The Art of Movie Posters

I was taking a break from blogging and just browsing randomly last night, and I came across this site that gives out International movie awards annually. It’s called IMP Awards which stands for Internet Movie Poster. How cool is that? I didn’t even know this existed, I kind of found this out the same way I did about Dragon Trailer Award for, well… movie trailers.

I love looking at movie posters, every once in a while there are some that really captured my attention. My hubby and I were thinking at one point to decorate our lower level entertainment room with movie posters, but we’d be arguing too much about which ones to hang in there 🙂 I love, love, love this French poster from Bright Star, more so than the movie itself. How romantic it is to read love letters amidst such gorgeous fields of lilac.

Anyhoo, you can go as far back as 1999 to see what posters have won, and they have a bunch of categories, even whimsical stuff like Creepiest Poster, which fittingly went to Antichrist this year. Hiiih, even the poster itself gives me the hibijibis! It’s interesting that the Best Movie Poster winners for 2008 and 2009 both star the late Heath Ledger: The Dark Knight and Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus (that’s model/actress Lily Cole who plays Valentina on the poster).

IMP Award's Best Movie Poster of 2008 & 2009

I wonder which one they’d pick for 2010. For sure The Expendables poster should at least be nominated, it just looks super cool and clever. I also quite like the one for The Losers which features the entire cast, the angle is pretty unique and has that fun, mischievous feel about it. Not sure if the fact that it’s basically the photography version of the comic book cover would make it ineligible though.

So what about you, folks? What poster(s) caught your attention lately?

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37 thoughts on “The Art of Movie Posters

  1. mcarteratthemovies

    Ick. The “Parnassus” poster makes me feel … dirty and pedophile-ish.

    The “Bright Star” poster captures the second most beautiful scene in the film, the first being Abbie Cornish lying on the white bed in the pink dress with the window open and the breeze blowing the curtain. But then the whole movie was beautiful.

    The new “Nightmare on Elm Street” poster is pretty cool, as is the poster for “Kick-Ass.”

    1. @ M. Carter: Yeah, I’m not too crazy about the Parnassus one, either, it’s just sooo busy. Yeah, the movie is beautifully-shot, I agree, but this particular photo is just so beautiful I can’t take my eyes off it! Oh yeah the Elm Street one is cool indeed, that’s the one with the girl sleeping in the bath tub right? VERY creepy but clever. Yup, I remember seeing the Kick-Ass character posters at Marc’s blog, those are awesome.

      @ Encore: Did you say you don’t like the movie as well, Andrew? Yeah, The Wrestler poster is pretty dramatic too, I quite like that one.

  2. I’m not sure whether it caught my attention but both SEX AND THE CITY 2 posters did scare me a bit 🙂 Do I have to explain why exactly? 🙂 Yep, it has to do with someone’s face and someone going crazy with Photo-shop 🙂

    BTW I like BRIGHT STAR poster, although I didn’t find the movie smelling like violets, it made me sleep after only 10 minutes. But I generally don’t like Campion.

    1. Ha! Yeah, either too Photoshoped or too much Botox, not sure which one is worse!

      My sentiment exactly about Bright Star, it’s so tedious my friends nearly fell asleep as well, though we did manage to watch the entire thing.

    1. Hmmm, I’ve been hearing mixed reviews about Parnassus. I’ll still check it out one day on the count of Heath and the other 3 actors who replaced him.

      Let’s just agree to disagree about the not-so-Bright Star 🙂

  3. I have Casablanca in my lounge, Three Colours: Red and Pulp Fiction in my bedroom and Star Wars along with a load of prints from movies in on the wall as you go up the stair. Obsessed me, never!

    1. That’s cool, Andy. I haven’t got a single poster in my house, yet, though from time to time I’d put a small poster or stills in my office cubicle from an upcoming flick I’m looking forward to. I think the last one I had up was Rocknrolla, that Guy Ritchie is a pretty artistic guy.

  4. Lily Cole in the Parnassus one looks like she’s doing one of those fashion print ads.

    @Encore: The first time I saw the Wrestler poster I thought it was for the Halloween movie.

    @rtm: If you like looking at movie posters, theres also http://www.movieposterdb.com/ which has a pretty big database of movie posters. And theres also this other site http://notamovieposter.tumblr.com/, that has mostly rejected movie posters…but they are also now posting reimaginings and fan designs.

    1. Hi Film Addict, thanks for stopping by! Yes it is quite fashionable indeed. Ha! I never thought about The Wrestler being Halloween-ish but maybe it’s the yellow/orange-y tone that does it.

      Hey thanks for the tip about the movie poster site, never seen that before but I’ll be sure to check that more often. It’s got to be fun to have a job as a poster designer!

      1. Actually its not so much the colours of The Wrestler poster, but the image of Mickey Rourke hunched over the ropes with his stringy hair covering his face. It reminded me of the Rob Zombie Halloween poster where all we see was the silhouette of a stringy haired guy standing in the middle. So then I had thought it was either the Halloween poster which I had not seen or a teaser for Halloween 2.

