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Prometheus / screen print / regular / Martin Ansin / USA

16.09.16

Poster Poster

It’s fair to say that the film that would become Prometheus was long in gestation and expectations were set impossibly high before its release. Originally developed as the fifth entry in the Alien franchise, Ridley Scott and James Cameron (directors of the original film and its sequel) began developing a story after Scott expressed an interest in returning to the universe he brought to life. His intention was to make the film a prequel and focus on the so-called ‘space jockey’ creature that was seen briefly in the derelict space ship during the first part of the original film. Unfortunately the studio (Fox) decided to instead concentrate on the ill-fated Alien vs Predator (2004) and Cameron stepped away from the sequel project.

In 2009 the idea of a reboot of the Alien series was mooted and this quickly morphed into the previously conceived prequel to the first film. Screenwriter Jon Spaihts delivered a first version of the script and after several stop-starts the project was eventually green-lit. Before filming commenced, however, Damon Lindelof was hired to retool the script to suit Fox’s intention to make it less of a sci-fi horror and more something that would appeal to a wider audience. Once filming began there began a strange period where Scott and others played down all links to the original film and made efforts to sell it as the start of a ‘new, grand mythology’. Unfortunately this tactic wasn’t entirely successful and many audience members went into the cinema expecting to watch something close to Scott’s original film.

The film is set in the late 21st Century and follows a group of scientists on a mission to a distant moon after following clues discovered around Earth. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) believe that they have been invited to meet humanity’s forerunners and their mission is funded by Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), the billionaire CEO of the Weyland Corporation. The titular ship sets off to LV-223 with the crew in stasis whilst an Android named David (Michael Fassbender) tends to the ship. When they eventually reach the moon, the expedition team, led by Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) sets off to investigate a mysterious structure on the surface. Things don’t exactly go to plan from here on in and members of the crew are killed by a snake-like creature that spits acid and a black fluid that infects its host and causes them to behave aggressively. After some of the team discover a chamber with a number of the deceased space-jockey figures from Alien, it soon becomes clear that David is working under different orders than the rest of the crew. Things get increasingly ridiculous following this point and the film ends with one of the more preposterous sci-fi scenes of the last few years.

Prometheus made over $400m at the worldwide box-office and received mostly favourable reviews from professional critics, but its reputation amongst general audiences wasn’t exactly stellar. I recall reading many disappointed comments from people who’d expected something more from a film set in the Alien universe, especially one so long in gestation. One of the biggest criticisms was aimed at the plot holes that the film has, along with several moments of laughable dialogue and clunky character choices that don’t make much sense. It’s fair to say that the rewrites and stop-start nature of the project had a profound impact on the final film and undoubtedly created a lot of the issues it has. I personally don’t mind the film too much and feel it has several things going for it, including superb production design, almost flawless special effects and a great score. A sequel is on the way in 2017 and it’ll be interesting to see if Scott has listened to the critics of this film. Already, from reading early reports and viewing on-set photos, it’s clear that he intends to bring the story towards the feel of the first film.

 

This screen print by the Uruguayan artist Martin Ansin was released by the incomparable Mondo, the Austin-based purveyors of limited edition posters and film merchandise. The print was one of several created by Martin Ansin for a joint show with fellow artist Kevin Tong held at the Mondo Austin gallery during March 2014. Ansin also worked on a print for the original 1979 Alien and other films covered by the pair included James Cameron’s sequel Aliens and Flash Gordon. Badass Digest (now Birth Movies Death) went to the show and interviewed Ansin and Tong, which can be read here and Collider.com ran an article featuring loads of images from the show. There was a variant of this print available that was printed with a gold colour scheme, also with metallic inks.

Memento / B2 / red title style / Japan

09.07.14

Poster Poster

The film that launched Christopher Nolan into the international cinematic limelight, the ingenious mystery thriller Memento was written and directed by the man who would go on to helm the phenomenally successful Dark Knight Trilogy. Based on a short story by Jonathan Nolan the story focuses on a man called Leonard, played by Guy Pearce (an important role for the actor), who has no short term memory and is obsessively trying to solve the murder of his wife. Using scribbled notes, polaroids and tattoos, Leonard attempts to make sense of discoveries he makes and the interactions he has with people along the way, which includes Teddy (Joe Pantoliano) and Carrie-Anne Moss, two characters who shift and change throughout the film as Leonard, and the audience, try to understand who’s ultimately responsible.

What makes the film so memorable is the way that the story is told with two timelines being shown one after another, one in black and white and chronologically ordered, and the other in colour and in reverse chronological order. The film opens with Leonard shooting and killing Teddy, but as the film progresses we see Teddy alive and the reason for the shooting eventually becomes clear, with a devastating reveal at the end of the film. This diagram gives you an idea of the way the story is told and the film continues to be discussed almost 15 years since its release (see here and here, for example). Critics and audiences responded positively to a film that felt genuinely fresh and different, particularly compared against a glut of sequels and identikit plots that were flooding the cinema at the end of the 1990s.

This is the Japanese B2 (red style) from the original release there back in 2001 and the design is unique to this poster. The American one sheet is markedly different and includes Carrie-Anne Moss.

 

The Proposition / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Proposition
AKA
--
Year of Film
2005
Director
John Hillcoat
Starring
Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone, Emily Watson, Danny Huston, David Wenham, John Hurt
Origin of Film
Australia | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone, Emily Watson, Danny Huston, David Wenham, John Hurt,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2005
Designer
Art Machine
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

LA Confidential / B2 / red title style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
LA Confidential
AKA
--
Year of Film
1997
Director
Curtis Hanson
Starring
Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger, James Cromwell, Danny DeVito, David Strathairn
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger, James Cromwell, Danny DeVito, David Strathairn,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Red title style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1997
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

LA Confidential / B1 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
LA Confidential
AKA
--
Year of Film
1997
Director
Curtis Hanson
Starring
Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger, James Cromwell, Danny DeVito, David Strathairn
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger, James Cromwell, Danny DeVito, David Strathairn,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1997
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
28 10/16" x 40.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

L.A. Confidential / one sheet / international

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
L.A. Confidential
AKA
--
Year of Film
1997
Director
Curtis Hanson
Starring
Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger, James Cromwell, Danny DeVito, David Strathairn
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger, James Cromwell, Danny DeVito, David Strathairn,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1997
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Everything Is Suspect... Everyone Is For Sale... And Nothing Is What It Seems.