You searched for: B1

Apocalypse Now Redux / B1 / Japan

04.09.14

Poster Poster

This is the Japanese B1 poster for the 2001 re-release of arguably the best war film ever made, Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. This release, known as ‘Redux’ was a new version prepared by the director and his editor and long-time collaborator Walter Murch that saw almost 50 minutes inserted back into the film with several sequences extended and the flow of the film altered as a result. Set during America’s war in Vietnam, the film follows Martin Sheen‘s US Army Army and special forces veteran Benjamin Willard as he journeys up the dangerous Nung River and deeper into the jungle in the search of the rogue Special Forces Colonel Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando in an unforgettable role). Willard is told that an insane Kurtz has gathered together an army of indigenous fighters inside neutral Cambodia and that he must ‘terminate with extreme prejudice’. After landing at the mouth of the river in a spectacular sequence in which Colonel Kilgore (Robert Duvall) first attacks an enemy village from helicopters whilst blasting Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries from loudspeakers, then orders some of his men to surf despite the fact that mortar shells continue to land all around them, Willard  joins the crew of a Navy PBR boat that transports him on his fateful journey up river.

Apocalypse Now is famous for its fraught production in which the shoot went over time and over budget, sets were destroyed by storms, Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack and other woes that caused Coppola to famously say, “We had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little we went insane”, and “My film is not about Vietnam, it is Vietnam”. The director’s wife Eleanor helped to put together the acclaimed documentary of the troubled production called Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, which is an essential watch for fans of the film. Despite the production woes, the film was a huge critical and commercial success, with its cultural impact undeniable.

The Redux version, which involved re-recording several of the original actors’ dialogue 30 years since the original filming, plus the addition of newly recorded music, was met with generally positive reviews. Many critics felt that the revisions made the film an even richer, stranger experience, whilst some felt that the new cut was self-indulgent and that the new sequences, particularly one set in a French plantation, slowed the film down too much. Check out this wikipedia article for details of the changes. I personally prefer the original cut but the new additions are undoubtedly interesting to watch.

The Japanese title on this poster is made from a photographic image of burning wood and the explosion and helicopters are taken from the now iconic ‘Charlie don’t surf’ sequence.

 

Mississippi Burning / B1 / Poland

26.05.16

Poster Poster

A striking illustration by Wieslaw Walkuski on this B1 poster for the first release in Poland (in 1990) for Alan Parker‘s 1988 crime thriller Mississippi Burning. The film was loosely based on the real life case of the murders of three civil rights workers in the titular American state in 1964. Screenwriter Chris Gerolmo based his script on an article and several books on the FBI investigation of the case that had been written in the intervening years. Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe play two FBI agents sent to the fictional town of Jessup County in order to investigate the disappearance of the three workers. Their investigation is met with suspicion and hostility by local residents, as well as the local police and the KKK. As attacks on African-American families intensify, the pair must use unorthodox methods to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Wieslaw Walkuski was born in 1956 and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Since 1981 Walkuski has worked as a graphic designer and artist for publishing houses and theaters, as well as for the Polish film organisations Polfilm and Film Polski. He’s worked freelance since 1987 and has painted over 200 film posters. He continues to live and work in Warsaw. Walkuski’s official website features galleries of many of his designs and images of his other work.

He’s responsible for some incredible designs and two of my favourites include those he painted for Lars Von Trier’s Breaking the Waves and the Dustin Hoffman comedy Tootsie.

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Raiders of the Lost Ark / B1 / explosion style / Poland

14.08.15

Poster Poster
Title
Raiders of the Lost Ark
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott, Alfred Molina
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott, Alfred Molina,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Explosion style
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Grzegorz Marszalek
Artist
Grzegorz Marszalek
Size (inches)
25 15/16" x 38 5/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the explosion-style B1 poster for the Polish release (in 1983) of the first film in Steven Spielberg‘s legendary Indiana Jones series, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Written by George Lucas, who was in the middle of producing and releasing the original Star Wars trilogy, the story harks back to the adventure film serials of the 1930s and 40s. Set in 1936, Harrison Ford (also fresh from the set of The Empire Strikes Back) plays the titular archaeologist adventurer who is hired by the US government to track down the legendary Ark of the Covenant before an occult section of the Nazi party with nefarious intentions do so.

