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The Emerald Forest / quad / UK

09.11.12

Poster Poster
Title
The Emerald Forest
Year of Film
1985
Director
John Boorman
Starring
Powers Boothe, Meg Foster, Yara Vaneau, William Rodriguez, Estee Chandler, Charley Boorman, Dira Paes, Eduardo Conde, Ariel Coelho
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Powers Boothe, Meg Foster, Yara Vaneau, William Rodriguez, Estee Chandler, Charley Boorman, Dira Paes, Eduardo Conde, Ariel Coelho,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Vic Fair
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
The Adventure Movie of the Year

A striking design on this British quad for the release of John Boorman‘s adventure film The Emerald Forest. Bill Markham (Powers Boothe) is an engineer working on the construction of a dam in the jungles of Brazil who has brought his wife and young children with him to live there. One day his son Tommy disappears and the family discover that he has been kidnapped by an indigenous tribe called the Invisible People. Markham spends years searching for his son and it’s not until a decade later that he finally locates him, only to discover that he’s now fully assimilated into the tribe. The dam is nearing completion and Markham decides to help his son’s adopted tribe before their way of life is totally destroyed. Tommy/Tomme is played by Charley Boorman, the director’s own son.

This poster was one of several collaborations between two immensely talented British designer-illustrators, Vic Fair and Brian Bysouth. Like the withdrawn A View to a Kill UK one sheet, Vic was on design duties and is responsible for this brilliantly clever composition that juxtaposes the face of Powers Boothe with that of a tribesman, using the device of the multi-stranded leaf. Brian executed the final illustration in his typically detailed style with the use of careful brush strokes and airbrush techniques to give the whole thing a nice texture.

Vic and Brian were unquestionably two of the greatest talents ever to work on British film posters, which make collaborations like this even more special. For more information on the pair I highly recommend picking up a copy of ‘British Film Posters‘ as it features sections on both men. Here are the posters I’ve collected so far by Brian Bysouth and those by Vic Fair (with more to add over the coming months).

In December 2012 I met and interviewed Brian Bysouth and this poster was discussed:

Another one you both worked on that I love is the poster for The Emerald Forest, which has a great device of the leaves dividing the two faces
That’s another superb design from Vic. The textured effects were created by using an old toothbrush to splatter the paint on quickly, and then I’d use an airbrush to finish it off. I really enjoyed painting the two figures running through the water. Being asked to do the finished illustration for such an outstanding design remains a deeply satisfying experience.

Years later, I asked Mike Wheeler, the advertising director at Rank, if he could return the artwork to me and I was astonished when it arrived by messenger the very next day. I always got on well with Mike but that kind act secured an enduring friendship.

The Emerald Forest / Thailand

20.10.15

Poster Poster

A detailed painting on this Thai poster for the release of John Boorman‘s adventure film The Emerald Forest. Bill Markham (Powers Boothe) is an engineer working on the construction of a dam in the jungles of Brazil who has brought his wife and young children with him to live there. One day his son Tommy disappears and the family discover that he has been kidnapped by an indigenous tribe called the Invisible People. Markham spends years searching for his son and it’s not until a decade later that he finally locates him, only to discover that he’s now fully assimilated into the tribe. The dam is nearing completion and Markham decides to help his son’s adopted tribe before their way of life is totally destroyed. Tommy/Tomme is played by Charley Boorman, the director’s own son.

The painting was done by the Thai artist Tongdee Panumas and elements of it were based on the design and illustration that was done for the British poster by Vic Fair and Brian Bysouth (notably the faces at the top and the figures running away in the bottom left). The art was one of several collaborations between the two immensely talented British designer-illustrators Like the withdrawn A View to a Kill UK one sheet, Vic was on design duties and is responsible for this brilliantly clever composition that juxtaposes the face of Powers Boothe with that of a tribesman, using the device of the multi-stranded leaf. Brian executed the final illustration in his typically detailed style with the use of careful brush strokes and airbrush techniques to give the whole thing a nice texture.

Vic and Brian were unquestionably two of the greatest talents ever to work on British film posters, which make collaborations like this even more special. For more information on the pair I highly recommend picking up a copy of ‘British Film Posters‘ as it features sections on both men. Here are the posters I’ve collected so far by Brian Bysouth and those by Vic Fair (with more to add over the coming months). In December 2012 I met and interviewed Brian Bysouth and this poster was discussed.

Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) was an incredibly prolific Thai film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s but I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947. If anyone has any more information please get in touch.

