Anguish / one sheet / USA

22.03.17

PosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Anguish
AKA
Angustia (Spain - original title)
Year of Film
1987
Director
Bigas Luna
Starring
Zelda Rubinstein, Michael Lerner, Talia Paul, Àngel Jové, Clara Pastor, Isabel García Lorca
Origin of Film
Spain
Genre(s) of Film
Horror
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
"The eyes of the city are mine"

A striking image of actress Zelda Rubinstein (best known for her appearance in 1982’s Poltergeist) for the 1987 horror, Anguish. The film was directed by the Spaniard Bigas Luna (best known for Jamón, Jamón, 1992) and was filmed in his native country. As well as Rubinstein, the film also features the American actor Michael Lerner, but the majority of the cast are Spanish actors playing American. Written by Luna, the film has a fairly original concept which sees a film within a film, featuring Rubinstein and Lerner, unfold in front of a Los Angeles cinema audience. They are then subjected to their own horror attack, seemingly influenced by the film they are watching.

Rubinstein plays the character of Mother in the projected film, which is called The Mommy. For reasons that aren’t exactly clear, she uses hypnotism to control her loner son John (Lerner) and coerce him into killing people then removing their eyeballs. The Mommy features a frankly bonkers hypnotism sequence which apparently has an effect on some of the audience in the Los Angeles cinema. John is shown to visit a cinema showing the classic film The Lost World where he proceeds to attack staff and audience members. At the same time, an agitated man in the LA cinema kills two women working at the front desk before entering the auditorium and shooting at the audience. Eventually the police are called and a hostage scene develops. All the while The Mommy continues to play on the screen.

Anguish doesn’t hold back on the gore and there are a few shocking scenes which serve to keep the audience on edge. Although the concept of a film within a film is not new, the way Luna edits and develops the story gives it a unique feel. It’s certainly worth a watch, despite it’s clearly low budget origins.

The image of Rubinstein in front of a wall of eyes must have been mocked up for this poster as I watched it recently and didn’t see anything like this. It’s possible that there was a deleted scene with it in but it feels too mocked up for that.

Le Cercle Rouge / quad / 2003 re-release / UK

20.03.17

PosterPosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Le Cercle Rouge
AKA
The Red Circle (international English title)
Year of Film
1970
Director
Jean-Pierre Melville
Starring
Alain Delon, Bourvil, Gian Maria Volontè, Yves Montand, Paul Crauchet, Paul Amiot, Pierre Collet, André Ekyan, Jean-Pierre Posier, François Périer
Origin of Film
France | Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Crime | Drama | Thriller
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
BFI Re-release
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
2003
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is a British quad poster for a 2003 re-release of the classic French crime-thriller Le Cercle Rouge, which was coordinated by the British Film Institute. The film was the penultimate release from the legendary French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Melville who was born in 1917 and worked as a fighter in the French resistance during World War II. Melville was infatuated with American cinema and in particular films in the crime and thriller genres. After failing to break into the established French film industry he decided to become an independent, even setting up his own studio in a suburb of Paris. He soon became known for his film noir crime dramas and saw great success with titles such as Bob le Flambeur (1956), Le Doulos (1962) and Le Samouraï (1967). 

Le Cercle Rouge saw Melville reunited with the French superstar actor Alain Delon, who had appeared in Le Samourai, and the cast also included the celebrated Italian-French actor Yves Montand. Other actors in the very male-heavy cast include Bourvil (known by a single moniker), best known for comedy features, and Italian actor Gian Maria Volontè, a collaborator with Sergio Leone during the 1960s. Delon plays Corey, a man with a criminal background who is released from prison, but not before a corrupt guard tells him about an ‘easy’ job that could net him big money. At the same time, the audience also sees a prisoner named Vogel escape from a moving train and evade recapture by Commissaire Mattei (Bourvil).

Eventually the two men are brought together when Vogel happens to climb into the boot of Corey’s car whilst on the run in the French countryside. The two establish a companionship of sorts and Corey details the possible heist. Vogel likes what he hears and suggests a sharpshooter who will be able to help them in the form of Jansen (Montand), a former police officer and noted crackshot. Once plans are in place, the trio pull off the heist in a famous 25 minute sequence in which not a word is spoken by any of the characters. Once the loot is secure the film then follows their attempts to sell it with Commissaire Mattei still in hot pursuit. The film was a critical success despite initially being released in some markets (such as the US) in a truncated version that saw over 40 minutes removed. Today the film is a cult favourite and celebrated as one of Melville’s best films. 

I’m unsure who is responsible for the design of this quad so if anyone has any ideas please get in touch.

