You Searched For: Music

Phantom of the Paradise / 30×40 / USA

15.04.14

Poster Poster
Title
Phantom of the Paradise
AKA
--
Year of Film
1974
Director
Brian De Palma
Starring
William Finley, Paul Williams, Jessica Harper, Gerrit Graham, George Memmoli, Archie Hahn, Jeffrey Comanor, Peter Elbling
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
William Finley, Paul Williams, Jessica Harper, Gerrit Graham, George Memmoli, Archie Hahn, Jeffrey Comanor, Peter Elbling,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
Style C
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Neal Adams (original sketch)
Artist
Richard Corben
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
74/339
Tagline
He's been maimed and framed, beaten, robbed and mutilated. But they still can't keep him from the woman he loves. | The most highly acclaimed horror phantasy of our time.

Brian De Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise is arguably one of cinema’s greatest cult oddities. Part musical, part horror and loosely based on Phantom of the Opera and the classic tale of Faust, the film has an electric atmosphere helped no end by the performance of the late William Finley as the unlucky music composer Winslow Leach who falls foul of the twisted producer Swan (Paul Williams, himself a noted musician and composer). A twisted satire of the state of the music business of the time, the film features a superb soundtrack written by Williams, which is a mix of surf pop, 70s glam rock and romantic ballads.

When Swan sees Winslow performing his music at a small concert he convinces the composer to sell his tunes to him to be used at the opening of his new club, The Paradise. Instead Swan has one of his henchmen steal the music, beat Winslow up and frame him for drug possession, sending the mild mannered musician to the brutal Sing Sing prison. Months later Winslow hears that one of Swan’s bands is to release a record based on his music and breaks out of the prison in a frenzied rage. After heading to Swan’s Death Records factory he tries to sabotage a record press but accidentally falls head-first into it, severely scarring his face and damaging his vocal chords. Escaping from the police, he makes his way to the Paradise where he dons a cape and a beaked mask and becomes the Phantom of The Paradise. Soon he discovers the secret behind Swan’s success and sets out to stop him at all costs.

The film was met with mixed critical reviews and was a worldwide box-office flop, with the only exceptions being in Japan and, bizarrely, Winnipeg in Canada where the film played at the same cinema for months. One of the key reasons for the film’s disastrous commercial performance was the way it had initially been marketed by studio Twentieth Century Fox who had created a campaign that emphasised the rock aspect of the film with the intention of drawing in teenage music fans. The plan backfired, however, when initial audiences realised how negative the portrayal of the music industry is in the film was and how it was effectively sending up the very thing they were fans of.

The brilliant fan site The Swan Archives, curated by Ari Kahan, features a thorough history of the promotion of the film and shows the initial two styles of poster, one of which was designed by Anthony Goldschmidt and illustrated by the late John Alvin and also featured on the album cover. As Kahan notes:

‘The involvement of A&M records (which issued the soundtrack, and which more or less owned the exclusive rights to Paul Williams’ life at the time) in the co-marketing campaign with 20th Century Fox meant that the film was initially pitched towards what A&M and Fox believed to be the teens-through-college “rock music demographic.” John Alvin’s beautiful painted graphics on the posters and soundtrack album emphasised guitars, keyboards, microphones, patch cords, and other musical ephemera, and a photorealistic depiction of songwriter/star Paul Williams, signalling the studio’s intention to rely heavily on Williams’ existing fame in its promotion of the film.’

The rest of the ill-conceived initial campaign is detailed on the Swan Archives page linked to above. After a disastrous few months at the box office, the film’s producer Ed Pressman convinced the studio to allow him to reposition the film with a revised marketing campaign. Kahan explains:

‘Pressman went into action by launching a second campaign, in mid-1975, which tagged the film as “The Most Highly Acclaimed Horror Phantasy of Our Time,” pushing the horror angle and perennial plot line, and downplaying the music. De Palma, Finley, and Graham were made extremely available to give interviews to Castle of Frankenstein, Monster World, and every other horror magazine that would make time for them’

