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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.

The Usual Suspects / B2 / Japan

01.10.14

Poster Poster

About to celebrate its 20th anniversary next year, Bryan Singer’s The Usual Suspects continues to sit at the top of many film fans’ lists of best crime thrillers and has been in the IMDb top 25 of all time (currently 23) since its release. Having won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival with his debut film, Public Access, Singer once again collaborated with high school friend and screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie with the spark of the story coming from the title of an article in the satirical Spy magazine which the director had read. The idea of a bunch of criminals meeting in a police line-up and embarking on a new job came to Singer and the visual motif for the poster was one of the first concepts he and McQuarrie had, with the director asking “What would possibly bring these five felons together in one line-up?”

Actor Kevin Spacey had seen Public Access at Sundance and told Singer that he wanted to be involved in whatever his next project was so when the screenplay, which went through several rewrites, eventually attracted financing from a European company Spacey was cast as Roger ‘Verbal’ Kint. With a complex narrative structure, the film starts in the aftermath of a deadly attack on a container ship in San Pedro Bay which has left 27 people dead and two survivors, a badly burned Hungarian criminal and small-time con-artist Verbal Kint.

During questioning by a US customs agent, Kint explains how the massacre was the culmination of a series of events that began with a police line-up of ‘the usual suspects’ (Spacey, Gabriel ByrneBenicio Del ToroStephen Baldwin and Kevin Pollak) a ragtag bunch of criminals and followed their interactions with an underworld legend known as Keyser Söze. The film ends with one of the greatest twists in the history of cinema.

This is the Japanese B2 which features the same line-up shot seen on the UK quad and the international one sheet, but there were barely any posters for the film that didn’t feature the image in some form.

Licence to Kill / one sheet / teaser / ‘S’ version / USA

07.07.14

Poster Poster
Title
Licence to Kill
AKA
License to Kill (alternative, pre-release spelling)
Year of Film
1989
Director
John Glen
Starring
Timothy Dalton, Carey Lowell, Robert Davi, Talisa Soto, Anthony Zerbe, Frank McRae, David Hedison, Wayne Newton, Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Starke, Everett McGill, Desmond Llewelyn
Origin of Film
UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Timothy Dalton, Carey Lowell, Robert Davi, Talisa Soto, Anthony Zerbe, Frank McRae, David Hedison, Wayne Newton, Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Starke, Everett McGill, Desmond Llewelyn,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Teaser - 'License' version
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1989
Designer
Steven Chorney
Artist
Keith Hamshere (photography)
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
His bad side is a dangerous place to be.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Licence to Kill, the sixteenth James Bond adventure, marked the end of an era in the franchise. Whilst certainly not in the running for best Bond film, it’s nevertheless a solid entry with excellent use of locations (actually forced due to budgetary constraints), a memorable bad guy in Robert Davi‘s drug kingpin Sanchez and a number of impressive stunt sequences. Fans of the original Ian Fleming novels often rate Licence to Kill as the film that’s closest to the original source material’s harder-edged action. Licence to Kill marked the last Bond film for director John Glen who had been involved in the series since 1969 and also saw legendary producer Albert R. Broccoli effectively retire from the reigns of a franchise he had begun with producing partner Harry Saltzman back in 1958. 

The story is significantly darker and grittier than anything that had come before in the series, particularly those films released during the Roger Moore era. It opens with Bond and old friend CIA agent Felix Leiter on the way to the latter’s wedding ceremony in Key West (Florida) when they’re informed that Sanchez, a wanted drug lord, has been spotted in the area. The pair manage to apprehend the kingpin after an exciting chase that ends with them parachuting out of a helicopter and landing in front of the church, just in time for the ceremony. After the title sequence (with the excellent Gladys Knight theme tune) things take a dark turn as Sanchez escapes and takes revenge on Felix and his new bride.

