You Searched For: B1

Porco Rosso / B1 / Japan

30.01.14

Poster Poster
Title
Porco Rosso
AKA
Kurenai no buta (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
1992
Director
Hayao Miyazaki
Starring
Shûichirô Moriyama, Tokiko Katô, Bunshi Katsura, Greg Ellis, Tsunehiko Kamijô, Akemi Okamura, Akio Ôtsuka, Hiroko Seki
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Shûichirô Moriyama, Tokiko Katô, Bunshi Katsura, Greg Ellis, Tsunehiko Kamijô, Akemi Okamura, Akio Ôtsuka, Hiroko Seki,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1992
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Studio Ghibli
Size (inches)
28 12/16" x 40 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the scarce B1 size Japanese poster for the release of master animator Hayao Miyazaki‘s 1992 film Porco Rosso. Originally planned as a short feature to be played onboard Japanese Airlines flights, and based on Miyazaki’s manga The Age of the Flying Boat, the scope of the project changed and it was made into a full-length film. When compared to other Studio Ghibli films, Porco Rosso is set in more recognisable ‘real world’ locations, including islands off the Adriatic coast and the Italian city of Milan (even if it’s topographically inaccurate).

The film is set between the two World Wars and focuses on the story of the titular pig, actually named Marco, who pilots an armed flying boat which he uses to defend ships and other planes against bands of pirates who attack and steal valuables from unlucky travellers. A backstory explains that Marco was once a human pilot for the Italian airforce but it is intimated that he deserted from it at a certain point – one sequence sees him recalling an dogfight that saw all of his squadron killed – and for reasons that are never made clear he was turned into a pig (one character talks about a ‘curse’). When a cocky American pilot joins forces with the pirates he goes after Marco, shooting his plane down and then claims to have killed him. The pig survives the crash and transport his damaged aircraft to Milan where an engineer named Piccolo and his niece work to repair and improve it. When Marco and Piccolo’s niece return to the islands the stage is set for a dogfight between Curtis and the flying pig.

This B1 features an image of a photograph that is glimpsed in the film and explained by one character to be the last surviving photo of Marco as a human (the scribbled face at the top). There are several theories that fans of the film have posited about Marco’s appearance with some saying that it’s meant to be taken figuratively, that he sees himself as a pig and has taken that form in his mind, whereas others point to the fact that you glimpse him morphing into a human during one scene and another character apparently sees him change back to human at the end. Whatever the truth, he makes for an entertaining lead character and the film is another Studio Ghibli triumph.

The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen / B1 / Japan

11.07.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Terry Gilliam
Starring
John Neville, Sarah Polley, Eric Idle, Jonathan Pryce, Oliver Reed, Uma Thurman, Robin Williams, Peter Jeffrey
Origin of Film
UK | West Germany
Genre(s) of Film
John Neville, Sarah Polley, Eric Idle, Jonathan Pryce, Oliver Reed, Uma Thurman, Robin Williams, Peter Jeffrey,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
28 12/16" x 40.5
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the scarce Japanese B1 for the release of the 1988 fantasy comedy The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, which was co-written and directed by Terry Gilliam. Based on the tall tales that the real-life 18th century German Baron Münchhausen allegedly told about his wartime dealings with the Ottoman Empire, the film is a riotous exploration of the power of storytelling and imagination. Gilliam plucked the veteran actor John Neville, in his early sixties at the time, from near obscurity to play the titular Baron who teams up with a young girl and a whole host of bizarre characters to save an unnamed European city from defeat by a besieging Turkish army. 

Actress (and recently director) Sarah Polley appears in her first screen role as Sally Salt, a member of a theatre troupe that has been touring the country showing farcical reconstructions of Munchausen’s supposed adventures. At one show the real Baron arrives into the theatre just as a Turkish army appears outside the city walls and begins to attack. What follows is a madcap mix of improbable, recollected tales and daring adventures as the Baron takes Sally on a journey to gather together his old gang of associates, including the fastest runner in the world (Eric Idle), a giant strongman and a dwarf able to expel powerful gusts of wind that can knock tens of people over. Their journey takes them to the moon where they encounter the eccentric King of the Moon (a memorable cameo from Robin Williams), into the crater of an active volcano where they meet the Roman God Vulcan (Oliver Reed) and his wife Venus (one of Uma Thurman‘s earliest film roles) and inside the belly of a giant sea monster, before they head back to the besieged city to rescue it from certain defeat.

Featuring a number of notable actors, often in dual roles that reflect the film’s clever play on the idea of fantasy and reality, the story is never anything less than entertaining and the action on screen completely belies the ridiculous behind the scenes travails that Gilliam went through to bring his vision to life. The film suffered a number of setbacks during its production, including a budget that more than doubled and a change of management at the studio that almost saw the film cancelled entirely (production was shut down for several weeks). The film was eventually practically dumped into cinemas in the States with a limited release that saw a corresponding lack of box office takings, and this was despite strong critical reception. It faired better in Europe but was unable to recoup its reported budget of over $45 million.

This psychedelic design is unique to this Japanese B1 and is markedly different to the equally trippy B2 poster.