As part of this second campaign Pressman commissioned noted comic book artist Richard Corben to illustrate a new poster image and fellow comic book artist Neal Adams provided an initial concept sketch from which Corben worked (according to Kahan, ‘Adams drew the sketch for free, to aid Pressman in pitching a never-realised Phantom of the Paradise companion comic book, which he hoped might result in some paying work’) . The new painting emphasised the horror aspect and the Phantom’s mangled face and completely downplayed Williams’ presence – you can just spot him at the bottom of the marquee (see the close-up image). The new campaign proved to be more successful but as Kahan notes:

‘The film gradually took on life, bringing in decent (though never great) box office and some positive reviews. As De Palma put it, “When we revised the campaign in the U.S and made it seem more like The Phantom of the Opera than a horror/rock film, we got an entirely different response.”‘

For more on the film’s promotional travails, I again urge you to check out the excellent Swan Archives site. Corben also painted the style B one sheet for the Heavy Metal film, the magazine of which he’d been involved with for several years.

Roller Boogie / B2 / style B / Japan

09.05.16

Poster Poster

This is the style B Japanese B2 poster for the release of the 1979 musical oddity Roller Boogie, with a unique, and rather wild, montage that was designed by Kazuo Yuasa. One of those films that’s something of a time capsule, the film was put into production by Irwin Yablans the independent producer who had struck gold a year earlier with John Carpenter’s Halloween. Yablans is credited with the film’s story and the intention was to capitalise on the then craze for rollerskating that was sweeping the States.

 Mark L. Lester (known for Commando and Class of 1984) was hired to direct and Linda Blair (The Exorcist) was given the starring role opposite an award-winning amateur skating champion called Jim Bray who was originally attached as a stuntman but was later given acting lessons when the production struggled to find a leading actor.

Blair plays Terry Barkley a Beverly Hills rich girl who is largely ignored by her parents who are determined to see her attend a prestigious school in New York and carry on as a flautist. One day whilst visiting Venice Beach she meets a hotshot skater named Bobby James (Bray) who dreams of making it to the Olympics. The pair strike up a friendship and eventually Terry asks Bobby if she can teach him how to skate and create a routine for them both so they can compete in a Roller Boogie contest at a skating rink called Jammer’s. Unfortunately a nefarious property developer plans to buy Jammer’s and raze it to the ground, so the pair team up with other skaters to put a stop to the plans whilst practicing their routines ready for the big night.

The film was largely panned on its release but found success with teen audiences and has since gone on to have something of a cult following. Plans for a mooted sequel were scrapped when disco music and roller skating lost their popularity.

I’ve struggled to find out anything about Kazuo Yuasa and this is the only other Japanese poster that I can find credited to him. If anyone has any more information about him please get in touch.

Cotton Club / A1 / Germany

23.05.16

Poster Poster

This is the poster for the German release of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1984 crime-drama/musical The Cotton Club. Legendary producer Robert Evans had originally planned to direct the film and the initial story and screenplay had been written by Mario ‘The Godfather’ Puzo, but Evans had a last-minute change of heart and asked Coppola to step in. Puzo’s script was apparently re-written by the author William Kennedy who ended up writing multiple drafts and ended up with a shared screenplay credit along with Coppola. Production was apparently beset with problems, including a spiralling budget that was provided by various parties including Las Vegas casino owners, an Arab arms dealer and a vaudeville performer. In typical fashion, Evans was determined to make the film as extravagant as possible and constructed ‘no expense spared’ sets, hiring some of the best technicians in the business at eye-watering figures.

Another likely reason that filming costs ballooned is the impressive ensemble cast that Evans and the studio were able to hire, which included the likes of Richard GereDiane LaneBob Hoskins and Gregory Hines. Loosely based on the real club of the same name that was located in New York’s Harlem neighbourhood, the story follows the machinations of various characters involved with the club in the 1930s, including Gere’s musician Dixie Dwyer whose dealings with the mobster owner of the club Owney Madden (Hoskins) sees him advance his career as an actor whilst having an affair with the girlfriend of the local kingpin, Dutch Schultz (James Remar). The film also follows Sandman Williams (Hines) a local dancer who falls for the club’s star performer Lila Rose Dwyer (Lonette McKee). Nicolas Cage appears as Dixie’s violent, racist brother Vincent who joins Schultz’s gang.