Veronika Voss / one sheet / USA

15.03.17

PosterPosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Veronika Voss
AKA
Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss [The Longing of Veronika Voss] (Germany - original title)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Starring
Rosel Zech, Hilmar Thate, Cornelia Froboess, Annemarie Düringer, Doris Schade, Erik Schumann, Peter Berling, Günther Kaufmann
Origin of Film
Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Drama
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Vincent Topazio
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A striking portrait by the artist Vincent Topazio features on this one sheet for the US release of Veronika Voss. The film was the penultimate one by the legendary German director, screenwriter, producer and actor Rainer Werner Fassbinder. It was released the year of his untimely death (he was only 37) and his final film as director, Querelle, was released posthumously the following year.

The film was an entry in what Fassbinder named the BRD Trilogy; three films all focusing on a single female character and set in West Germany following World War II. BRD is an acronym for Bundesrepublik Deutschland, which was the official name of the country during that period. The first of the trilogy, The Marriage of Maria Braun, was released in 1979 and then, rather confusingly, Fassbinder named Lola (1981) as the third film in the trilogy before Veronika Voss was released in 1982. The films have no narrative connection but have thematic consistencies, with all three focusing on a particular woman in a post-war BRD during the ‘economic miracle’. All three of the stories were originated by Fassbinder but the screenplays were written by frequent collaborator Peter Märthesheimer and his then partner Pea Fröhlich.

Veronika Voss is loosely based on the ill-fated life of actress Sybille Schmitz and the titular lead is played by Rosel Zech. Set in Munich in 1955, the film finds Voss struggling to reclaim former glories and unable to win the kinds of roles she played whilst working for the UFA production company during the war. One night she bumps into sports journalist Robert Krohn (Hilmar Thate) who isn’t aware of her past. The pair strike up a romance, despite Krohn being in a relationship with girlfriend Henriette (Cornelia Froboess). Soon he realises that Voss is addicted to opiates that are being administered by a mysterious neurologist called Dr. Marianne Katz (Annemarie Düringer) who Voss believes is caring for her. When Krohn begins to investigate he realises that Katz is actually bleeding Voss of her finances and is keeping her doped up and under control.

The art on this one sheet is by Vincent Topazio and, although it doesn’t feature his unique signature, he is credited for it on the vinyl release of the film’s soundtrack. Very little is known about the artist and there’s barely any information about him online. He looks to have worked on only a handful of film posters, most of which were for independent/arthouse features. Perhaps his most famous poster is the one he worked on for Paul Verhoeven’s The 4th Man.

Adrian Curry highlighted some of Topazio’s work for his Movie Poster of the Week column on Mubi.com. Other titles include the sequel Zulu Dawn and the 1985 American drama Smooth Talk. Curry notes that he believes Topazio was working from the mid-1970s into the 1980s and also created art for magazine editorials. Emovieposter.com has a number of his posters in their archive. If anyone has any more details about him please get in touch.

The Thing / ‘Det er en Slags Ting’ / regular / Mark Englert / USA

13.03.17

PosterPosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
The Thing
AKA
John Carpenter's The Thing (USA - complete title) | Stvor (Serbia)
Year of Film
1982
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David,Charles Hallahan, Donald Moffat, Richard Dysart, David Clennon, Richard Masur, T. K. Carter, Joel Polis, Thomas G. Waites, Peter Maloney
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sci-Fi | Horror
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
Regular
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2012
Designer
Mark Englert
Artist
Mark Englert
Size (inches)
12" x 36"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

John Carpenter’s The Thing, one of my favourite films, has inspired many artists over the years and this screen print by the American artist Mark Englert was created in 2012. Englert, whose official website is here, has worked on a number of landscape format prints (typically 12″ x 36″) featuring scenes from cult films and TV shows. This print for the The Thing was the artist’s first and was created in response to two other prints in a similar style that were done by artist’s Englert admired. As detailed in this ExpressoBeans thread, he owned Dan McCarthy’s Hoth and JC Richard’s Fortress of Solitude prints, which both feature icy landscapes, and was inspired to create a third image to go with them. He chose The Thing and started to mock up ideas that he began posting in the thread. Over time it evolved into something he was happy with and he decided to have it printed.

Englert made it available for sale on his own site as a timed-edition and the final number sold was 232. There was also a variant version nicknamed ‘yeah, fuck you, too’ which featured a glow-in-the-dark ink layer of the giant creature seen at the end of the film. For more details and images of the elements check out this page on Posterocalpyse. On there he talks about his process:

“It’s my first print, but I’ve been making a living doing illustration for over 12 years now, so I was fairly confident I could pull it off. I work in Photoshop, took pictures of some local mountains after a recent snow storm and drew the rest myself, piece by piece. I drew the dog, base and helicopter at a much larger size then they would be printed in the end, so that when I shrunk them down, they would have a comparable level of detail as the picture of mountains they were placed in front of. The movie is a long-time favorite… lots of note-perfect, iconic moments that are carved into my brain and just re-watchable as hell.”