The film is full of memorable characters, thrilling set-pieces and Ford treads a perfect, often comedic, line between surly reluctance and dashing heroism. The film would spawn two sequels over the next 8 years, with Spielberg and Ford returning for both, followed by a somewhat disappointing entry in 2008.

This poster was created by the designer and artist Grzegorz Marszatek who was born in Swinna in 1949 and later studied at the College of Fine Arts in Poznań where he obtained an honours degree under noted professors (and artists in their own right) Lucjan Mianowski and Waldemar Świerzy. Since 1971 he has been a teacher himself at the same college, which is now a university, and in 1994 he was awarded the degree of Professor of Fine Arts. He was the director of the Visual Communication department at Poznań university until 2010 and he’s also been involved at the Szczecin Academy of Fine Arts. As well as teaching Marszatek has worked as an illustrator for film and theatre posters, magazine covers and editorials, and book covers. 

Polishposter.com features a gallery of many of his film posters.

There were three Polish posters created for the 1983 first release of Raiders of the Lost Ark, including this one and Jakub Erol’s fantastic skull-style poster.

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.

Willow / B1 / Poland

18.12.15

Poster Poster
Title
Willow
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Ron Howard
Starring
Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1989
Designer
Wieslaw Walkuski
Artist
Wieslaw Walkuski
Size (inches)
26 5/16" x 37 2/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Unique artwork features on this Polish B1 poster for the release of Ron Howard‘s 1988 fantasy film Willow, which was conceived of by George Lucas. British actor Warwick Davis features as the eponymous hero and the part had been written specifically with him in mind after he appeared as an Ewok in Lucas’ Return of the Jedi. The story begins as the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) hears of a prophecy that a newborn child will bring about her downfall and sets about imprisoning all pregnant women in her castle’s dungeon.

When a child is born and identified as the one in the prophecy, the child’s mother manages to convince the mid-wife to secret her daughter out of the castle. When Queen Bavmorda discovers what has happened she sends her daughter Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) and leader of her army General Kael in pursuit. Before being caught, the midwife manages to put the child on a raft on a river and the child ends up being found by Willow Ufgood (Davis) a a member of a race of hobbit-like people called the Nelwyns. Initially caring for the baby with his wife, Willow is persuaded to take it away from their village and back to the Daikinis (humans) when it becomes clear that there are people hunting for it. As the adventure begins, Willow and his companions soon realise they’re in for more than they bargained for.

Featuring a great performance by Val Kilmer as a selfish, reluctant hero the film still stands up today as a fun and engaging fantasy adventure with several memorable sequences and a brilliant score by James Horner. Despite being critically derided on release and not fairing too well at the box- office it has nevertheless grown something of a cult following and is notable for its use of ground-breaking special effects by Industrial Light and Magic that were used for a sequence involving a morph between several animals and a human.

The artwork on the poster is by Wieslaw Walkuski who was born in 1956 and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Since 1981 Walkuski has worked as a graphic designer and artist for publishing houses and theaters, as well as for the Polish film organisations Polfilm and Film Polski. He’s worked freelance since 1987 and has painted over 200 film posters. He continues to live and work in Warsaw. Walkuski’s official website features galleries of many of his designs and images of his other work.

He’s responsible for some incredible designs and two of my favourites include those he painted for Lars Von Trier’s Breaking the Waves and the Dustin Hoffman comedy Tootsie.