The film features several musical sequences and is soundtracked by several of the most popular jazz tunes of the era. Sadly, Coppola and Evans clashed regularly during the production and at a certain point the director apparently barred the producer from visiting the set. The Cotton Club was declared a flop when it opened in fourth place at the box-office and would eventually go on to recoup less than half of its reported budget of just under $60 million. Despite tepid critical reception the film was nevertheless nominated for several awards (only winning for Best Costumes at the BAFTAs). The film has something of a cult following today, with many fans speaking highly of the film’s production values and well-staged musical numbers. Rumours of a director’s cut release were ignited last year when Coppola declared that a restoration was in the works, reinstating several musical sequences that were apparently cut for its initial release.

This German poster was illustrated by Renato Casaro, an Italian with a prolific movie poster output that lasted over 35 years. He began his career in 1953, aged 19, at the famous Studio Favalli in Rome and would go on to design and paint posters for many of the biggest directors in the world. His skill at accurately portraying actors and his brilliant use of colour and composition saw him much in demand from studios and actors alike. His artwork has featured on posters used in multiple countries, including Japan, Germany, USA as well as in his native Italy.

Check out the incredible amount of work on his official website here, which also features a biography of the artist. In March 2014 I published an exclusive interview with Renato and it can be read by clicking here. The other posters I’ve collected by Renato Casaro are here.

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 Last Dragon / B2 / Japan

09.02.15

Poster Poster
Title
The Last Dragon
AKA
--
Year of Film
1985
Director
Michael Schultz
Starring
Taimak, Vanity, Christopher Murney, Julius Carry, Faith Prince, Leo O'Brien, Mike Starr, Jim Moody, Glen Eaton, Ernie Reyes Jr.
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Taimak, Vanity, Christopher Murney, Julius Carry, Faith Prince, Leo O'Brien, Mike Starr, Jim Moody, Glen Eaton, Ernie Reyes Jr.,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Seito
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Last Dragon is a martial-arts cult classic from the 1980s that (at least in the US) stands alongside films like The Goonies and Back to the Future as a defining youth-oriented film of the era. It’s definitely less well known in the UK and I think that has something to do with the fact that it was released with a ’15’ rating over here, meaning it was out of bounds for the younger audience it clearly attracted in the US (with a PG rating).

That it was rated 15 was probably to do with the video nasties situation of the time and the passing of the Video Recordings Act of 1984 that meant all home video had to be classified by the British Board of Film Classification, designated by the government as the upholders of film ratings. Martial arts films were seen as an undesirable genre as they were (stupidly) thought to have a strong potential to cause cases of copycat violence in school children across the nation. In addition to being given a 15 rating, the film had cuts made totalling almost 2 minutes for the cinema and subsequent home video releases.

To say this action by the BBFC was excessive would be an understatement as, aside from a couple of moments of profane language, the film is really quite mild, with none of the fight scenes being at all brutal. The film was produced by the founder of Motown records Berry Gordy and was intended to mix musical numbers (predominantly hip-hop) with the popular (at the time) martial arts genre. The lead role of Leroy Green (AKA Bruce Leroy), a young warrior who wishes to attain the ultimate level of martial arts skill known as ‘The Glow’, was given to the 20-year-old, single-monikered Taimak, a martial artist who apparently learned to act whilst on the set of the Last Dragon.

Leroy leaves his master on the quest to find Master Sum Dum Goy whom he believes will teach him the final lessons needed to attain The Glow. Along the way he must battle with the malevolent Sho’nuff (a hilarious performance from Julius Carry) another martial artist who sees Leroy as standing in the way of total domination, as well as deal with the machinations of the twisted video arcade mogul Eddie Arkadian (Christopher Murney). Laura Charles (Vanity, single-monikered protege of Prince) the VJ of a popular music video channel is kidnapped by Arkadian’s men in an attempt to convince her to play his girlfriend’s awful music video. Leroy sets out to rescue her and romance soon blossoms between them. He soon learns the truth about attaining The Glow and the final fight with Sho’nuff features the use of rotoscoped special effects.

