Thursday, April 18, 2013

Only God Forgives at Willow Creek with The Bling Ring: Recent Poster Round-Up

Hopefully we're getting back into more regular blogging mode, which means posters! There has been plenty of key art worth discussing in my absence so let's get to it, shall we?

Willow Creek
Let's just get this out of the way: I have no idea what the hell this movie is. I know it's directed by Bobcat Goldthwaite who holds quite a bit of cache in certain circles, although I'm not sure I know anything he's done (I passed on God Bless America since it looked like satire of the most obvious). From what I can tell in this rather exceptional early poster by Alex Pardee, it maybe has a bit in common with the Norwegian film Trollhunter, which came out several years ago and which I did not like at all. Hopefully Willow Creek is better than that. The poster is certainly something to get excited about at least.

Loving the colours, loving the concept, loving the retro vibe. It will no doubt be replaced by something far more generic/ugly/boring/all of the above. Still, if the film proves to be any good then this design will surely remain the go to poster for fans to hang on their wall and for limited edition DVD artworks.

Only God Forgives
The marketing campaign for Nicholas Winding Refn's Drive never really did get it entirely right. Always somewhat at odds with how to balance the film's more mainstream-baiting sensibilities and the more artistic flare that the film obviously revelled in. I have been intrigued as to how the latest collaboration between Refn and Drive star Ryan Gosling would be marketed given that film's infamous struggles (remember the lady that sued the distributor because the trailer was misrepresentative?), and now we get our first look.

Well, okay then. Just like above, I am sure that more designs will come that put Gosling front and centre (a similar problem with The Place Beyond the Pines, actually), but for now we have this rather stunning teaser. Given the film is set in the Asian underworld, I think this is a wonderful representation. It lets out a very specific vibe that no amount of photoshopped actors floating above exotic locales could provide. Bonus points for that tagline - "time to meet the devil".

I'm notoriously fickle when it comes to posters that utilise empty, negative space. More times than not I find it lazy and boring and I can't imagine how anybody would look at a poster that's 80% nothing and go "I want to see that!" However, I think it works well in this (likely festival-only) situation with Bluebird. Perhaps it's because I already know the film's rather stark subject matter and so can see how the aesthetic is representative. But, I do also think that the concept is just really nicely done and the washed out colours are entirely suitable for a film that deals with such grim subject matter as this.

The Exquisite Corpse Project
This is another situation of a very common design aesthetic feeling far less rudimentary as other recent examples. It certainly helps that there's a fabulous sense of juxtaposition in the title and the underneath image of a beautiful blond woman smiling out towards the audience.

I'm not sure the way the typeface has been executed is the best, but then I'm not sure what would have been better, either. There's not all that much to say about it, really. I think the colours are striking and it's certainly a eye-catcher, no?

The Heat
Look, this poster is actually quite lazy and, really, that font is just so boring and laid out in such a terribly yawnsome manner that it's almost easy to forget that I actually giggled when I first saw it.

I like that is has chutzpah, especially for an original property that is being sold entirely on star power. I think the pose of stars Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy is comical enough without being crass or overbearing (hello The Hangover sequels!) and the way it actually gets its message across rather simply with little fuss. The poster is a statement and for a teaser that's more than enough.

The Bling Ring
Oh, how I love this poster! It's so good I'm just going to show it before rambling.

I just adore it. Love it. Covet it. I'm not even going to ramble about the poster since it's is such a divine piece of artwork that if you can't see why it's so good right from the get go then nothing I can say will change your mind. Also: you be mad, yo. Along with Spring Breakers (plus Six Acts, which I have seen at the Tribeca International Film Festival), teenagers - especially teenage girls - are not coming off very nicely this year, are they?

This is rubbish. This is really rubbish. The trailer made this movie look bad enough, I didn't really need this terrible poster to convince me that it's "not for me". Is James McAvoy trying to get something out of his system? Between Filth and Danny Boyle's Trance, which is out now and not a good movie at all, it's as if he's had a shot of cocaine adrenalin and wants to let everyone in on it. Yikes.

I mean, look, I get it, but it's the execution that's way off for me here. It just looks so poorly conceived. AND OH MY GAWD THE HASHTAG IS THE TITLE JUST DIE.

An Oversimplification of Her Beauty
We loved the festival poster for this film so much that it made the number one spot in the year end list (from a rather ho-hum year, which I've noted enough already) and now that the film is getting a theatrical release it has gotten a nice and glossy redo that thankfully isn't entirely appalling. I continue to think that typeface is really interesting and gives this more typical design a slight oomph and an edge that it would lack if they had used, oh, verdana.

The colour scheme definitely echoes that of the wonderful poster for Pariah from 2011, but just because one "urban" drama about women has utilised an aesthetic doesn't mean another one can't. Even then, the colours here are quite rich and liquid, which lends it a really beautiful quality. It's a bit rougher around the edges, but you've got to expect that from such an independent place.

The Night Visitor
I can't tell if I like this or not. Can you help?

Is it too simple? I just don't know. It does, however, have a quality that I think I am responding to. I'm just not sure.

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