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind / B1 / Poland

22.02.16

Poster Poster
Title
Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
AKA
CE3K (USA - informal short title)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Melinda Dillon, Terri Garr
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Melinda Dillon, Terri Garr,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Andrzej Pagowski
Artist
Andrzej Pagowski
Size (inches)
26 7/16" x 38 5/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Anyone who’s seen Steven Spielberg‘s 1977 sci-fi classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind will know just how erroneous this painting by the Polish artist and designer Andrzej Pagowski is in representing the aliens seen in the film, but to me that’s part of its charm. It certainly wasn’t the first time that a Polish poster artist chose to reinterpret a creature from a film they were tasked with creating advertising material for, although Pagowski seems particularly fond of doing so as can be seen with his poster for Ridley Scott’s Alien, amongst others.

Spielberg had been developing Close Encounters for several years, with the origins stretching back to his youth and an early fascination with sci-fi and UFOs, but when Jaws became a critical and box-office behemoth in 1975, he was given creative carte blanche by the studio Columbia with whom he had negotiated a deal to develop a sci-fi film. The film’s Wikipedia page details the multiple iterations the screenplay went through, including a draft by Paul (Taxi Driver) Schrader, but the final script was written by Spielberg (with uncredited help from Jerry Belson). The director later revealed that he had been warned off making a film on the subject by both the US government as well as NASA, with the latter reportedly writing him a 20 page letter advising against it. This only served to fuel Spielberg’s passion for the project.

The film begins in the Sonoran desert with French scientist Claude Lacombe (legendary French director François Truffaut) and a group of US government scientists rushing to the site where a group of World War II-era planes that went missing mid-flight 30 years earlier appear overnight without explanation. They later find a ship that went missing in 1925 in the Gobi desert whilst an American air traffic control team overhears two airline pilots discussing a near-miss with an unidentified flying object, but decline to officially report it.

In Indiana, electrical technician Roy Neary (a memorable performance by Richard Dreyfusshas a close encounter with a UFO whilst responding to a state-wide power outage. He soon becomes obsessed with an image he keeps seeing in his head and his erratic behaviour soon alienates his wife and kids. Neary and a group of others who have come into contact with the unidentified visitors, including single-mum Jillian (Melinda Dillon) whose young son was abducted one night, converge on Devils Tower in Wyoming. There the government have set up a site in preparation for the anticipated arrival of the alien’s mothership and no one is prepared for what happens next.

The film was another critical and commercial success for Spielberg, earning almost $340 million on a $18 million production budget. It would go on to win multiple awards and quickly entered the cultural zeitgeist, sparking the imagination of millions around the world who agreed it’s unlikely that we’re alone in the universe.

 

Andrzej Pagowski is 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 screenwriter. Undoubtedly a man of many talents!

Pagowski’s 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.

My New Partner / B1 / Poland

07.03.16

Poster Poster
Title
My New Partner
AKA
Les ripoux (France - original title) | Skorumpowani (Poland) | Le Cop (UK)
Year of Film
1984
Director
Claude Zidi
Starring
Philippe Noiret, Thierry Lhermitte, Régine, Grace De Capitani, Claude Brosset, Albert Simono, Julien Guiomar, Henri Attal
Origin of Film
France
Genre(s) of Film
Philippe Noiret, Thierry Lhermitte, Régine, Grace De Capitani, Claude Brosset, Albert Simono, Julien Guiomar, Henri Attal,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Wieslaw Walkuski
Artist
Wieslaw Walkuski
Size (inches)
26 3/16" x 37 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Striking and colourful artwork on this Polish B1 poster for the release of the 1984 French comedy film My New Partner that was originally released as Les Ripoux, which translates as ‘the corrupt ones’. The film stars two of France’s most popular and prolific actors, the late Philippe Noiret (best known for his role as the projectionist in Cinema Paradiso) and Thierry Lhermitte who starred in a number of popular comedies during the 1970s and 1980s. 

Noiret plays René, a corrupt Parisian beat cop who regularly dispenses street justice and happily takes bribes from minor criminals to let them carry on, instead of arresting them. When his long-term partner retires he is put together with Francois (Lhermitte), an idealistic young rookie who’s just graduated from training. René must work hard to convince Francois that his way of doing things is the right way, including using a sultry prostitute friend to seduce the innocent cop. The film was enough of a success to spawn two sequels (of lesser quality) over the following years.