The film contains a few almost full-length music videos, including the DeBarge song, ‘Rhythm of the Night‘. The fight scenes are all well choreographed and entertaining, with Taimak clearly having skills in that area (if not so much as a thespian). The excellent Last Dragon Tribute site features a recent letter from the man himself in which he explains why he’s not starred in many films since then. It’s not hard to see why the film was so popular as it played to the adolescent fantasy of many a young male teen who dreamed of using martial arts to win the heart of a girl.

This Japanese poster is rather excellent and the artwork is unique to the Japanese campaign. Seito is one of my favourite Japanese artists who was responsible for several fantastic illustrated posters during the 1970s and 1980s. Little is known about the man himself, even in his native country.

To see the other posters I’ve collected by Seito click here.

Cotton Club / A1 / Czechoslovakia

25.01.16

Poster Poster
Title
The Cotton Club
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Francis Ford Coppola
Starring
Richard Gere, Gregory Hines, Diane Lane, Lonette McKee, Bob Hoskins, James Remar, Nicolas Cage, Laurence Fishburne, Tom Waits
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Richard Gere, Gregory Hines, Diane Lane, Lonette McKee, Bob Hoskins, James Remar, Nicolas Cage, Laurence Fishburne, Tom Waits,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Czechoslovakia
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Jan Weber
Artist
Jan Weber
Size (inches)
22 12/16" x 32.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the poster for the Czech release of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1984 crime-drama/musical The Cotton Club. Legendary producer Robert Evans had originally planned to direct the film and the initial story and screenplay had been written by Mario ‘The Godfather’ Puzo, but Evans had a last-minute change of heart and asked Coppola to step in. Puzo’s script was apparently re-written by the author William Kennedy who ended up writing multiple drafts and ended up with a shared screenplay credit along with Coppola. Production was apparently beset with problems, including a spiralling budget that was provided by various parties including Las Vegas casino owners, an Arab arms dealer and a vaudeville performer. In typical fashion, Evans was determined to make the film as extravagant as possible and constructed ‘no expense spared’ sets, hiring some of the best technicians in the business at eye-watering figures.

Another likely reason that filming costs ballooned is the impressive ensemble cast that Evans and the studio were able to hire, which included the likes of Richard GereDiane LaneBob Hoskins and Gregory Hines. Loosely based on the real club of the same name that was located in New York’s Harlem neighbourhood, the story follows the machinations of various characters involved with the club in the 1930s, including Gere’s musician Dixie Dwyer whose dealings with the mobster owner of the club Owney Madden (Hoskins) sees him advance his career as an actor whilst having an affair with the girlfriend of the local kingpin, Dutch Schultz (James Remar). The film also follows Sandman Williams (Hines) a local dancer who falls for the club’s star performer Lila Rose Dwyer (Lonette McKee). Nicolas Cage appears as Dixie’s violent, racist brother Vincent who joins Schultz’s gang.

The film features several musical sequences and is soundtracked by several of the most popular jazz tunes of the era. Sadly, Coppola and Evans clashed regularly during the production and at a certain point the director apparently barred the producer from visiting the set. The Cotton Club was declared a flop when it opened in fourth place at the box-office and would eventually go on to recoup less than half of its reported budget of just under $60 million. Despite tepid critical reception the film was nevertheless nominated for several awards (only winning for Best Costumes at the BAFTAs). The film has something of a cult following today, with many fans speaking highly of the film’s production values and well-staged musical numbers. Rumours of a director’s cut release were ignited last year when Coppola declared that a restoration was in the works, reinstating several musical sequences that were apparently cut for its initial release.

This Czech poster was designed by Jan Weber about whom I’ve been able to discover very little, other than that he was active from the 1970s to the 1990s and mainly specialised in posters for Hollywood films being released in Czechoslovakia. The site Terry Posters has a gallery of many of his posters.

