, there was the odd nice touch - but it couldn't rid itself of the overall badness. Mr Redford was the only reason I was watching, and he did do a very nice job bringing a human side to a character who could have just been a lech. Still, this wasn't enough to stop myself being bored stiff. Finally, to add insult to injury, Robert Redford had a porn star body double. Was I watching an expurgiated version of the film?! because I don't recall a single shot when he'd have needed one. Verdict: to watch it again, you'd have to offer me a million dollars.


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