The artwork on the poster is by Wieslaw Walkuski who was born in 1956 and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Since 1981 Walkuski has worked as a graphic designer and artist for publishing houses and theaters, as well as for the Polish film organisations Polfilm and Film Polski. He’s worked freelance since 1987 and has painted over 200 film posters. He continues to live and work in Warsaw. Walkuski’s official website features galleries of many of his designs and images of his other work.

He’s responsible for some incredible designs and two of my favourites include those he painted for Lars Von Trier’s Breaking the Waves and the Dustin Hoffman comedy Tootsie.

Aliens / B1 / bubbles style / Poland

18.03.16

Poster Poster
Title
Aliens
AKA
Aliens - Scontro finale [Final encounter] (Italy), Aliens - Le retour [The return] (France)
Year of Film
1986
Director
James Cameron
Starring
Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, Paul Reiser
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, Paul Reiser,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Bubbles
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Witold Dybowski
Artist
Witold Dybowski
Size (inches)
26.5" x 38.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is one of two Polish posters for the release (in 1987) of James Cameron‘s sci-fi masterpiece Aliens. I find it hard to choose between this and Ridley Scott’s original Alien (1979) that saw a small crew on the salvage ship Nostromo get hunted down by a single Xenomorph, which burst from the chest of one of their colleagues following a planetary expedition. The original film is much more of a claustrophobic horror whereas Cameron decided to up the ante and make the sequel an action-packed thrill-ride. Sigourney Weaver reprised her role as Ripley, the only surviving crew member from the Nostromo and the film opens with her escape pod being discovered after 57 years floating through space. After waking her from cryo-sleep, a representative from Weyland Yutani (the company she was working for her) brief her that the planet on which her crew encountered the alien eggs is being terraformed and contact has been lost from the outpost there. After much cajoling they manage to persuade her to return to the planet with a bunch of hardened marines, but she agrees to go only if the purpose of the trip is “Not to study. Not to bring back. But to wipe them out.” Unfortunately for Ripley and the Marines, Weyland Yutani has nefarious plans for the aliens and things soon go awry, but the company didn’t count on Ripley’s tenacity and will to survive.

This poster 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 two styles of poster for Return of the Jedi (Vader style and Rebels style) and one for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Since 2010 he has been working as a freelance photographer and his official site features galleries of his work.

There is another poster for the Polish release of the film, which I have nicknamed the ‘creature’ style and this can be seen on the site here.

Spaceballs / B1 / Poland

08.04.16

Poster Poster
Title
Spaceballs
AKA
La folle histoire de l'espace [The crazy history of space] (France)
Year of Film
1987
Director
Mel Brooks
Starring
Mel Brooks, John Candy, Rick Moranis, Bill Pullman, Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, George Wyner, Michael Winslow, Joan Rivers, Lorene Yarnell Jansson, John Hurt
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mel Brooks, John Candy, Rick Moranis, Bill Pullman, Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, George Wyner, Michael Winslow, Joan Rivers, Lorene Yarnell Jansson, John Hurt,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Maciej Buszewicz
Artist
Maciej Buszewicz
Size (inches)
26 7/16" x 37 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Wild artwork by Maciej Buszewicz features on this Polish B1 poster for one of the all-time great parody films, 1987’s Spaceballs. Helmed by the legendary comedian, actor, director and screenwriter Mel Brooks, who was responsible for several other entries in the genre, including Blazing Saddles (Westerns) and Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Spaceballs set out to send-up the sci-fi genre and did so with great success. Star Wars is the main film in the firing line, but the Star Trek series, Planet of the Apes and even Alien all receive their share of the lampooning. Brooks struck a deal with George Lucas to be able to spoof the original trilogy and even employed his Industrial Light and Magic to handle the alien creature design, as well as asking other companies owned by him to work on post-production of the film.