 

Moonrise Kingdom / B1 / Japan

17.12.13

Poster Poster

Wes Anderson‘s superb Moonrise Kingdom was my favourite film of 2012 and is arguably the director’s best to date (although I’d have a hard time justifying picking this over Rushmore). The film is set on a fictional New England island in the 1960s and follows the exploits of a pair of young lovers who decide to elope (her from home, him from scout camp) and trigger a series of events as the islanders set out on the hunt for them. The pair at the centre of the film (as depicted on this poster) are played by two unknowns, Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman, and are surrounded by Anderson regulars, including Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman, as well as a handful of first-time collaborators like Bruce Willis and Edward Norton.

This Japanese B1 poster is markedly different from the American one sheet but this posed image of the characters, created especially for the marketing campaign, was also used on several other international posters, including the British quad.

Jessica Hische is responsible for the design of the typography that was used on the posters (only the title of which features on this B1) as well as the credits during the film itself. Hische is a multi-talented letterer and illustrator who has worked on projects for advertising, editorial, branding and books. Her official website features a biography as well as an extensive portfolio of her work. The site used to have a page on which the designer wrote about her involvement in the project:

“I worked directly with Wes and his small team of co-producers to bring his vision to life. […] The initial direction was based on Ed Benguiat’s Edwardian Script, but the direction shifted toward something more hand-hewn looking and lightly referencing titles from a Chabrol film. I was hired to create the 20 or so credits in the beginning of the movie, and a typeface to be used for the end credits. I ended up creating two fonts—a display and a text weight of the same typeface. […] Working with Wes was an absolute dream and I was amazed and impressed at just how involved he is with every aspect of his films.”

The trailer for the film is on YouTube and if you’re yet to see the film I strongly urge you to hunt down a copy of it ASAP, with the only caveat being that if you’re not a fan of Wes Anderson’s output then this film will not convert you!

The Empire Strikes Back / B1 / advance / Japan

04.11.13

Poster Poster

This is the B1 advance poster for the Japanese release of The Empire Strikes Back, which by 1980 was one of the most anticipated sequels in the history of cinema following the continuing international success of George Lucas’ original Star Wars (1977). This image of bad guy Darth Vader’s helmet was also used for the North American advance one sheet and is a photograph of a prop helmet created to be worn by Dave Prowse in the original trilogy. The photo shoot for this poster was apparently done by the respected poster designer and artist Bob Peak, who was responsible for many classic 70s and 80s posters, including Apocalypse Now, The Spy Who Loved Me and Superman.

This image was only used for the B1 size Japanese poster, with a photographic montage being used for the standard B2 whilst Noriyoshi Ohrai was responsible for the artwork on the superb alternative style B2, which was also printed as a B1 size poster.

To see more posters by Bob Peak in the Film on Paper collection click here.

 

Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia / B1 / re-release / Japan

27.04.15

Poster Poster
Title
Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia
AKA
--
Year of Film
1974
Director
Sam Peckinpah
Starring
Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Robert Webber, Gig Young, Helmut Dantine, Emilio Fernández, Kris Kristofferson
Origin of Film
USA | Mexico
Genre(s) of Film
Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Robert Webber, Gig Young, Helmut Dantine, Emilio Fernández, Kris Kristofferson,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1994
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
28 2/16" x 40.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Japanese B1 poster for the 1994 re-release of the late American director Sam Peckinpah‘s (The Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs) Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. Following the horrendous experience he’d had making Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, which had suffered multiple production setbacks and ultimately saw the director and studio (MGM) part ways, Peckinpah decided to make his next film on a low budget and hopefully free from interference. He was to have his wish come true and claimed before his death that it’s the only one of his films that was released in its intended form. The screenplay was written by Peckinpah and Gordon Dawson and the main character played by Warren Oates is now seen as a thinly-veiled self-portrait of the director himself (apparently the actor even borrowed a pair of the director’s sunglasses).

Set in Mexico, the story sees a bounty put out on a the titular character after he impregnates the young daughter of a powerful man known as El Jefe (Emilio Fernández). The $1 million prize sparks the interest of a number of bounty hunters who set off to track Garcia down. Eventually two of them enter the dive bar where Bennie (Oates), a retired American Army officer, is eking out a living. Bennie believes he might be able to track down Garcia so when his girlfriend, the prostitute Elita (Isela Vega), reveals that the man died in a car crash after leaving her bordello, he makes a deal with the bounty hunters to track down the body and bring it to them. He and Elita set off to find Garcia’s grave but they’re not the only ones in pursuit and it’s not long before Peckinpah’s trademark violence is visited upon Bennie and everyone else involved.

In most scenes you can practically smell the alcohol and sweat emanating from Warren Oates and it’s almost certain that he was well lubricated throughout filming. Sadly for Peckinpah, the film was roundly trashed by critics (with a few notable exceptions like Roger Ebert) and was also a box-office failure at the time. It has, however, cultivated a cult following in the years since and has received more favourable contemporary reviews. Many fans of the director see it as the last true Peckinpah film released.