One of his most popular early prints was for The Walking Dead that was released around the same time as an Alien print. Each print is given a name that relates to the property in some way. In this case ‘Det er en Slags Ting’ is spoken by one of the survivors from the ill-fated Norwegian outpost.

Check out this interview with Englert on Collider.com which was carried out at the 2012 Comic Con and they also featured him in their first ever ‘Limited Paper’ column. Englert’s own site features the posters and other items he’s worked on so far, which includes vinyl sleeves and more. There’s a short biography on his website which mentions he was born in 1979. There’s an excellent interview with Mark on 411posters.com here.

He has a store here and you can follow him on Twitter here.

Hanover Street / one sheet / USA

08.03.17

PosterPosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Hanover Street
AKA
--
Year of Film
1979
Director
Peter Hyams
Starring
Harrison Ford, Lesley-Anne Down, Christopher Plummer, Alec McCowen, Richard Masur, Michael Sacks, Patsy Kensit, Max Wall, Shane Rimmer, Keith Buckley, Sherrie Hewson
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Adventure | Drama | Romance | War
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Alvin
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
790064
Tagline
Love hasn't been like this since 1943. | It was a time of courage and honor - of passion and sacrifice. This is the story of two people swept up in that time - who met - and fell in love.

John Alvin artwork features on this American one sheet for the Anglo-American wartime romantic film Hanover Street. The film was directed by Peter Hyams (Outland, Timecop) and was originally intended to star Kris Kristofferson. When the actor pulled out of the project, deciding instead to go on tour with his band, he was replaced by Harrison Ford. Luckily for the production, Ford was already over in Europe as he was shooting Force 10 from Navarone, another World War II-set film. Lesley-Anne Down plays Margaret, a British nurse with whom Ford’s American airman becomes romantically involved. 

The plot is described on IMDb:

During the Second World War, an American Pilot stationed in England meets a young British nurse during an air raid on London. The two instantly fall in love, despite the fact that the young Nurse is already married; a secret she keeps hidden from her American lover. After being shot down behind enemy lines, while being assigned to ferry a British agent into France, the American pilot realizes that his secret agent cargo is in fact his lover’s husband, and that the two must now work together in order to survive.

The film was apparently a reasonable box-office hit, thanks to the draw of Harrison Ford, but was largely critically mauled. It has garnered something of a following in the years since thanks to the well-staged flying sequences that used actual World War II bombers (B-25 Mitchells).

The late American designer and artist John Alvin was responsible for over 135 film poster designs over a thirty year period. Alvin painted many unforgettable pieces of artwork, including Blade Runner and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. The gallery of his posters on IMPAwards gives you an idea of the range of his work. Alvin sadly passed away too early, just shy of his 6oth birthday (in 2008), but his fantastic designs will live on for generations to come.

To see the posters I’ve collected by Alvin click here.

What a Lady You Are… / B1 / Poland

06.03.17

PosterPosterPoster
Title
What a Lady You Are...
AKA
Cózes ty za pani...
Year of Film
1979
Director
Tadeusz Kijanski
Starring
Ewa Borowik, Waldemar Kownacki, Jan Kobuszewski, Boleslaw Plotnicki, Erwin Nowiaszek, Mieczyslaw Hryniewicz, Arkadiusz Jakubik
Origin of Film
Poland
Genre(s) of Film
History | Romance | War
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Waldemar Swierzy
Artist
Waldemar Swierzy
Size (inches)
26 2/16" x 37 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A striking design by Waldemar Świerzy on this B1 poster for the domestic release of the Polish film What a Lady You Are… (released in Poland as Cózes ty za pani…). The film was directed by Tadeusz Kijanski and was one of only three films he helmed. According to IMDb, his directorial career ended a year later in 1980. 

The film’s plot is described on the Polish site filmweb (Google translated)

The film is set during the First World War. Jacob lives in a village on the border of two partitions: an Austrian and Russian. Here marries Magda. When war breaks out, Jacob goes to the front. He must fight not only the enemy, but also Poles from another partition.

The full film is available to watch on Youtube, should you wish.

The late Waldemar Świerzy is considered to be one of the most important Polish designers and artists and it’s estimated he’s worked on over 2500 posters during his career. He was born in Katowice in 1931 and graduated from the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts in 1952. He later became professor in the University of Fine Arts in Poznań from 1965 and Professor in the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in 1994. The artist was one of the key figures in the influential Polish School of Posters a movement to push the level of quality of Polish posters forward which was active for over 30 years, starting in the 1950s. Świerzy won multiple awards during his career and had several exhibitions of his work held over the years. He sadly passed away in 2003.

Polishposter.com has seven pages of his work and this biography on culture.pl goes into great detail about his life and work. Poster.com.pl has another gallery of his work.