The story begins on the titular planet Spaceball which is rapidly running out of breathable air. The incompetent President Skroob (Brooks himself) hatches a plan to steal the air from neighbouring planet Druidia by kidnapping the daughter of its King Roland, Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga), who is set to marry the narcoleptic Prince Valium (Jim J. Bullock). He dispatches Dark Helmet (a memorable performance by Rick Moranis) on the giant ship Spaceball One to carry out the mission. What they weren’t anticipating is that Vespa has decided to do a runner before the wedding takes place and has disappeared with her droid of honour Dot Matrix (think a female C3PO). King Roland tasks the mercenary Lone Starr (Bill Pullman, essaying a mix between Luke Skywalker and Han Solo) and his sidekick Barf (the late John Candy, as seen on this poster) with tracking Vespa down. With the help of wise and powerful Yoghurt (also Brooks), who is in command of The Schwartz, the gang must deal with Dark Helmet and put a stop to Skroob’s nefarious plans.

Some of the more memorable scenes include the Lone Starr’s interactions with the gangster Pizza the Hut, voiced by long-time Brooks collaborator Dom DeLuise, as well as a scene at an intergalactic diner which features John Hurt playing himself and suffering the same chest-bursting fate he did in Alien. The film wasn’t met with a great reception on its initial release but would subsequently gain a huge cult following, helped no end by the home video explosion at the end of the 1980s. It’s now regarded as one of Brooks’ best films and rumours of a long-mooted sequel were resurrected following the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the end of 2015.

Maciej Buszewicz is a highly influential Polish designer who is perhaps best known for his book cover designs and is the founder of the celebrated Busciewicz Book Design Studio based in the University of Warsaw. Born in 1952, Busciewicz graduated from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts and began a career in graphic design. He became an Art Director at the ISKRY Publishing House in 1980 and at the Poljazz Record Company. Four years later he began teaching typography at the Academy and this led to teaching assignments all over the world. As well as books and record covers, the artist has worked on graphic identities, stamp designs and posters. I couldn’t find many other film posters that he worked on, aside from the poster for the Russian drama Commissar, but doubtless there are others. According to this profile on the Ideas on Design site he has won the award for Most Beautiful Book of the Year in Poland no less than 23 times!

 

 

All that Jazz / B1 / Poland

20.12.16

Poster Poster

This Polish B1 poster for All that Jazz (1979) was designed and illustrated by Leszek and Jadwiga Drzewinscy. The film itself was directed by the late Bob Fosse who was a man of many talents, being a dancer, choreographer, theatre and film director, screenwriter and actor. Fosse won multiple awards for his choreography of musicals but also found success as a director of films, including Cabaret (1972), starring Liza Minelli. Arguably his most famous project as choreographer is the musical Chicago which was first produced in 1975 and has been running ever since. It’s currently the second-longest running musical behind Phantom of the Opera.

All that Jazz is a semi-autobiographical film which was written by Fosse in response to a real-life incident that happened a few years earlier. Whilst planning for the first performance of Chicago, he was also directing and editing a film based on the life of comedian Lenny Bruce, released as Lenny (1974). Due to the physical stresses of such a workload, Fosse suffered a heart attack that almost killed him. Roy Scheider (in arguably a career-best performance) stars as Joe Gideon, a Fosse facsimile who is balancing the production of a new musical with the preparation of a film based on a fictional comedian.

To add to the madness Gideon takes amphetamines, smokes constantly and sleeps with his dancers at any opportunity. He is also dealing with an ex-wife who is helping him with the production of the show, a daughter who he struggles to find time for and a despairing girlfriend, Kate Jagger (Ann Reinking). Using much-praised editing techniques, the audience gets to understand the frenzy with which Gideon lives each day. Throughout the film, he is shown conversing with a woman wearing all white, known as Angelique (Jessica Lange). It becomes clear that this is his imagination and Angelique is the angel of death, with whom he’s discussing the mistakes he’s made in his life.