This poster was printed for the re-release in Japan that was marking 10 years since Peckinpah’s death from heart failure in 1984. I’ve only ever seen it in B1 format but it’s possible that a B2 poster exists for this release.

Being There / B1 / Japan

11.09.17

Poster Poster
Title
Being There
AKA
--
Year of Film
1979
Director
Hal Ashby
Starring
Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, Jack Warden, Richard Dysart, Richard Basehart, Ruth Attaway, David Clennon
Origin of Film
USA | West Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, Jack Warden, Richard Dysart, Richard Basehart, Ruth Attaway, David Clennon,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
28 12/16" x 40 9/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
a story of chance

This is the Japanese B1 poster for the release of Hal Ashby‘s 1979 comedy-drama Being There. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Jerzy Kosiński, who was also involved in the initial effort to craft the screenplay, with an uncredited Robert C. Jones. Being There was the penultimate film for the legendary British comedy actor Peter Sellers who would pass away only a year after its release at the untimely age of 54.

Sellers plays Chance, a simple-minded gardener who has lived and worked in the same Washington DC house since he was a young boy. He has never left the house, is unable to read or write and everything he has learnt has come from the TV set in his bedroom. When the owner of the house passes away, Chance is forced to wander the streets wearing the tailored suit of his old employer, unsure what to do next. An accidental encounter with the Eve Rand (Shirley MacLaine), the wife of the elderly billionaire business mogul Ben Rand (Melvyn Douglas), sees him transported in a limousine to the sprawling residence of the Rands. There he meets Ben who mistakenly assumes him to be Chauncey Gardener, a cultured and wise gentleman, who endears himself to the mogul. Rand mistakes his simple proclamations about gardening to be deep metaphors about the state of the economy. Chance even meets the President (Jack Warden), a friend of Rand’s, and influences a major speech he makes. Eventually people around Rand and the President begin to investigate Chauncey Gardener’s background, whilst Ben Rand’s health begins to fail and Eve becomes smitten with Chance.

The film was a critical success and was award-winning, with Sellers being given the Golden Globe for Best Actor (Musical or Comedy) and Melvyn Douglas snagging the Best Supporting Actor at the 1980 Academy Awards. The Rand’s home was the incredible Biltmore Estate in North Carolina.

The artwork on this Japanese B1 also featured on an international one sheet and the the German poster. I’m unsure who is responsible for the art so if anyone has any ideas please get in touch.

Godzilla 2000 / B1 / Japan

12.01.15

Poster Poster
Title
Godzilla 2000
AKA
Gojira ni-sen mireniamu (Japan) | Godzilla 2000: Millennium (alt. longer title)
Year of Film
1999
Director
Takao Okawara
Starring
Takehiro Murata, Hiroshi Abe, Naomi Nishida, Mayu Suzuki, Shirô Sano
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Takehiro Murata, Hiroshi Abe, Naomi Nishida, Mayu Suzuki, Shirô Sano,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1999
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
28 11/16" x 40.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Japanese B1 for the release of Godzilla 2000, the twenty-third film in the series featuring the King of the Kaiju (giant monsters). The film was also the first release in the third generation of Godzilla films, which is known as the Millennium Series. Studio Toho decided the film would be a reboot meaning it had no continuity with earlier films in the series, except for the 1954 original.

Set in 1999, we learn that Japan has suffered other Godzilla attacks since the 1950s and the Godzilla Prediction Network (GPN) was formed in response by scientists who aim to predict his next landfall. In 1999 he appears at the same time as the Crisis Control Intelligence (CCI) find a mysterious rock-like object at the bottom of the Japan Trench which takes off during an operation to salvage it. Godzilla follows and is blasted by the object causing him to retreat, but not before his atomic breath causes the rock to break open revealing an unusual blue alien craft.

The craft flies to Tokyo and begins to download information from the city’s computer network as the aliens try to discover more about Godzilla’s regenerative properties, named by the GPN scientists as Regenerator G1. When Big G arrives and once again attacks the craft, the aliens steal some of his DNA during the battle and use it to attempt to reform themselves as a giant Millennian. Unfortunately Earth’s atmosphere is different to their own and the creature mutates into the hideous gigantic Orga and begins a final battle with Godzilla.

The film featured a new design of for the famous beast with a notably meaner looking face and large scales on his back, replacing the tired costume used for previous films in the series. Godzilla 2000’s relative success at the Japanese box-office saw Columbia Tristar decide to release the film in the US (the last Japanese Godzilla film to get a cinema release was Godzilla 1985). The distributor decided to edit the film for pacing reasons and removed about 8 minutes from its running time, whilst also completely re-editing the sound design and also injecting quite a bit of humour into the dubbed script. Unfortunately, poor box-office receipts meant that future entries in the Millennium series were released straight to DVD in the States.

The trailer for the US release can be viewed on YouTube.