Last Days / one sheet / USA

24.07.17

Poster Poster

A striking photographic image features on this one sheet for the release of Gus Van Sant‘s 2005 drama, Last Days. The film is a fictionalized account of the last few days in the life of a musician who is reminiscent of Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana. Van Sant had been planning the project for over a decade and at one point had wanted to make a biography of the singer. After befriending Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, the director realised that doing so would cause too much pain for Love and the deceased singer’s family, so he decided to fictionalise the story.

Michael Pitt plays the main character Blake and Van Sant had cast him in the part seven years before filming commenced. The rest of the cast includes Lukas HaasAsia Argento and Nicole Vicius, with notorious director Harmony Korine appearing as a character in one scene set in a nightclub. The plot is thin and Van Sant uses a technique he’s employed in a few of his films where the same scene is shown from different view points but at different times throughout the film, with the audience not given clear indication that this has happened. Most of the scenes follow Blake and take place in and around a large house surrounded by trees. Several interactions between him and his housemates, as well as visitors to the house take place, all leading up to a fatal moment with Blake and a shotgun at the end of the film.

The film received mixed critical notices and failed to make much of a dent at the box-office in the US. It received limited releases in several territories, including the UK.

This American one sheet was designed by Shoolery Design which now appears to be defunct as a company but was responsible for a large number of film posters from the mid-1990s up to 2007. A gallery of these designs can be seen on IMPAwards. The man who started the company, Mark Shoolery, seems to still be active and he has a website on which a lot of his work, including film posters, can be seen. It looks like he continues to work as an independent art director and artist and his Instagram feed features logo design work. According to his resume Shoolery has worked on projects for the film industry, the music industry, packaging for various products including toys, and marketing strategy for several companies. The LinkedIn entry for Shoolery design notes the following:

Conceived, developed and executed creative advertising campaigns for major studios, network and cable television, home entertainment, music and live events. Oversaw all in and out of-home advertising, collateral and promotional materials. Directed staff of 80-90 employees producing high-end advertising campaigns. Consulted with studio marketing executives as well as producers and directors of major motion pictures. Supervised celebrity photo shoots worldwide.

The other posters I have that were created by Shoolery Design can be seen here.

Inside Llewyn Davis / screen print / Telegramme / UK

19.08.16

Poster Poster

This is a screen print for the 2013 Coen brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis that was created for an art exhibition held in early 2014, around the release of the film in the UK. Written, directed, produced and edited by the celebrated filmmakers, the film is a black comedy-drama based around the New York folk music revival scene of the early 1960s. Although largely fictional, the eponymous singer-songwriter is based on Dave Van Ronk, a now deceased folk singer who was an important character at the time and had the nickname ‘The Mayor of MacDougal Street’. The Coens found inspiration in his autobiography and certain elements of the film are based on it.

Oscar Isaac plays Davis and the film takes place over a week in February 1961. We follow the singer as he struggles to make a name for himself in the music scene and travels around with his guitar in tow. Due to a lack of money, Davis is forced to sleep on friends’ couches, including that of his long term friends the Gorfeins. In an early scene in the film, Davis accidentally allows their cat Ulysees to be locked out from their flat. He grabs the animal and heads to the house of  Jim (Justin Timberlake) and Jean (Carey Mulligan) Berkey, a couple who are also singers, asking if he can stay the night. During the stay, Jean tells Davis that she’s pregnant and believes the child to be his, asking him to pay for the abortion. The rest of the film see Davis trying to track down the funds to pay to Jean, wrangle with the constantly escaping cat, and try to kick start his struggling career.

The UK-based magazine Little White Lies created an event to celebrate the film’s release which saw it commission seven artists to create fake gig posters for seven different Coen brothers films, including The Big Lebowski and O’ Brother Where Art Thou? The event was called ‘One Night Only: A Coen Brothers Gig Poster Extravaganza’ and all of the other posters can be seen on the website of the UK Poster Association, who was responsible for the actual screen printing, here. Each poster was printed in a limited run of 50.