Eventually, Gideon’s health worsens and he’s admitted to hospital. When his film is released without his final say so, he suffers a massive heart attack and is rushed to have open heart surgery. With scenes from the operation intercut, a series of incredible musical numbers referencing events from his life are staged in his imagination as he battles to stay alive. The film was received well by critics and audiences alike. Director Stanley Kubrick is reported to have said that it was the “best film I think I have ever seen” when he watched it upon release.

I’ve been unable to find out much about Leszek and Jadwiga Drzewinscy, including whether they’re siblings or a married couple. If anyone can shed any light please get in touch. I did find this gallery of other posters that they worked on, including one for The Blues Brothers (1980). Emovieposters has sold a few posters featuring their artwork too. There’s a clear theme of close-ups of character’s faces.

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.

 

What a Lady You Are… / B1 / Poland

06.03.17

Poster Poster
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
Ewa Borowik, Waldemar Kownacki, Jan Kobuszewski, Boleslaw Plotnicki, Erwin Nowiaszek, Mieczyslaw Hryniewicz, Arkadiusz Jakubik,
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 several 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.

Porno / B1 / Poland

31.05.17

Poster Poster

A striking illustration features on this Polish B1 poster for the release of the Polish comedy-romance Porno. Directed by Marek Koterski and starring Zbigniew Rola, I believe the film was not released outside its native country. The plot is described on IMDb:

[A] Middle aged man lies sleeplessly in bed, recalling his numerous sexual encounters. The various couplings are haphazard, loveless affairs in which most of the women are as anxious to release sexual tension as he is. He fails to find fulfilment and is left with feelings of despair and hopelessness.

According to IMDb it was the top grossing Polish film of 1990.

This Polish 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 screenwriter. Undoubtedly a man of many talents!

Pagowski’s 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.

To see the other Pagowski-designed posters I’ve collected click here.

Airplane! / B1 / Japan

05.07.17

Poster Poster

Featuring the same artwork from the US one sheet, this is the Japanese B1 poster for one of the funniest films of all time, Airplane! The film was the creation of the celebrated writers Jerry ZuckerJim Abrahams, and David Zucker (collectively known as ZAZ) who had garnered critical acclaim for their small theatre productions as the Kentucky Fried Theatre, which they formed in 1971. The idea for the film was arrived at after the trio saw the 1957 disaster movie Zero Hour! and realised it had the perfect structure to be adapted into a comedy film. A script was written and completed in 1975 but the trio had little experience in filmmaking so it was shelved for a while as they pulled together a script based on their theatre sketches. This was filmed and released as The Kentucky Fried Movie in 1978, directed by John Landis. Ultimately it gave them the necessary experience to feel confident enough to direct Airplane!

As well as riffing on Zero Hour!, the film is a send-up of disaster movies of the seventies such as Airplane (1975) and takes place on board a stricken passenger jet. Robert Hays stars as Ted Striker, an ex-Navy pilot who was traumatised during the War and has a pathological fear of flying. Desperate to win back his ex-girlfriend Elaine Dickinson (Julie Hagerty) Striker follows her onto a Trans American flight from Los Angeles to Chicago on which she is working as a flight attendant. Determined to speak to Elaine, he makes several attempts to get her attention but nothing works until food poisoning strikes both passengers and crew. Attention falls on Striker as the aircrafts best hope for survival and he must overcome his psychological aversion to sitting behind the controls.

In Airplane! the jokes come thick and fast and are both spoken and visual (sight gags). Several actors were playing against type, notably Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack and Leslie Nielsen. The latter’s career was to skyrocket following this film with starring roles in the ZAZ TV show Police Squad! as well as the trilogy of films based on the series, Naked Gun. Airplane! was both a critical and commercial success and would go on to earn over $83m on a $3.5m budget. It cemented ZAZ’s reputation as reliable comedy writers and directors and, as well as Police Squad! and Naked Gun, the 1980s and early 1990s saw the release of Top Secret!, Ruthless People and Hot Shots! (1 & Deux). Airplane! was also both multi-award winning and hugely influential on budding comedy performers and directors.

