Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ranking Woody Allen Posters + Midnight in Paris Meets Van Gogh

The poster for Woody Allen's latest film, Midnight in Paris, has been released at Yahoo and I liked it. It's nothing groundbreaking or particularly ingenious, but I think it's nice and shows at least some artistic thought that was sorely lacking in this department for Allen's films lately.

The poster it obviously reminded me of most of all was Allen's Everyone Says I Love You, another Parisian-set film that featured a poster on the banks of the Seine. This one is obviously better than that one from 1997 since it's not just a movie still with floating block heads chillin' in the sky above. As for this poster, it ranks as one of the better Allen designs as of late, but let's take a look at his entire career for this list of the best Woody Allen movie posters, shall we?

20. Mighty Aphrodite
19. What's Up, Tiger Lily?
18. Hannah and Her Sisters

17. Alice
16. Husbands & Wives
15. Another Woman

14. September
13. Scoop
12. Everyone Says I Love You

11. New York Stories
10. Celebrity
9. Radio Days

8. Hollywood Ending
7. Deconstructing Harry
6. Sleeper

5. Shadows and Fog

Such great composition. Gives a perfect reflection of the kind of film it's selling and does so with a great central image.

4. New York Stories

The only film on this list with two entries is this Allen/Scorsese/Coppola omnibus film from 1989. As you'll see with our #2 entry as well, many foreign Woody Allen posters are far better than their domestic American versions. Why that is, I'm not too sure, although I did like the American one for New York Stories as well (up at #11), just not as much as this delightful Asian design. Of course, both come from a time when the director was as much the star as the actors and cinemagoers new what film directors looked like enough to put them on the poster! You would never see that today, would you?

3. Small Time Crooks

In my Top 50 Posters of the Decade countdown last year I wrote: "Fun visual gag alongside that attention-grabbing silhouette and a silly, but delightful, tagline. Considering the efforts that have gone into some Woody Allen films this past decade ... I think we can safely call this one a winner." And that still stands.

2. Anything Else

Yet another Asian design - Asian posters to me are what Polish/Czech posters are to most others, apparently - and whatta design it is! Love the use of an old New York map, the oddball drawing style and that apple. It all "adds up to something wonderful and almost whimsical (but not in the annoying indie way)." I ranked it as the 12th best poster of the decade.

1. Manhattan

I shouldn't like this poster as much as I do. Not only does it use a movie still, but it lumps it up in the top third of the design and fills the rest with nothing but white space and text. And yet...

And yet... if you're going to do this sort of design concept, this is how you should do it! Picking an instantly iconic slice of imagery for one thing helps and then roughening the edges of it so it doesn't merely look like you put it there and forgot it existed. And, hey look at that! A typeface that is relevant and romantic and dreamy. Can I say that that's my favourite film poster font of all time? Because I think it is. It's just so perfect in every way.

So, dear readers, do you agree? Disagree? What would you say is your favourite Woody Allen poster and where does Midnight in Paris rank?


Fernando Moss said...

I like the Match Point poster...

Walter L. Hollmann said...

Another Woman and Shadows & Fog are great choices. The second especially is a favorite, both in terms of posters and le cinema in general. I'm falling for that new poster. I liked the poster for You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger as well, but I didn't see the movie.

Glenn Dunks said...

Fernando, I thought I did too and then I realised I didn't. They never really got ahold of a solid sell for that movie.

Walter, Do you mean the one with the hand hands over the silhouette of the body? Because that was the only Stranger poster that I recall being anything other than woeful. And, saying that, I didn't like that design either.

Ed Howard said...

The title font TOTALLY makes that Manhattan poster. So great.

For some reason I like that September design, although it doesn't really capture the autumnal look or feel of that (great, underrated) movie at all.

Anonymous said...

I really like the Mighty Aphrodite poster, it reminds me of a Almodovar film.

Glenn Dunks said...

Ed, isn't the font just gorgeous? And while I've never seen September (or even heard much of it), I like the simplicity but that there's also still something "there".

Anon, I know right?! It's rare to see such bold colours.

Ed Howard said...

September is probably the most forgotten film in Woody's career, and very undeservingly. It's a fine film, with one of the loveliest, most moving extended sequences in Woody's cinema. If you're a fan - especially if you like his dramas - it's well worth seeing.

Scot said...

I'm sure everybody has their favorite.
It boggles my mind as to why LOVE AND DEATH wasn't on the list.
Great Poster!

Glenn Dunks said...

The Love & Death poster is a direct photocopy of The General.

Lee said...

Great piece. Although I'd swap the order around a bit, it's pretty much spot-on. Manhattan at number one is 100% correct.