This poster for Inside Llewyn Davis, featuring Ulysees the cat, was designed and illustrated by a studio called Telegramme, which is run by Bobby and Kate and is based in Margate on the south coast. Their official website is here and features lots of items for sale. The about page details their work for other companies. They also have a page on Cargo Collective which can be viewed here and includes other examples of their work. Telegramme’s Instagram page is here.

Roller Boogie / B2 / style A / Japan

16.08.16

Poster Poster

This is the style A Japanese B2 poster for the release of the 1979 musical oddity Roller Boogie, featuring artwork by Yasuo Nemoto. One of those films that’s something of a time capsule, the film was put into production by Irwin Yablans the independent producer who had struck gold a year earlier with John Carpenter’s Halloween. Yablans is credited with the film’s story and the intention was to capitalise on the then craze for rollerskating that was sweeping the States.

 Mark L. Lester (known for Commando and Class of 1984) was hired to direct and Linda Blair (The Exorcist) was given the starring role opposite an award-winning amateur skating champion called Jim Bray who was originally attached as a stuntman but was later given acting lessons when the production struggled to find a leading actor.

Blair plays Terry Barkley a Beverly Hills rich girl who is largely ignored by her parents who are determined to see her attend a prestigious school in New York and carry on as a flautist. One day whilst visiting Venice Beach she meets a hotshot skater named Bobby James (Bray) who dreams of making it to the Olympics. The pair strike up a friendship and eventually Terry asks Bobby if she can teach him how to skate and create a routine for them both so they can compete in a Roller Boogie contest at a skating rink called Jammer’s. Unfortunately a nefarious property developer plans to buy Jammer’s and raze it to the ground, so the pair team up with other skaters to put a stop to the plans whilst practicing their routines ready for the big night.

The film was largely panned on its release but found success with teen audiences and has since gone on to have something of a cult following. Plans for a mooted sequel were scrapped when disco music and roller skating lost their popularity.

The artwork is credited to someone called Yasuo Nemoto but I’ve been unable to find out anything about them online. If anyone has any further details about Nemoto please get in touch. I also have the style B Japanese B2 in the collection and it can be viewed here.

The Monster Club / quad / UK

30.11.12

Poster Poster
Title
The Monster Club
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
Roy Ward Baker
Starring
Vincent Price, Donald Pleasence, John Carradine, Stuart Whitman, Richard Johnson, Barbara Kellerman, Britt Ekland, Simon Ward, Anthony Valentine, Patrick Magee, Anthony Steel
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Vincent Price, Donald Pleasence, John Carradine, Stuart Whitman, Richard Johnson, Barbara Kellerman, Britt Ekland, Simon Ward, Anthony Valentine, Patrick Magee, Anthony Steel,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Graham Humphreys
Artist
Graham Humphreys
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
You'll meet some interesting people and hear some great songs at The Monster Club

The horror anthology The Monster Club was produced by ex-Amicus co-owner Milton Subotsky and was the final feature film from director Roy Ward Baker. Subotsky had seen great success as one half of Amicus (his partner was the screenwriter Max Rosenberg) with the release of several ‘portmanteau’ horrors, including three directed by genre stalwart Freddie FrancisDr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1964), Torture Garden (1967) and Tales from the Crypt (1972). Roy Ward Baker is best remembered for his work on the Titanic film A Night to Remember (1958) and several successful horror films for one of Amicus’ rival studios, Hammer, including the excellent Quatermass and the Pit (1967) and Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde (1972). Baker directed a handful of horrors for Amicus, including the anthologies Asylum (1972) and The Vault of Horror (1973), as well as the ghost story And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973).

The Monster Club features American horror legend Vincent Price as the vampire Eramus who bumps into the horror writer R.Chetwynd-Hayes (played by the prolific John Carradine) and feasts on his blood but ‘doesn’t bite deep enough’ to turn him into one of his own. Eramus then invites the writer to visit the titular club claiming that he’s sure it will offer plenty of inspiration as it’s home to all manner of werewolves, ghouls, beasts and other assorted creatures (read: extras in hastily prepared rubber masks). What follows is three fairly dull horror stories featuring several notable actors (Donald PleasenceRichard Johnson and Britt Ekland) but it’s the surrounding sequences in the club itself that are more interesting with a handful of catchy musical numbers and one memorable sequence in which a stripper takes everything off, including her skin (via a shadowy animation).