 

Japan and Monsters / B1 / Poland

25.09.15

Poster Poster
Title
Japan and Monsters
AKA
Japonskie Potwory (Polish title)
Year of Film
2011
Director
N/A
Starring
N/A
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
N/A,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
2011
Designer
Ryszard Kaja
Artist
Ryszard Kaja
Size (inches)
26 13/16" x 38 9/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The King of the Kaiju, Godzilla, dominates this poster for a 2011 event at the Teatr Napiecie in Lodz, Poland, that was called Japonskie Potwory, which translates literally to ‘Japan and Monsters’. As you can probably guess it was an evening celebrating Japanese monster movies on the big screen.

The poster features the signature of Ryszard Kaja, a Polish artist who was born in Poznań and later studied at the noted Academy of Fine Arts in the same city. After graduating from the painting course under professor Norbert Skupniewicz, he began his career as a stage designer and was soon creating sets for theatres across Poland and abroad. As well as the scenery Kaja also designed the costumes for various productions. He would later win the Golden Mask award for his theatrical work.

His father was noted poster designer, and member of the celebrated Polish School of Posters, Zbigniew Kaja who worked on hundreds of posters during his career, so it was only natural that Ryszard continued the family tradition. He has worked on book illustrations, theatre programs, posters for film, and recently a series of tourism posters celebrating Polish cities and landmarks. There is a page about him on the Polish Wikipedia that has more details (use a browser translator) and Poster.pl has several pages of his work on display. Polishposter.com has several pages worth of his designs and Pigasus also has a number of his posters on display.

Rosemary’s Baby / B1 / hands style / Poland

03.09.15

Poster Poster

This is one of two posters that were printed for the release in Poland of Roman Polanski’s 1968 horror masterpiece Rosemary’s Baby, which didn’t take place until 1984. The film, based on a 1967 novel of the same name by Ira Levin, stars Mia Farrow as the titular young housewife who moves into Bramford, an opulent but fading apartment block, with her actor husband Guy (John Cassavetes). At first all seems well, despite Guy struggling to find work, but when another young resident dies in strange circumstances the pair meet elderly neighbours Minnie and Roman Castevet (Ruth Gordon and Sidney Blackmer) and are invited for dinner.

Soon afterwards Rosemary begins to have strange dreams and hears weird noises from inside the building, whilst Guy begins to spend more time with the Castevets. When Rosemary falls pregnant she begins to suspect that all is not as it seems and a friend of hers called Hutch (Maurice Evans) confirms that the building has a shady history and is concerned for her health. Soon after warning her of the possibility that a satanic group are active in the building Hutch falls into a coma and later dies. When the baby is due to arrive, Rosemary comes to learn the truth and sees that Guy had betrayed her to the satanic group for the sake of his acting career. The ending, which is one of the most infamous in horror film history, is still as disturbing today as it was in 1968. 

The film was a huge critical and commercial success, earning over $30 million in the US alone, which wasn’t significant considering it had a budget of around $2.3 million. Polanski had already been lauded for Repulsion (1966) but it was this film, his first Hollywood production, that really shot him to international stardom. Sadly, a year after its release his wife Sharon Tate and four others were murdered by the psychotic Charles Manson and his gang and it would be three years before his next film was made.

This poster was designed and illustrated by Andrzej Pagowski, a prolific film poster artist who was born in Warsaw in 1953 and studied at the celebrated University of Fine Arts in Poznań, graduating in 1978 under the tutorship of the noted artist Waldemar Świerzy. In 1990 he started his own graphic design studio called Studio P, which he developed into an advertising agency by 1993. According to the biography on his official site, Pagowski has illustrated over 1000 posters during his career and has also done work for books, magazines and music covers. In addition, he is also a TV and theatre stage designer and a screen writer. Undoubtedly a man of many talents! His official site features an extensive gallery of his work, including several of the posters. Polishposter.com also features multiple pages worth of his movie posters and this culture.pl article is well worth a read too.

Księżniczka / B1 / Poland

21.08.15

Poster Poster
Title
Księżniczka
AKA
Adj Király Katonát [Give the King Troops] (Hungary - original title) | The Princess (English translation of Polish title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Pál Erdöss
Starring
Erika Ozsda, Andrea Szendrei, Denes Diczhazi, Árpád Tóth, Júlia Nyakó, Lajos Soltis
Origin of Film
Hungary
Genre(s) of Film
Erika Ozsda, Andrea Szendrei, Denes Diczhazi, Árpád Tóth, Júlia Nyakó, Lajos Soltis,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Maciej Woltman
Artist
Maciej Woltman
Size (inches)
26.5" x 38.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A striking image features on this Polish poster for the release of the obscure Hungarian drama Adj Király Katonát (literally ‘Give the King Troops’), which was titled as Księżniczka (Princess) for its Polish release. I’ve struggled to find out much about the film other than it was the directorial debut of Budapest-born Pál Erdöss who worked on 17 films right up to his death in 2007. The film is available to view in full on YouTube should you so wish.

The poster was designed by Maciej Woltman, a Polish artist who was born in 1952 and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań under the professor (and artist in his own right) Waldemar Świerzy for posters and illustration and under John Świtki for painting. After graduating in 1982 he began to work with the film poster outfit Polfilm and worked on plenty of film posters as well as other illustrations for editorial content and commercial projects. The Polish encyclopaedia site Pomeranica lists a large number of exhibitions that he has held over the years. He also practices as a fine artist and some of his paintings can be seen on this page on Galeria Kapitanska and on this site.