Excalibur / A0 / Germany

19.04.17

Poster Poster
Title
Excalibur
AKA
The Knights (USA - working title)
Year of Film
1981
Director
John Boorman
Starring
Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicol Williamson, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi, Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart, Clive Swift, Gabriel Byrne
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicol Williamson, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi, Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart, Clive Swift, Gabriel Byrne,
Type of Poster
A0
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Based on Bob Beak artwork
Size (inches)
33" x 46 10/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

At first glance, the artwork on this large-format (A0) German poster for the 1981 fantasy film Excalibur seems to be the same Bob Peak artwork that appears on posters from around the world, including the US one sheet, but it is not. When viewed up close, and compared to the Peak art, it’s clear that the (German) artist was asked to replicate the original as closely as possible, but the quality is definitely lacking in comparison to Peak. The likely reason the distributor decided to have the art repainted, as opposed to cutting and recomposing Peak’s, is that the one sheet art’s composition is completely unsuited to the landscape format of this A0. I suspect a similar thing happened with the British quad, which features an image of the sword being held aloft that is not the same artwork as on the Peak one sheet. The sword appears alongside an image of Merlin that is the artist’s work.

Excalibur was a passion project for the director John Boorman (Deliverance, Point Blank) who had been trying to kickstart a project based on the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table since 1969. After almost a decade he was able to pull together the financial backing to commence filming, with a script based on the 15th century tales of Le Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Malory. The film is notable for being entirely shot on location in Ireland and for featuring breakout performances from a number of notable actors, including Helen MirrenGabriel Byrne, and Liam Neeson. Set over several decades, the story follows the machinations of multiple characters, with the wizard Merlin (Nicol Williamson) acting as something of a constant (if deeply eccentric) figure who floats around the rulers of Britain. In one of the first scenes we see him retrieving the titular sword from the Lady of the Lake.

Beginning with a king called Uther Pendragon (Byrne), Merlin first assists him in first reaching a truce with Gorlois, the Duke of Cornwall, before Uther sets his sights on the Duke’s wife Igrayne and war breaks out once more. Merlin reluctantly offers to help him defeat Gorlois and capture Igrayne on the condition that he can have ‘whatever results from this lust’. Without fully understanding the ramifications of the deal, Uther agrees, slays the Duke and has his way with Igrayne (albeit under a Merlin spell that makes him look like the Duke). Nine months later Merlin arrives to claim his agreed prize, a boy born of that night’s passion. The wizard leaves the castle with him, much to Igrayne’s horror, and eventually Uther decides to pursue and attempt to rescue his son. Unfortunately he is attacked in a forest by a group of Gorlois’ men and dies, but not before he thrusts Excalibur into a stone and proclaims, “He who draws the sword from the stone, he shall be king.”

The story then jumps forward several years and sees the boy, now grown into a teenager named Arthur, completely unaware of his origins (Merlin had given him to another couple to raise as their own). Whilst attending a jousting contest with his father and brother, a mixup with a stolen sword sees Arthur easily pulling Excalibur from the stone after hundreds of men have failed to do so in the past. Unaware of the significance of the event, it takes Arthur a while to understand that he is now the rightful king and only a visit from Merlin eventually convinces him. The rest of the film follows Arthur as he rallies knights around him, takes the throne and establishes the famous court and castle of Camelot. He also meets and falls in love with Guinevere (Cherie Lunghi) but eventually tensions rise when Lancelot, one of his trusted knights, becomes infatuated with her. Morgana, a budding sorceress and Arthur’s half-sister, also tricks Merlin into teaching her the Charm of Making, allowing her to take the form of others. When she tricks Arthur into sleeping with her (him believing it to be Guinevere) the resultant child threatens an end to the whole kingdom.

Apparently the film was originally completed to a length of around three hours before having 40 minutes trimmed and I can’t help but feel that allowing the film to breathe might have helped. There’s a lot of story to fit in and it’s fair to say that the cuts do show; I found some of the time jumps and scene to scene transitions pretty jarring, whilst the script doesn’t exactly help matters. Critics at the time also found the film’s story and exposition wanting but most agreed that Boorman had definitely succeeded in making the film visually stunning. The use of real locations along with some incredible costumes such as the shiny chrome armour worn by most of the male cast (Merlin even has a shiny cap) are accentuated by the use of coloured lighting. The film has developed something of a cult reputation over the years, largely thanks to the arresting visuals on display.

If anyone knows who the artist was that repainted the original Bob Peak art, please get in touch.

Deliverance / B2 / Japan

21.11.11

Poster Poster
Title
Deliverance
AKA
Un tranquillo week-end di paura [A calm weekend of fear] (Italy)
Year of Film
1972
Director
John Boorman
Starring
Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, Ed Ramey, Billy Redden, Seamon Glass, Randall Deal, Bill McKinney
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, Ed Ramey, Billy Redden, Seamon Glass, Randall Deal, Bill McKinney,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 4/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

John Boorman‘s classic survival tale will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year and it remains a powerful and unique film, with no remake or imitations muddying its legacy. Deliverance has firmly entered the public consciousness and is almost guaranteed to be referenced when film and TV characters leave the city to head into the wild.

