It’s the end of the month, so it is time to reflect, relax and rewind our way back through the one-sheets, banners, promotional artwork and posters released in the last calendar month, highlighting some of the ones we though were noteworthy. It’s a little section we like to call Best Posters.
Seems like it’s been a while since we met back here? Almost 3 years, in fact. In that time the site has been abandoned, remixed, revived and now rehashed as we revive this old school column. Posters don’t stop at the mainstream, and time is just an illusion: there’s sequels, revivals, indies, international flicks, and with the importance that Netflix and television have played in the last few years, we’ve now started to expand this poster section out to include the small screen as well. Enough gabbing up top: let’s get to some pictures with our gabbing underneath them.
Alien – Designer: Kilian Eng
Done as part of Mondo’s Alien Day celebrations for the year, it mirrors both of the vinyl soundtrack releases that Eng has covered for Mondo’s limited edition re-releases, including one for Prometheus and another for Aliens. Taking an iconic moment from the 1979 film and literally foreshadowing it with the spectre of the soon-to-be-classic monster. We love the way the twisted surrounds envelop the tiny figures in the centre.
Set to make its debut on the opening-night film of the Cannes Film Festival, Woody Allen’s film is set in the 1930s, and this chic poster instantly evokes that ‘Golden Age’ of art and design. Like the opening credits of one of Allen’s films, the simple font offset against a black background tells us almost everything we need to know about this film.
Chef’s Table: Series 2 – Designer: The Refinery
For the first time, a TV series is included in this column, and why not when it looks this good? The always gorgeously shot Chef’s Table has an equally minimalist piece of abstract expressionism on display here, inviting us to linger long over the lovingly created plates of food we will see in the next season of this impeccable production.
De Palma – Designers: BLT Communications
Filmmaker Brian De Palma’s influence, and influences, are all on display in this appropriate explosive bit of noir that catalogues his career. Noah Baumach and Jake Paltrow’s documentary has been garnering huge buzz, and nods to iconic scenes from Scarface and Mission: Impossible are enough to get us excited about it too.
Doctor Strange – Designers: BLT Communications
If we’re being fair, Marvel’s poster have not exactly been inspiring in their cookie-cutter approach to Photoshopping actors. Not so with the two beautiful posters for Doctor Strange. While not as psychedelic as its companion, the iconic imagery of the Sorcerer Supreme silhouetted against the Seal of the Vishanti in his Sanctum Sanctorum makes this one of our most anticipated superhero films of the year.
Frankenstein Created Bikers – Designer: Tom Hodge (The Dude Designs)
What is not to love about this new poster for the long-gestating exploitation flick? We actually featured the original Tom Hodge (The Dude Designs) print all the way back in 2012 (and again in Best Posters of June 2012). While not quite as exploitative as “outlaw bikers riding forth from out from between a girls fishnet suspendered thighs,” it’s a classic and cheesy throwback to the 1970s that still revs our engines.
The Girl on the Train – Designer: BOND
A seemingly minimalist poster with a hell of lot going on. Based on the psychological thriller novel by British author Paula Hawkins, the incredibly pale skin forms a striking centrepiece to the swept hair and dress, with the zipper playfully doubling as the titular train.
Goldstone – Designer: Carnival Studio
Australian designers Carnival Studio previously did the art for Ivan Sen’s Mystery Road, the forerunner to this sequel that is set to open the 63rd Sydney Film Festival. It follows their previous work thematically, using an artificially heightened version of the outback landscape that they have favoured on posters for Satellite Boy, for example.
It’s Only The End of the World (Juste la fin du monde)
It’s going to premiere at Cannes this year, and anything from Xavier Dolan will be highly anticipated. The cast alone and intriguing tagline have us interested, but the ethereal shot of eyes covered by an unseen person has out attention.
Jason Bourne – Designer: Concept Arts
Matt Damon’s return to the Bourne franchise is something to get very excited about. This poster makes the cut because of its unabashed simplicity in the face of that excitement: Universal knows that Damon and Bourne have become as iconic as James Bond in the 21st century, so much so that they are borrowing a similar tagline from his spiritual forebear.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle – Designer: Empire Design
The original film was one of the delightful early surprises of 2015, and what this poster does right away is acknowledge the existing fans in strikingly minimalist way. It not only conjures up a character perfectly, but teasingly hints at a seemingly impossible return.
Don Cheadle’s highly acclaimed film on Miles Davis naturally has a poster as jazzy as the man’s music. Each of the colourful shapes is made up of a quote from a contemporary musician, from Mike Patton to Johnny Greenwood. Even if this does have a complete indecipherable Kanye quote, this poster is smooth, man.
(Bad) Neighbo(u)rs 2: Sorority Rising – Designer: LA
The surprisingly good Neighbors (or Bad Neighbours for those of us in Australia) was a comedy gem, and this Mondo-style poster elevates the sequel to something normally reserved for classic status. Some more shirtless Efron would be nice though.
The Red Turtle (La Tortue Rouge)
We thought the red turtle was Raphael, but it turns out it is Japanese animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli’s first foreign language film. Directed by Dutch filmmaker Michaël Dudok de Wit, the animated film tells the tale of a man stranded on an island forming a relationship with a giant turtle. The latter is nowhere to be seen on the poster, which is one of the many charms of this minimal and gentle stroll along the beach, a scene Miyazaki himself would be proud of.
Kelly Duane de la Vega and Katie Galloway’s film is an examination of prisoners released from jail following California passing Proposition 36 in 2012, overturning the onerous “three strikes” laws. It’s a powerful image that accompanies the promotional art, suggesting the revolving door system that divides the “free world” along class and racial lines.