The artwork of the twisted plane featured on posters for the film across the world and was painted by the celebrated artist, filmmaker and author Robert Grossman. Born in New York City in 1940, he received his earliest training from his father who was a display painter. He would go on to study at Yale University and graduated with a BA in Fine Arts in 1961. Two years later Grossman began a freelance career that would see him working for the next 50 years. His work has appeared over 500 times on the covers of various national publications such as Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone and Esquire. In addition to magazine and newspapers, his illustrations have also graced children’s books and record sleeves for the likes of Columbia and Warner Bros. The Airplane! illustration is one of his most famous pieces of work. As far as I can tell Grossman only worked on a painting for two other film posters during his career, both of which can be seen here. His official website is here and a gallery of his work can be seen here.

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.

Innerspace / B1 / Poland

07.10.15

Poster Poster

This is the Polish B1 poster for the release (in 1989) of Joe Dante’s 1987 sci-fi comedy Innerspace, in which Dennis Quaid plays the brilliantly named Tuck Pendleton, a loudmouth test pilot who is shrunken to miniature size as part of an experiment and then accidentally injected into the body of hypochondriac Jack Putter (Martin Short) during a robbery at a science lab. Madcap high-jinks ensue and the films nods heavily in the direction of the classic sci-fi film Fantastic Voyage. The film is definitely one of the high points in the myriad of high-concept films of the 1980s and I rate it as one of Joe Dante’s best films.

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.

Wsciekly / B1 / Poland

18.01.16

Poster Poster

Striking artwork on this B1 poster for the 1980 Polish crime thriller Wsciekly, apparently released internationally as Mad Dog. Helmed by Roman Zaluski the film is described on IMDb as a:

‘Detective thriller about a killer loose in the crowds. The film follows a sniper on his rounds looking for victims, while a police inspector, with few clues in his hand, has to figure out the motive for killings as well as who the psychopath is and where he might strike next. He uncovers that the mentally deranged sniper can’t stand seeing people happy together in public places.’

I can’t find any evidence of the film having been released in the US or UK but I can only assume it made it to some English-language territories because of the title translation. The film is available to watch in full on YouTube (albeit in terrible quality).

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!

Pagowski’s 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.

Note that there is an alternative style poster for Wsciekly, also by Pagowski, that features more dog-like art and can be seen here.

Dotknieci / B1 / cup on head style / Poland

03.02.16

Poster Poster
Title
Dotknieci
AKA
Stricken (English language title)
Year of Film
1989
Director
Wieslaw Saniewski
Starring
Ewa Blaszczyk, Piotr Fronczewski, Olgierd Lukaszewicz, Robert Rogalski, Katarzyna Skolimowska, Tadeusz Szymków, Joanna Trzepiecinska, Agnieszka Wagner
Origin of Film
Poland
Genre(s) of Film
Ewa Blaszczyk, Piotr Fronczewski, Olgierd Lukaszewicz, Robert Rogalski, Katarzyna Skolimowska, Tadeusz Szymków, Joanna Trzepiecinska, Agnieszka Wagner,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Cup on head style
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1989
Designer
Stasys Eidrigevičius
Artist
Stasys Eidrigevičius
Size (inches)
26 11/16" x 38 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A striking illustration by Stasys Eidrigevičius features on this B1 poster for the little-seen Polish drama Dotknieci. It’s also known as Stricken so I’m assuming it was given a release outside of Poland but I can find no evidence of a UK or US cinema run. I’ve struggled to find out much about the film other than it was directed by Wieslaw Saniewski who made his name internationally with the release of Nadzór (Custody) in 1984. He’s hardly a prolific director and only has 9 features to his name.

Stasys Eidrigevičius was born in Lithuania in 1949 and would go on to study at the College of Fine Arts and Crafts in Kaunas, which is the country’s second largest city. In 1973 he moved to Vilnius where he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and graduated from there with a diploma. Then in 1980 he moved to Poland and lived in Warsaw from where he pursued a career in design and illustration. As well as his award-winning work on film posters, Stasys is also a celebrated illustrator for book covers as well as a photographer. His own website has plenty of galleries of his work to view and an extensive biography.