The poster was designed and painted by the brilliant British illustrator Graham Humphreys. Because it wasn’t a poster we discussed during our 2011 interview I wanted to speak to Graham to hear the story of the making of this poster in more detail. The interview with Graham can be read here.

Woodstock / program / USA

10.10.13

Poster Poster
Title
Woodstock
AKA
--
Year of Film
1970
Director
Michael Wadleigh
Starring
N/A
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
N/A,
Type of Poster
Program
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1970
Designer
Bert Cohen, William Gast, Ziegenfus, Vincent Cucinotta
Artist
Photographs by Benno Friedman, Charles Harbutt, Burk Uzzle, Elliott Landy, Jason Laure, Amalie

This is the original program for the release of Woodstock, a documentary of the music event of the same name that took place in August 1969 and is widely regarded as a pivotal moment in the history of popular music. 400,000 revellers descended on farmland in a quiet part of New York State – several times the magnitude of people that the organisers were expecting – and despite local protests and plenty of logistical issues, 32 acts performed over the course of a long weekend. Many of the most popular musicians and groups of the era were present, including Grateful DeadThe WhoJanis Joplin with The Kozmic Blues Band and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Famously Jimi Hendrix was the last act to play and, thanks to poor weather and other delays, he didn’t take to the stage until 8.30am on Monday morning by which time many of the concert-goers had already left the site. Despite this, Hendrix played an incredible two hour set featuring a psychedelic performance of The Star Spangles banner that has since become a defining sound of the 1960s zeitgeist.

The event was released a year later into cinemas as a three-hour documentary that was a huge commercial and critical success. It was directed by Michael Wadleigh whose only other director credit is for the 1981 werewolf horror Wolfen, and edited by several people including Martin Scorsese and his regular collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker. The film would go on to win Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards.

This program, featuring some superb photographs and illustrations, would have been given out to film premiere attendees, the press and other people involved in the marketing of the film. In the back of the program the designers are credited as Bert Cohen, William Gast, Ziegenfus and Vincent Cucinotta, and there are a number of photographers who are also credited (I’ve listed them under ‘artists’).

This is one of those items that I wish you could see in person as a lot of care and attention has been put into the printing of it, with superb use of thick, often patterned paper. It surely ranks up there as one of the best film programs ever printed.

The Harder They Come / quad / 1977 re-release / UK

30.03.13

Poster Poster

Jamaica’s first feature film They Harder They Come is often credited with introducing the rest of the world to reggae music, released as it was before Jamaican artists like Bob Marley had achieved much recognition outside of the country. The film was directed by Jamaican native Perry Henzell, who also produced and co-wrote the script, and is partially based on the true story of Ivanhoe ‘Rhyging‘ Martin. Often called the ‘original rude boy’, Martin was a Jamaican outlaw who escaped from prison and managed to evade the police for several years with the help of the Jamaican public, before a final showdown on Lime Cay in 1948. The soundtrack to the film is absolutely integral to its success and features tracks from some of Jamaica’s best reggae artists, including Desmond Dekker, Toots & the Maytals and singer Jimmy Cliff. Released on Jamaica’s own Island Records, the album went on to sell millions of copies and continues to be one of the label’s biggest sellers.

Jimmy Cliff stars as Ivan Martin and was chosen for the role after Perry Henzell saw photos of him on the packaging for one of his earlier albums. Ivan is a country boy who travels to Kingston with empty pockets and a dream of becoming a singer. After being taken in by a preacher he meets a ruthless music studio owner who eventually allows him to record a tune (the titular The Harder They Come), but is then persuaded to sign away the rights for a pittance. Realising that his dream may be over, Ivan accepts an offer from a friend to begin dealing marijuana and, although things go smoothly for a while, it’s not long before he is betrayed and set on a path of destruction after killing a policeman sent to arrest him. Ivan ends up as an outlaw on the run, helped by the people he lived amongst, but a failed attempt to escape by boat to Cuba sees him washed up on a sandy beach with the police hard on his tail.