Other film posters Woltman has worked on include those for Gandhi and Star 80.

The Terminator / B1 / Poland

03.08.15

Poster Poster

James Cameron’s seminal sci-fi classic The Terminator celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and it cannot be overstated how much of an impact the film has had on cinema and culture in general. The careers of Cameron and star Arnold Schwarzenegger were given stratospheric boosts (not so much poor Michael Biehn) and the concepts of time-travel, and killer cyborgs will forever be tied to what would go on to become the Terminator franchise. The film is also arguably the original 80s action blockbuster and would be followed by a slew of increasingly more muscular, explosive flicks starring the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Wills and, of course, Arnie.

The US poster features an iconic photograph of Arnie alongside a lengthy tagline, whilst the UK quad went for an illustration depicting a battle-damaged Terminator showing the endoskeleton underneath. This poster for the Polish release of the film features a stylised silhouette of Arnie as the Terminator with coloured circles, some of which represent the red eyes of the Endoskeleton underneath.

The poster was designed by the celebrated Polish artist Jakub Erol who was born in Zamość in 1941 and graduated from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts in 1968. He worked as a prolific poster artist for over 25 years and designed several iconic images for both Polish and American films. Some of his other poster highlights include the bizarre image he conjured up for Ridley Scott’s Alien and the Polish poster for Robocop. One of his best, in my opinion, is the skull-style poster he created for the release of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The Polishposter.com website features many of his designs, several which are for sale, and the Polish cinemaposter.com website also features three pages of his work. This list of his designs on the same website gives you an idea of how prolific an artist he was.

Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion / B1 / Japan

06.07.15

Poster Poster
Title
Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion
AKA
Gamera 2: Region shurai (Japan - original English title)
Year of Film
1996
Director
Shûsuke Kaneko
Starring
Toshiyuki Nagashima, Miki Mizuno, Tamotsu Ishibashi, Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Ayako Fujitani, Hiroyuki Okita, Yûsuke Kawazu, Yukijirô Hotaru, Hatsunori Hasegawa
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Toshiyuki Nagashima, Miki Mizuno, Tamotsu Ishibashi, Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Ayako Fujitani, Hiroyuki Okita, Yûsuke Kawazu, Yukijirô Hotaru, Hatsunori Hasegawa,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1996
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
28 12/16" x 40 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion is actually the 10th film to star the turtle-esque daikaiju (giant monster). The first film in the Showa period, entitled simply Gamera, was filmed in black and white in 1965 and released a year later in the US as ‘Gammera the Invincible’. Subsequent films during the Showa period were all ‘Gamera vs…’ a different kaiju and ended with Gamera: Super Monster. Fifteen years later the series was rebooted during the current Heisei period with Gamera: Guardian of the Universe.  Attack of the Legion is set a year after the events of the last film and begins with a meteor crashing into a mountainside that is carrying swarms of an insect-like extraterrestrial.

Soon after the city of Sapporo is covered with strange plants and it becomes clear that the creatures are nesting underneath the city and encouraging them to grow into a giant flower in order to form a kind of launchpad for another meteor-like spore to be blasted into space so they can colonise another world. Just before the creatures are able to trigger a launch explosion that would flatten the city, Gamera flies in and tears the flower out by its roots. Soon he is battling the smaller creatures, which a soldier nicknames Legion (after the Biblical demon army), as well as a gigantic queen which bursts out of the ground and flies off to try and create a nest in another city. Before long Tokyo is being threatened by the creatures and Gamera is all that stands in the way.

The film was a critical success in Japan and was followed in 1999 by a sequel called Gamera 3: Awakening of Irys.

I’m unsure who is responsible for this artwork but I’m confident that it’s not Noriyoshi Ohrai, who painted several fantastic Godzilla posters. If anyone has any ideas please get in touch.

 

21 Grams / B1 / Japan

01.07.15

Poster Poster
Title
21 Grams
AKA
--
Year of Film
2003
Director
Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring
Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Benicio Del Toro, Danny Huston, Clea DuVall, Eddie Marsan, Melissa Leo
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Benicio Del Toro, Danny Huston, Clea DuVall, Eddie Marsan, Melissa Leo,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2003
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
28 14/16" x 40.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s 21 Grams is the second film in his so-called ‘Trilogy of Death’, following on from his breakout debut hit Amores Perros (2000), with Babel completing the trilogy in 2005. Like the first film, 21 Grams features three main characters and plot lines that interweave around a fatal car accident and its consequences. Sean Penn plays Paul Rivers, a mathematics professor who is close to death from heart failure after years of smoking and abusing his body, and his wife Mary (Charlotte Gainsbourg) is desperate to conceive a child before he dies. Benicio Del Toro plays Jack Jordan, a reformed criminal who has spent many years in jail and is now trying to go straight by helping out at church and counselling kids who are on a similar path that he took. Naomi Watts plays Cristina Peck, a former drug addict who has settled down into suburban life with husband Michael (Danny Hustonand two daughters.