Galleries of Stasys’ work can be seen on polishposter.com, and poster.pl. The Polish poster gallery site has six pages dedicated to his work. Check out Stasys’ personal website and you can find him on Facebook here.

Stranger Than Paradise / B1 / Poland

18.01.17

Poster Poster
Title
Stranger Than Paradise
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Jim Jarmusch
Starring
John Lurie, Eszter Balint, Richard Edson, Cecillia Stark, Danny Rosen, Rammellzee, Tom DiCillo
Origin of Film
USA | West Germany
Genre(s) of Film
John Lurie, Eszter Balint, Richard Edson, Cecillia Stark, Danny Rosen, Rammellzee, Tom DiCillo,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1991
Designer
Andrzej Klimowski
Artist
Andrzej Klimowski
Size (inches)
26 10/16" x 38 6/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A unique design by the designer and illustrator Andrzej Klimowski features on this Polish B1 poster for Jim Jarmusch’s Stranger Than Paradise. Following the 1980 release of Permanent Vacation, the director’s debut feature, he began work on what would become Stranger Than Paradise. A shorter version of the film was created first and shown at film festivals before it was expanded to full length and released in 1984. It’s considered to be a landmark in the independent / arthouse film movement and inspired many filmmakers over the following years. The film stars jazz musician John Lurie and former Sonic Youth guitarist Richard Edson as two friends, Willie and Eddie, and deals with their interaction with the former’s Hungarian cousin, Eva (Eszter Balint).

Told over three separate acts, the plot is minimalist and begins with Eva arriving at Willie’s spartan New York flat to stay for ten days. Aunt Lotte, with whom Eva was meant to be staying, is in hospital and Willie begrudgingly takes Eva in. After a while he begins to warm to his guest and is sad when she leaves to go to Cleveland. A year later, Willie and Eddie travel to visit Eva but end up just as bored as they were in New York. In act three, the pair decide to travel to Florida on a whim and end up taking Eva with them. The story culminates with the trio getting mixed up at the airport as Eva plans to fly back to Hungary.

Made on a budget of around $100k, the film was a relative success and earned over $2.4m. It was also a hit with critics and won a host of awards, including at festivals like Cannes and Sundance, where it won the coveted Special Jury Prize.

 

Andrzej Klimowski is a celebrated designer and illustrator who was born in London to Polish émigré parents in 1949. After studying at Saint Martin’s School of Art he moved to Poland to train at Warsaw’s famous Academy of Fine Art. Beginning in the 1970s Klimowski has worked on book covers for celebrated authors including PG Wodehouse and Kazuo Ishiguro. In the mid-1970s he was given the opportunity to work on film posters and turned in work for titles including Roman Polanski’s Chinatown and Robert Altman’s Nashville. He also began to work on theatre posters around the same time and began teaching illustration during the 1980s. He has won multiple awards over the years, including ones for his film posters.

This article in Eye Magazine is an excellent read and details the development of his unique style that he came to whilst working on posters and book covers. Here’s an excerpt that’s pertinent to this poster:

‘I was interested in an image without surface,’ explains Klimowski, ‘an illusion, which is like the projected image in the movies, or a printed image, not fine print like lithography or etching, but offset litho for the masses.’ Photocollage allowed him to cut into reality, sometimes crudely so the cut-lines show, manipulate it, and reassemble it with a degree of verisimilitude – ‘a deposit of the real world’ – that the paintbrushes preferred by his fellow Polish poster artists could not achieve. Montages made from his own photographs and other elements were transferred to lith film, the film image was traced on to paper, colour (crayon, paint or pastel) and other textures were applied, then the two layers were taped together so the colour shone through from inside.

Klimowski continues to create illustrations and book covers today and is now Professor Emeritus at the Royal College of Art in London, having served as head of the illustration course for many years. His own website is here and features a short biography. The one on the RCA’s website is more extensive. Polishposter.com features a decent gallery of his film poster work, including the five that he worked on for Jim Jarmusch films.