I like knowing that I've forged this little niche in blogging about movie posters. I like to think that I'm doing my part for the discussion and appreciation of the artform that I enjoy so much, and that I do so in the face of such flagrant disregard for the process of designing key art for films. I mean, a quick google search will show you that most people who do a similar list to this (usually much shorter) only seem to regurgitate the same few names without even trying to broaden their view. I try to cast as wide a net as possible when i comes to compiling this list, I really do. I search through all the major film festivals to see if any of those difficult titles had some eye-popping designs arrive while I wasn't looking and I try as best as I can to seek out international versions of posters. It's a shame that many truly memorable designs don't get seen until long after a cut off date (a mix of release date shenanigans and general lack of exposure), but I certainly try. The 50 titles below includes several local Australian designs, some films I'd never heard of and that i doubt will ever get any kind of release, teasers and final concepts, and films from America, UK, Thailand, Australia, Japan, France and South Korea. I hope it begins to cover the territory.
Please note that, as always, I have kept the list to films that surfaced this year. None of this 2012 bullshit, yeah? I mean, The Dark Knight Rises' teaser wouldn't have made it on here anyway, but I think it's a bit unfair to titles like Toomelah, If a Tree Falls or L'amour fou to take up space with something that hasn't even been seen by anybody yet. It's bad enough these lovely works of poster design get fobbed off for the likes of Rise of the Planet of the Apes without having to compete with designs for movies nobody has even laid eyes on. Leave that for 2012's list, yeah?
47. If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
45. Daydream Nation
43. We Need to Talk About Kevin
42. A Dangerous Method
40. Martha Marcy May Marlene
39. The Skin I Live In
37. L'amour fou
36. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
35. Father's Day
34. Dream Home
33. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
31. Super 8
30. Scream 4
24. We Need to Talk About Kevin
23. The Ides of March
21. The Tree of Life
For being smutty without being cheap and crass.
For being playful with the film's plot as well as the poster's own concept. Love the detailing.
For embracing the Instagram effect, but doing so with vivid colours and nicely done credit blocks.
16. Albert Nobbs
For actually having some personality, as opposed to the end product.
15. Sleeping Beauty
For being as ornately crafted as the film it's selling. For having the actress actually pose for a poster.
14. A Horrible Way to Die
For teasing the "horrible way to die" through creative typeface.
13. 13 Assassins
For being visually spectacular and a left of centre choice to sell a traditional samurai movie.
12. Meek's Cutoff
For representing the film's more homespun nature. For inventive use of colour and illustration techniques.
11. Martha Marcy May Marlene
For being dark and brooding, alluding to the disintegration of its lead character through text. For evocative colour.
For somehow becoming an iconic, striking piece of cinematic imagery. For playing games with film content.
9. Burning Man
For such eye-popping use of colour, framing and imagery.
8. Don't be Afraid of the Dark
For retro chills and tricks of the eye. Size reminds me Aussie daybills and VHS video covers.
7. Cold Weather
For having the balls to do this whole "minimalism" thing for an actual poster. For being better than most of the others. For having a gallery look.
6. One Day
For evoking romance and dancing perilously close to the edge of a perfume commercial.
5. We Need to Talk About Kevin
For its mad gothic vibe, illusions to past classics (hello Rosemary's Baby and I Walk with a Zombie) and impeccable plays of light.
For its ribald technicolour. For being as rough-around-the-edges and colourfully wacky as the film it's selling.
3. I Saw the Devil
For giving us but a glimpse of "the devil". For reinventing the text-over-image design concept in a fresh way. For actually scaring me.
2. Jane Eyre
For rich and textured imagery. For those unique colours and a truly painterly central pose.
1. Here I Am
For having the most startling and dreamy use of colour of the year. For the juxtaposition. For the mother of pearl. For the defiance. For the intricate simplicity. For the beauty.
And that's that. We'll hopefully be getting to the worst posters of the year very soon as well as some fun "awards" type of stuff just for kicks. Do you agree/disagree with much of the list? Is any of this surprising? What was your favourite of the year? Do speak up in the comments or on Twitter.