One fateful day, Jack accidentally hits Michael and the kids with his car, putting Michael into a coma and killing the daughters instantly. A grief-stricken Cristina returns to her drug-taking past but not before agreeing to have her husband’s organs donated. Jack is given Michael’s heart and eventually decides to track down the donor with the aid of a private detective. The rest of the film deals with the encounters between the characters. The title refers to the early 20th-century research of an American doctor called Duncan MacDougall who attempted to prove the existence of the human soul by recording a small loss of weight immediately after death. His methods detected varying amounts but 21 grams, or three quarters of an ounce, was the first recorded instance. The original marketing campaign compared this weight to a ‘stack of nickels’, a chocolate bar and a hummingbird and this explains why the creature appears on this poster.

The film was very well critically received and was a success with worldwide audiences, although today it’s IMDb rating doesn’t quite match that of the first film in the trilogy. This poster design is unique to the Japanese marketing campaign.

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus / B1 / Japan

01.05.15

Poster Poster
Title
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus
AKA
Gojira tai Megagirasu: Jî shômetsu sakusen (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
2000
Director
Masaaki Tezuka
Starring
Misato Tanaka, Shôsuke Tanihara, Masatô Ibu, Yuriko Hoshi, Toshiyuki Nagashima, Kôichi Ueda, Kôichi Yamadera, Yûsaku Yara, Kôji Katô, Tsutomu Kitagawa, Minoru Watanabe
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Misato Tanaka, Shôsuke Tanihara, Masatô Ibu, Yuriko Hoshi, Toshiyuki Nagashima, Kôichi Ueda, Kôichi Yamadera, Yûsaku Yara, Kôji Katô, Tsutomu Kitagawa, Minoru Watanabe,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
artwork
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2000
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
28 12/16" x 40 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the B1 poster for the Japanese release of Godzilla vs. Megaguirus which was the 24th film in the long-running franchise featuring the King of the Kaiju (giant monsters). The film was also the second release in the third generation of Godzilla films (known as the Millennium Series), which are all standalone (with the exception of Godzilla: Tokyo SOS) and were mooted as ‘alternative universe’ stories. It ended up as the least financially successful film in the Millennium series, with the special effects director Kenji Suzuki apparently taking the blame. Referencing the first film, the story sets up a universe in Godzilla attacks the first Japanese nuclear power plant in 1966 which led to the formation of a section of the Japanese Self Defence Force called G-Graspers, dedicated to fighting Godzilla.

After nuclear energy is replaced by ‘plasma energy’ in 1996 it is hoped that the kaiju will no longer attack Japanese cities in search of nuclear energy, but the plan fails and plasma energy is also eventually outlawed. Later in 2001 an experimental satellite weapon called the Dimension Tide is fired and opens up a wormhole through which a prehistoric dragonfly appears, lays an egg and disappears back through the wormhole. A young boy discovers the egg and takes it with him when he moves to Tokyo, but when the egg starts oozing a strange liquid the boy throws it into the sewers. The egg is actually hundreds of smaller eggs which start to grow on contact with water and evolve into large dragonfly larvae which soon hatch and become adult Meganulon.

When Godzilla attacks Tokyo once more, the dragonflies are attracted to his energy and engage him in battle, but they are no match for the kaiju’s power and are almost all obliterated. Those that survive return to the sewers and, with an amount of energy taken from Godzilla, they inject a large cocoon that hatches as Megaguirus, queen of the Meganulon, and she immediately heads towards Godzilla, ready for an epic showdown.

The artwork on this poster is by Noriyoshi Ohrai, my favourite Japanese artist and certainly in my top five greatest film poster illustrators of all time. He’s responsible for a number of other posters in the Godzilla franchise, some of which can be seen here. He also worked on a number of Star Wars related posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film. In March 2014 a retrospective exhibition was held in Japan of Ohrai’s work and I made the trip over to Miyazaki to see the exhibition. I’m very glad I did as it featured most of his original artwork and a whole array of posters and book covers. A full report will follow soon.

The posters I’ve managed to collect by Noriyoshi Ohrai can be seen by clicking here.

Space Runaway Ideon: Be Invoked / B1 / Japan

16.03.15

Poster Poster
Title
Space Runaway Ideon: Be Invoked
AKA
Densetsu kyojin ideon: Hatsudou-hen (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Yoshiyuki Tomino
Starring
Yôko Asagami, Yô Inoue, Yoku Shioya, Kaneto Shiozawa, Fuyumi Shiraishi, Hideyuki Tanaka, Nobuo Tanaka, Keiko Toda, Rumiko Ukai
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Yôko Asagami, Yô Inoue, Yoku Shioya, Kaneto Shiozawa, Fuyumi Shiraishi, Hideyuki Tanaka, Nobuo Tanaka, Keiko Toda, Rumiko Ukai,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
28 11/16" x 40 6/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Japanese B1 for the release of the second film based on the anime TV series Space Runaway Ideon that was created and directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, who had previously  worked on the legendary anime Mobile Suit Gundam. Never given an official Western release (to the best of my knowledge) the series plot is summarised on its IMDb page:

It is the year 2300 and on the distant colony world of Solo, a team of archaeologists discover three alien vessels that, when formed together, become a giant fighting robot – The Ideon. However, they come into contact with an alien race known as the Buff Clan, who claim the Ideon’s energy source of Ide as their right. A simple case of fear and mistrust triggers an intergalactic war, with the Ide and the fate of the universe at stake.