It also introduced the idea of mountain men (hillbillies) to folks who’d never visited the kind of country seen in the film. Finally, there’s the famous ‘Duelling Banjos’ music and the oft-quoted ‘squeal like piggy!’ line taken from the infamous rape scene.

This Japanese poster features a mixture of photography and artwork. It appears that the canoes are photographic whilst the river has been enhanced with illustration. The shotgun rising from the water is featured on a handful of other posters for the film, including the British quad and the style B US one sheet.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Zardoz / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Zardoz
AKA
--
Year of Film
1974
Director
John Boorman
Starring
Sean Connery, Charlotte Rampling, Sara Kestelman, John Alderton, Sally Anne Newton, Niall Buggy, Bosco Hogan, Jessica Swift, Reginald Jarman
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Sean Connery, Charlotte Rampling, Sara Kestelman, John Alderton, Sally Anne Newton, Niall Buggy, Bosco Hogan, Jessica Swift, Reginald Jarman,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 3/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Zardoz / 30×40 / USA

03.10.11

Poster Poster
Title
Zardoz
AKA
--
Year of Film
1974
Director
John Boorman
Starring
Sean Connery, Charlotte Rampling, Sara Kestelman, John Alderton, Sally Anne Newton, Niall Buggy, Bosco Hogan, Jessica Swift, Reginald Jarman
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Sean Connery, Charlotte Rampling, Sara Kestelman, John Alderton, Sally Anne Newton, Niall Buggy, Bosco Hogan, Jessica Swift, Reginald Jarman,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Ron Lesser
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
74/31
Tagline
Beyond 1984, Beyond 2001, Beyond Love, Beyond Death.

Utterly bonkers, laughably terrible, bizarrely brilliant; Zardoz is one of those films that you have to see at least once just to believe that it was even made. There are countless unforgettable images in the film, not least of which is Sean Connery in a red leather nappy and knee-high boots. There’s also a moment where he dons a wedding dress.

The script is also rather special; ‘The Penis is evil! The Penis shoots Seeds, and makes new Life to poison the Earth with a plague of men, as once it was. But the Gun shoots Death and purifies the Earth of the filth of Brutals. Go forth, and kill! Zardoz has spoken”

I’m a fan of this poster for a number of reasons, including the tagline and the strange choice of images to depict from the film, but it’s the film’s logo that deserves special mention as surely one of the best of the 1970s, if not ever.

The artist for this poster is American artist Ron Lesser, who is also responsible for the excellent High Plains Drifter one sheet (thanks to MightyMcT for confirming this).

Check out the trailer to get a taste of the wonder of Zardoz. If you want to see the best bits someone has made a short film entitled ‘Zardoz in 10 minutes’.

Finally, bear witness to Zardoz dog!

Excalibur / one sheet / 80s re-release / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Excalibur
AKA
The Knights (USA - working title)
Year of Film
1981
Director
John Boorman
Starring
Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicol Williamson, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi, Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart, Clive Swift, Gabriel Byrne
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicol Williamson, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi, Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart, Clive Swift, Gabriel Byrne,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
80s re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Murray Smith (Smolen, Smith and Connolly)
Artist
Bob Peak
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
810029
Tagline
Forged by a god. Foretold by a wizard. Found by a king.

Because of the presence of a GCIU logo, this is likely not from the 1981 original release but a re-release from later in the 1983. This note from an emovieposter.com auction explains why:

Note that there are two versions of this poster: one with a GAU printer logo and one with GCIU logo. We have been told that the GCIU logo wasn’t trademarked until July 1983, so the theory is that any poster that carries the GCIU logo must be from 1983 or later and are either theatrical re-release posters or possibly video store posters. We do not know for sure.

Excalibur / one sheet / teaser / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Excalibur
AKA
The Knights (USA - working title)
Year of Film
1981
Director
John Boorman
Starring
Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicol Williamson, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi, Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart, Clive Swift, Gabriel Byrne
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicol Williamson, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi, Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart, Clive Swift, Gabriel Byrne,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
810029
Tagline
--

Excalibur / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Excalibur
AKA
The Knights (USA - working title)
Year of Film
1981
Director
John Boorman
Starring
Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicol Williamson, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi, Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart, Clive Swift, Gabriel Byrne
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicol Williamson, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi, Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart, Clive Swift, Gabriel Byrne,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Bob Peak
Size (inches)
29 15/16" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Forged by a god. Foretold by a wizard. Found by a king.