Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Festival Madness

Movie posters: I love 'em! In case you couldn't tell, but I think that's a fairly obvious statement. Still, as much as I wish all movie posters were as exciting, colourful, bold, fanciful, interesting, original, and/or invigorating as (to go just from 2012, in no specific order and not saying that they are indeed the best of the year so far) The Paperboy, The Woman in Black, Moonrise Kingdom, Killing Them Softly or Rust & Bone, but they're not. Even if these posters aren't always executed in the greatest of ways (for instance, that poster for Killing Them Softly feels somewhat off), there's the old adage of "it's the thought that counts" and these days a little thought goes a long way in stopping me from hitting myself over the head at the mundanity of it all.

Still, if it's becoming harder and harder to find true gems amongst movie posters, there are entire festivals taking their place. And by that I mean the posters for actual film festivals. They're almost like the next frontier of movie posters in that their designers are allowed to be wild and untamed, colourful and hysterical, bold and out to make an impression. It's exciting to see a new festival poster that is aiming to be as inventive as possible as a means of grabbing filmgoers' attentions away from their stale movie going routines, and the website (imaginatively titled) Film Festival is there to show them to us. I've known of this place for a while now, but a recent online binge of imagery has forced me to share with you some of my favourites. Apart from, say, the Cannes Film Festival or an Alamo Drafthouse series, festival posters are rarely given the time of day, which is a shame given the talent involved that I am sure you will be able to admit is on full display in the examples below. If these were posters for films then people would be positively geeking out of them! Still, if only a few of you turn your attention to them because of this entry - already a few people have done so because of my chatter about it on Twitter - then I guess it was worth it.

One poster that they haven't included (yet) is this fabulous design for an upcoming David Lynch retrospective season at Los Angeles' New Beverly Cinema. Like the poster for the New York Polish Film Festival (second row, third along) that uses distinctively weird Polish iconography, this poster is very much in line with the atmospheric aesthetic of Lynch's film. I love the way it plays with famous imagery, but does so in a manner that isn't trite. The drawing is beautiful and the colouring sublime, designer Todd Spence should be proud.

Don't you think?

The poster there to the right is for the upcoming Sydney Film Festival. The 59th annual runs from 6 June to 17 June in the harbour city up north and while I will not be going - money, money, money, must be funny, living in a rich man's world - I took a look at the program guide for Onya Magazine through the prism of local content. I found some titles that I am definitely looking forward to when they make it to the Melbourne International Film Festival, regular theatrical release of DVD. One title, Rachael Perkins' Mabo is actually a TV movie, but like Philip Kaufman's Hemingway & Gellhorn at the Cannes Film Festival, it's getting a festival premiere. I have a DVD screener here of it that I am greatly looking forward to watching before its TV premiere on Sunday 10 June. The festival, I should point out, has a great poster, don't you think?


Matt Riviera said...

Nice round up! Here are some of my favourites:

Anonymous said...

A lot of these festival posters are fantastic. (The Newport Beach Film Festival and the New Directors posters in particular caught my eye.) I have to admit, I haven't paid a lot of attention to movie festival posters in the past, but this post was a nice little intro. If only most movie posters had half the artistry of those. This year has definitely been an underwhelming one for movie posters, if you ask me (with the exception of Moonrise Kingdom, The Paperboy, the Skyfall teaser, and a few others...) Hopefully, the movie poster is not a dying art art form. Stuff like this gives me hope that it won't all become Photoshopped floating heads, though.