According to the series’ Wikipedia page ‘the series originally met with rather low ratings and was cancelled after only 39 of its scheduled 43 episodes aired. As a result, the producers were forced to insert a short segment at the end of the final episode that ended the series in the middle of the action. Demand for a release of the final unaired episodes followed the show’s cancellation, and two movies were produced to end the series.

The two movies, A Contact and Be Invoked, were produced by both Sanrio and Sunrise and released as a double bill by Shochiku in 1982. A Contact featured clips from the first 32 episodes of the TV series interspersed with newly animated footage. In addition a few new scenes, the movie also created new death scenes for character such as Damido, Mayaya and Daram. Be Invoked featured a modified version of the final episode of the TV series (removing the ending sequence), in addition to those episodes that never aired, finishing off the Ideon saga once and for all.’

There is a signature on this art but I can’t read it so if anyone has any idea who should received credit for this please get in touch.

Return of the Jedi / B1 / Rebels style / Poland

16.01.15

Poster Poster
Title
Return of the Jedi
AKA
Revenge of the Jedi (pre-release title) | Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (full title) | Blue Harvest (USA - fake working title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Richard Marquand
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Rebels
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Witold Dybowski
Artist
Witold Dybowski
Size (inches)
26 6/16" x 38 2/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is one of two posters printed for the original Polish release of Return of the Jedi in 1984. Although ROTJ, the third in the original trilogy of Star Wars films, was often maligned by fans who complained it was a weak end to the series and derided for featuring the child-friendly Ewoks, all was forgiven with the release of the 1999’s The Phantom Menace and its ‘galactic trade disputes’ and the risible Jar-Jar Binks. Now, although certainly not as highly acclaimed as the original 1977 film or the classic The Empire Strikes Back, ROTJ is still beloved by fans of the series. In 2015, director JJ Abrams will release Episode VII into cinemas, mooted as a direct sequel to this film and much anticipated by fans worldwide. JJ is seen as a much safer pair of hands than George Lucas after his shepherding of a well-received reboot of the Star Trek franchise.

Even if the Ewoks are loved and hated in equal measure, ROTJ still features many memorable, fan favourite characters, locations and scenes, including the attempted rescue of Han Solo from Jabba the Hut’s palace leading to a memorable showdown above a Sarlacc pit monster (which features the ignominious exit of fan favourite Boba Fett). Later the film sees the passing of Yoda along with more revelations about the Skywalker family, and an excellent scene that sees Luke Skywalker confront the evil Emperor Palpatine with Vader standing by. Meanwhile, the Ewoks (essentially child-sized teddy bears) join forces to defeat the ground forces of the Empire on the surface of the planet Endor.

This poster, depicting four members of the rebel alliance, including Luke Skywalker (centre top) and friendly robot C-3PO, and was designed and illustrated by Witold Dybowski who, according to the short biography on his official website, was born in Sopot, Poland and went on to study at the College of Design in Gdansk. After graduating he worked as a graphic designer, illustrator, art director and creative director in Poland, Germany and Austria. During the 1980s he worked on a number of Polish film posters advertising both native and Hollywood productions, which include this and one other poster for Return of the Jedi (to be added to Film on Paper later this year), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and the ‘bubbles’ style poster for Aliens. Since 2010 he has been working as a freelance photographer and his official site features galleries of his work.

I also have the Darth Vader style Polish B1 designed by Dybowski.

The Empire Strikes Back / B1 / Poland

08.10.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Empire Strikes Back
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Irvin Kershner
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Jakub Erol
Artist
Jakub Erol
Size (inches)
26 4/16" x 38 3/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the B1 poster for the original Polish release of The Empire Strikes Back, which was one of the most anticipated sequels in the history of cinema following on from the unexpected international success of George Lucas’ original Star Wars (1977). The first film wasn’t released in Poland until 1979 and Empire Strikes Back appeared in 1983, the same year that the original trilogy came to an end in most other markets with Return of the Jedi (released a year later in Poland).

This highly-stylised image, the centre of which resembles Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in the outfit he wears during the opening scenes on the ice planet of Hoth, was created by the designer and artist Jakub Erol who was born in Zamość in 1941 and graduated from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts in 1968. He worked as a prolific poster artist for over 25 years and designed several iconic images for both Polish and American films. Some of his other poster highlights include the bizarre image he conjured up for Ridley Scott’s Alien, a striking design for James Cameron’s The Terminator and the poster for Robocop. One of his best, in my opinion, is the skull-style poster he created for the release of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The Polishposter.com website features many of his designs, several which are for sale, and the Polish cinemaposter.com website also features three pages of his work. This list of his designs on the same website gives you an idea of how prolific an artist he was.

