Tuesday, January 29, 2008

TTT: Movie Posters of 2007

tuesday top ten: For the list lover in you and the list maker in me

I know I'm supposed to be thinking about 2008 by now, but I've been extremely busy with corporate work and freelance work. The annual film experience awards jamboree is suffering from the slow crawl. My apologies but I'm only one man. So let's throw out one more category ... or two.

Top Ten Movie Posters of 2007

If I had seen Hannah Takes the Stairs (left) it would have made the list (for my own awards I don't allow myself to nominate films I haven't seen. Even for categories that don't require the seeing. Like "best poster" and "tag line") I really love the color, the composition, whatnot. DIY movies, mumblecore, what have you...these movies aren't supposed to have advertising budgets and terrific posters. How'd they afford it? Was there a crew member involved with a cobweb gathering BA in design?

10 Tease it up! I wrote about the Michelle Pfeiffer Hairspray poster previously. The trend of individual "introducing..." posters is now old hat but I thought this joyous musical was an appropriate one to work that widespread marketing angle. And in Hairspray's case the "who's who behind the do?" poster made punny use of the very idea of a 'teaser' poster

09 Question: Why are international posters so regularly superior to their American counterparts? Have they done research to determine that Americans really like to stare at photoshopped movie star faces that have been awkwardly forced into a frankenstein group candid? It sure seems like they have. Anyway, I like the puzzle / symbol Zodiac poster much more than the vague dark bridge version that we got in the States. It shouldn't be creepier (bright white and all) but it is.

08 The one thing 300 had going for it was the visuals, inspired by and faithful to comic giant Frank Miller. Dig that odd thrusting composition, forcing your eye diagonally up left to a jutting cliff (will a Disney heroine be singing up top?) Then, just as violently, it lets your eye fall with the doomed warriors and a spray of blood. Now I technically know that this is a battle sequence and these are the losers of said battle. But I like to think that it's just an honest depiction of 300's masochism (machismo? just scramble the letters a bit). Watch beefy anthropomorphic lemmings march off a cliff together. Apparently that dinner in hell is tasty.

07 There were some busy posters that tried to convey the collage / multiple identity thesis of Todd Haynes Dylan biopic but the best ones were the near silhouette portraits of the film's stars. The "...is Bob Dylan" and "...are Bob Dylan" tag lines were pleasant complications to ponder while settling into the simple images.

06 It's easy to hold grudges against Bug's marketing campaign for foisted the big lie that a generic horror movie was opening. This secured the movie an OK opening weekend but a lot of walkouts, too... and disgruntled audiences means no word of mouth for future weekends. But away from the commercial (the true fraudulent culprit) the first poster is still a pretty accurate snapshot of Bug's psychological disturbances. And it's memorable too. This is a movie that gets under your skin.

and for the top 5 (i.e. the nominees) "Posters of the Year", you'll have to click over to the FB Awards.


J.D. said...

Have I said that the poster for Michael Clayton is perfect?

'Cuz it is.

Glenn Dunks said...

Michael Clayton's poster was my #2 of the year after American Gangster.

I still don't quite get the love for The Savages. Like, is it only because it's animated? If it were that same design but not animated would anybody give two hoots?

Anonymous said...

as for taglines I personaly like TWBB's best: When Ambition Meets Faith. Its a great summary

Anonymous said...

I loved The Savages posters (both the ones used in the US and UK) - and that Michael Clayton one is stunning. It's Elswitt's out of focus greytones coupled with that stark orange-red which does it for me.

Also loved posters for Into the Wild (all because of Eric Gautier's work really - he knows how to shoot skies really well, and gets the most interesting colours from them), The Darjeeling Limited and Sleuth - and Lust, Caution's palette of browns and use of diagonal lines is just gorgeous. Although the posters used in the UK maybe different to your ones...

Anonymous said...

No poster this year made me more excited than TWBB's teaser poster. So simple and brooding. Gold ink on black, and with that thin red line running vertically down in the center.

Or maybe I was just excited to see the movie moving forward.

Calum Reed said...

My favourite is the 'I'm Not There' poster but the 'Black Snake Moan' one is ace!

Not sure about The Simpsons. It seems kinda obvious to use a doughnut as an 'O'.

Kurtis O said...

Posters are one of my favorite things about the movies. My top of '07 were:
The Bourne Ultimatum
Charlie Wilson's War
Michael Clayton
Across the Universe
Black Snake Moan
Lust, Caution
Margot at the Wedding
There Will Be Blood
3:10 to Yuma (the gay-ish one w/ Ben Foster's stance that you mentioned not long ago).

Props to Planet Terror for being instantly classic, but it's so bloody obvious at this point I had to leave it out. Sick of it.
I found the gross factor of the Bug poster outweighed its art - but its clever for sure.
That Zodiac poster is great, this is my first time seeing it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the Margot poster was briliant too! In fact I want it... now. I'll see if I can get one anywhere online