When Bond discovers a badly mutilated Leiter and his dead bride he vows revenge, but when his superiors deny his request and order him on another mission to Turkey, Bond flees and has his licence to kill revoked. With the help of one of Leiter’s friends, he follows a trail leading him from the Bahamas to the fictional Republic of Isthmus where Davi’s plan for global drugs domination is revealed. The film ends with a thrilling chase involving several tanker trucks along a dangerous highway, which is easily one of the most memorable action sequences in the series’ history. The film was Welsh actor Timothy Dalton‘s second appearance as 007 and would ultimately prove to be his last after a protracted legal wrangle meant that no Bond film was put into production until 1995’s Goldeneye, by which time the actor had moved on and was replaced by Pierce Brosnan.

The marketing of the film went through a number of iterations, designers and artists and, crucially, marked the first time that painted artwork gave way to a photographic montage. Despite some initial sketches and concepts by the legendary artist Bob Peak, MGM decided to commission a number of designers and artists to work on the posters, including American Steven Chorney who designed this particular advance one sheet, and British design firm FEREF (led by Robin Behling) which designed a montage that was used on the international one sheet, the British quad and for some other posters around the globe. Although initially produced under the title ‘Licence Revoked’, MGM feared that American audiences wouldn’t understand the second word and changed it to the title we know today. Note that there was some wrangling over whether to go with the American spelling ‘License’ or the British-English ‘Licence’. Eventually the latter won out, but not before these posters had been printed with the American spelling (the same poster also exists with ‘Licence’ too).

Sin City / one sheet / teaser / Nancy black and white style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas
AKA
--
Year of Film
1998
Director
Terry Gilliam
Starring
Johnny Depp, Benicio del Toro, Tobey Maguire, Ellen Barkin, Gary Busey, Christina Ricci, Mark Harmon, Cameron Diaz
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Johnny Depp, Benicio del Toro, Tobey Maguire, Ellen Barkin, Gary Busey, Christina Ricci, Mark Harmon, Cameron Diaz,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1998
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Ralph Steadman
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
The director of Twelve Monkeys turns the classic novel into a first class trip

Licence to Kill / one sheet / international

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Sin City / one sheet / advance / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

The Usual Suspects / one sheet / international

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Usual Suspects
AKA
--
Year of Film
1995
Director
Bryan Singer
Starring
Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri, Kevin Spacey, Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Pollak, Benicio del Toro, Giancarlo Esposito, Pete Postlethwaite, Dan Hedaya, Suzy Amis
Origin of Film
USA | Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri, Kevin Spacey, Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Pollak, Benicio del Toro, Giancarlo Esposito, Pete Postlethwaite, Dan Hedaya, Suzy Amis,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1995
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
26 6/8" x 39 6/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Five Criminals. One Line Up. No Coincidence.

Sin City / one sheet / teaser / Dwight style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Sin City / one sheet / teaser / Nancy colour style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Sin City / one sheet / teaser / Hartigan style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Sin City / one sheet / teaser / Gail style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Sin City / one sheet / teaser / Jackie Boy style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Sin City / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster

Snatch / one sheet / advance / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

The Funeral / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Funeral
AKA
--
Year of Film
1996
Director
Abel Ferrara
Starring
Christopher Walken, Chris Penn, Annabella Sciorra, Isabella Rossellini, Vincent Gallo, Benicio del Toro, Gretchen Mol, Paul Hipp, Paul Perri, Robert Miano
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Christopher Walken, Chris Penn, Annabella Sciorra, Isabella Rossellini, Vincent Gallo, Benicio del Toro, Gretchen Mol, Paul Hipp, Paul Perri, Robert Miano,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1996
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
New York, 1930. Bound by the love of family. Obsessed by a vow of vengeance.

The Usual Suspects / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Usual Suspects
AKA
--
Year of Film
1995
Director
Bryan Singer
Starring
Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri, Kevin Spacey, Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Pollak, Benicio del Toro, Giancarlo Esposito, Pete Postlethwaite, Dan Hedaya, Suzy Amis
Origin of Film
USA | Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri, Kevin Spacey, Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Pollak, Benicio del Toro, Giancarlo Esposito, Pete Postlethwaite, Dan Hedaya, Suzy Amis,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1995
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
Five Criminals. One Line Up. No Coincidence.