Note that the name of director Irvin Kershner has been misspelled at the bottom of the poster (Wershner).

Critters / B1 / Poland

03.12.14

Poster Poster
Title
Critters
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Stephen Herek
Starring
Scott Grimes, Dee Wallace-Stone, M. Emmet Walsh, Don Keith Opper, Billy Green Bush, Terrence Mann, Ethan Phillips, Billy Zane
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Scott Grimes, Dee Wallace-Stone, M. Emmet Walsh, Don Keith Opper, Billy Green Bush, Terrence Mann, Ethan Phillips, Billy Zane,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Mieczysław Wasilewski
Artist
Mieczysław Wasilewski
Size (inches)
26 6/16" x 37 6/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A striking design for this Polish B1 poster for the release of the cult sci-fi horror Critters (1986) in which a sleepy farming town is attacked by a group of small, furry aliens with oversized teeth. Often thought to have been made as a response to the runaway success of Joe Dante’s Gremlins, the director Stephen Herek has since argued that the script for Critters existed before Dante’s film was released and that effort was made to differentiate Critters’ script as much as possible. The film begins on a prison located on an asteroid from which the malevolent ‘Krites’ manage to escape by killing some guards and commandeering a space craft.

Two shape-shifting bounty hunters are sent after the ship which ends up crash-landing near the farm of the Brown family in rural Kansas. As the Krites begin to attack livestock and then people, the son of the family Brad (Scott Grimes) sets out to try and stop them with the help of the town drunk Charlie (Don Keith Opper) and the two bounty hunters. The film is never less than entertaining and was enough of a hit to see the release of three sequels of decreasing quality.

The person responsible for the design of this poster is Mieczysław Wasilewski who was born in 1942 in Warsaw and went on to study at the city’s Academy of Fine Arts from 1960 to 1966. Whilst working on book covers and film posters he would also take a up a position at the Academy in 1971, eventually being appointed as a professor in 1990. Wasilewski worked on posters for both Polish and international productions, including Back to the Future, Big Trouble in Little China and The Bridge on the River Kwai.

Three pages of his posters can be seen on Polishposter.com. The short entry about the artist on Wikipedia notes that he has won four awards for poster design at different stages in his career. More of his posters can be viewed on Poster.pl.

Dvoynoy Obgon / B1 / Poland

26.11.15

Poster Poster

A striking illustration by the Polish artist Michal Piekarski features on this B1 poster for the release of the obscure Russian action film Dvoynoy Obgon (released at some point in English-speaking countries as ‘Double Passing’). I’ve struggled to find out much about the film beyond the information on its IMDb page, which includes the detail that it was helmed by Moscow-born Aleksandr Gordon, a director with a handful of titles to his name from 1956 to 1990 (when he appeared to stop working).

The lead actors, the late Boris Khimichev and Yuriy Nazarov, appear to be significantly more prolific. The latter is known for his work in Andrei Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev and The Mirror. If anyone knows any details about the film’s plot please get in touch. There are several clips from car chases in the film on YouTube so it clearly made an impression in terms of its vehicular action.

I’ve also struggled to find out many details about Michal Piekarski online, other than some of the other posters he worked on via sites like Polishpostershop.com and Terry Posters. If anyone has any more information about him please get in touch.

A Nightmare On Elm Street / B1 / bath style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
A Nightmare On Elm Street
AKA
Nightmare dal profondo della notte [Nightmare from the depths of the night] (Italy)
Year of Film
1984
Director
Wes Craven
Starring
John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Heather Langenkamp, Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Heather Langenkamp, Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Bath
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
40.5" x 28 10/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A Nightmare On Elm Street / B1 / montage / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
A Nightmare On Elm Street
AKA
Nightmare dal profondo della notte [Nightmare from the depths of the night] (Italy)
Year of Film
1984
Director
Wes Craven
Starring
John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Heather Langenkamp, Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Heather Langenkamp, Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Montage
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
28 11/16" x 40 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Amelie / B1 / green style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Amelie
AKA
Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (France - original title) | Ameri (Japan)
Year of Film
2001
Director
Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Starring
Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta, Serge Merlin, Jamel Debbouze, Clotilde Mollet, Claire Maurier, Isabelle Nanty
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta, Serge Merlin, Jamel Debbouze, Clotilde Mollet, Claire Maurier, Isabelle Nanty,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Green
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2001
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
28 10/16" x 40 9/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Amelie / B1 / bed style / Japan

21.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Amelie
AKA
Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (France - original title) | Ameri (Japan)
Year of Film
2001
Director
Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Starring
Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta, Serge Merlin, Jamel Debbouze, Clotilde Mollet, Claire Maurier, Isabelle Nanty
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta, Serge Merlin, Jamel Debbouze, Clotilde Mollet, Claire Maurier, Isabelle Nanty,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Red
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2001
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
28 9/16" x 40.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Big Trouble In Little China / B1 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Big Trouble In Little China
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun, James Hong, Victor Wong
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun, James Hong, Victor Wong,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
28 10/16" x 40.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--