  5. Love the Bright Star and Parnassus poster myself. It sort of has a hip vibe to it that is so lacking in most movie posters these days (Floating head syndrome)

    1. Yes, that’s why I like ’em Castor, no floating heads in sight in any of them. Lush is what comes to mind when I see the Bright Star poster, but you’re right, I guess in a way it’s quite stylish as well.

  6. Really like that Dark Knight poster.
    Some poster images that stuck in my mind over the past number of years are The Matrix, A Scanner Darkly, Sin City, American Splendor and the poster from the first Spiderman movie.

    In terms of less recent, A Clockwork Orange is one which stands out as a classic 🙂 Jezebel (Classic Bette Davis!) is a great poster too.

  7. I agree with the 2008 pick for best poster but I think Star Trek, 500 Days of Summer or Up in the Air would be much better choices over the Parnassus one. I agree with those above who say its too busy. If you got rid of a lot of the small things happening in there and the border and I think it would be fantastic.

    Great post by the way. The movie poster is highly unappreciated as an art form.

    1. Oh right, Star Trek was definitely different, though I can’t make out what that is at first glance. I LOVE the Up in the Air poster, it really caught my eye the first time I saw it.

      Yes, I think the art of posters and trailers are under appreciated, I don’t know about you but I also love looking at the opening sequence of a movie, some of them like Rocknrolla are very artistic and at times way better than the movie as a whole.

  8. BRUCE LEEROY

    I myself am a poster lover.have been since my cousin had his room covered when we were kids.mostly with the hot chick ones you win at carivals/fairs for dart toss.i have them eveywhere i just put up a v for vendetta and rorshac poster near the bathroom.my living room has my autographed music poster wall.then my movies wall with mp’s of godfather& fightclub.28 weeks later,fear and loathing in las vegas,apocalypse now,salton sea,just added 3 new ones i receved from my ma on xmas.the joker,brittany murphy in sin city and a sopranos poster with tony smoking a cigar with italy in the background.and beautiful canvas framed avatar poster i picked up at blockbuster.

    I’D MUCH RTHER LOOK AT ART OF FILMS I LOVE THEN WHITE WALLS

    1. Hi Bruce, wow you have some eclectic ones there, boy, the 28 Weeks Later is terrifying, you didn’t have that in your bedroom, did you? 🙂 The Avatar one with just half the face of the Na’vi is gorgeous, it has that otherworldly feel about it and the cat eyes just immediately grabs you.

    1. Thanks Ross! For some reason I always make the list on a Tuesday, but hey I’m not complaining! 🙂 Interesting how people get that vibe from the Parnassus poster, yes she’s nude but the whole thing just looks carnival-ish to me which fits the theme of the movie.

    1. Hi Dennis, cool. I just left you a comment on your blog. That Freddie Krueger one definitely should nab a nomination from IMP Award!

  9. Nice blog post and congratulations getting posted on IMDB!

    Oddly enough, I have pretty much all these posters available in the 11×17 versions on my website.

    Warner Bros sent me One Sheets and Mini Posters for the Losers. Too bad the movie opened flat.

    The worst thing that can happen to a poster’s cache and value is for the movie to actually open! How ironic is that?

    Cheers,
    Derek M
    High Exalted Grand Poobah
    DLM Entertainment

    1. Derek

      Great that you’re interested in IMPAwards.com. I’ve been following it for several years and it’s only gotten better. I encourage any poster lover to take a look their extensive back catalog of movies from the 1960’s and 1970’s. I hope they’ll continue listing more titles from early cinema.

      Not that many great posters from this year yet, however the poster campaign from “Kick-Ass” should get notice from the site, as should “I Am Love” (starring Tilda Swinton), in particular their UK Quad. Also, some of the artwork from “The Wolfman”, especially their teaser posters were amazing.

      1. Hi Derek, I’ll be sure to visit that site often now that I know. Yeah, I’m fascinated by how different movie posters are over the years.

        Agree about Kick-Ass character posters, I think those are getting more popular now with superhero flicks. I quite like the ‘I Am Love’ poster with the script font scribbled across, very different. I actually featured the Wolfman posters when they came out as I really dug ’em: https://flixchatter.wordpress.com/2009/12/02/the-wolfmans-posters-trailer/

  10. Richard

    One of my favorites from not too long ago is the poster for My Super Ex-Girlfriend. Poster and tagline were much funnier than the movie.

  11. Good to know about this site, had never heard of it. Love The Dark Knight poster…another great one that springs to mind is “The Matrix.” or “Alice in Wonderland”

    1. Yeah, I’m glad I stumbled upon it. I think they’re getting a lot of hits yesterday because this post was featured on imdb. I love the color of the Alice posters, so vibrant and kinda surreal, though I’ve never been a big fan of the story.

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