The Harder They Come depicts the kind of life that many Jamaicans experienced in the sprawling migrant settlements of Kingston and it made no attempt to try and romanticise life on the island. In addition, little concession was made to those not used to hearing the unique Jamaican Patois spoken by the majority of the characters in the film and prints were often subtitled when projected in other countries. The film was phenomenally successful in Jamaica with the premiere at the old Carib theatre in Kingston attracting thousands of locals eager to get into the auditorium. Its popularity soon spread to other countries such as the UK and eventually to the USA. The distribution over there was eventually handled by Perry Henzell himself who personally sold the film to cinema managers in several big cities and it apparently ended up playing in one Boston cinema for eight years straight.

This quad is actually for the 1977 re-release of the film but I have never seen an original 1973 release quad of the film. It features the same artwork as seen on the soundtrack album, which is by a designer and artist called John Bryant about whom I’ve been unable to discover any details. The classic image of Jimmy Cliff with the two guns also features in a great sequence in the film when Ivan has his photo taken to send to newspapers in an attempt to cement his image as a bad boy outlaw. It appears that Bryant himself got in touch with the US auction house emovieposter.com to let them know a bit more about the poster and this information has been included in the auction details when this quad has been sold in the past:

‘Note that the person who originally designed this poster tells us that it was made for the late 1970s re-release of the film (the designer says likely between 1977 and 1979, and the BBFC states 1977) from the original British quad’s design, adding their company logo of “Lagoon” and the tagline at left, “Now-Original Uncut Version.’

The first release quad is unquestionably scarce but, as per the information above, must look almost identical to this poster.

Wattstax / 30×40 / USA

18.09.13

Poster Poster
Title
Wattstax
AKA
--
Year of Film
1973
Director
Mel Stuart
Starring
Isaac Hayes, Raymond Allen, Andre Edwards, Jesse Jackson, Erik Kilpatrick, Ted Lange, Richard Pryor
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Isaac Hayes, Raymond Allen, Andre Edwards, Jesse Jackson, Erik Kilpatrick, Ted Lange, Richard Pryor,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
73/23
Tagline
Laugh! Cry! Sing! Hear! Feel! Dance! Shout! | A soulful expression of the living world...

This is the US 30×40 poster for the release of Wattstax, the documentary dubbed ‘the African American Woodstock’ that was put together by Mel Stuart, a prolific director and producer who is perhaps best known for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971). The concert was held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on the seventh anniversary of the Watts riots that had seen the worst social unrest in the city’s history. It was organised by Memphis’ Stax Records (hence the name) and featured performances from many of the top black artists of the time, including Isaac Hayes, the Staple SingersThe Bar-KaysRufus Thomas and Kim Weston.

Mel Stuart was reportedly unhappy with the quality of a lot of the concert footage and decided to intersperse the music with interviews and stand-up footage of the likes of Richard Pryor, Ted Lange and other African American comedians and actors who spoke about their experience of being black in America at the time.

The concert ends with Isaac Hayes performing the hit music he recorded for the 1971 blaxploitation film Shaft, the poster of which is clearly referenced with the title treatment on this one for Wattstax.

Woodstock / one sheet / 25th anniversary re-release / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Woodstock
AKA
--
Year of Film
1970
Director
Michael Wadleigh
Starring
N/A
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
N/A,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
25th anniversary re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1995
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40 1/4"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Joy Division / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Joy Division
AKA
--
Year of Film
2007
Director
Grant Gee
Starring
Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, Peter Saville, Tony Wilson
Origin of Film
UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, Peter Saville, Tony Wilson,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2008
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Peter Saville
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Wild Style / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Wild Style
AKA
Graffiti (West Germany)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Charlie Ahearn
Starring
Lee Quinones, Sandra Fabara, Patti Astor, Fab 5 Freddy, Cold Crush Brothers, Rock Steady Crew,, Grandmaster Flash, Busy Bee Grandmixer DST
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Lee Quinones, Sandra Fabara, Patti Astor, Fab 5 Freddy, Cold Crush Brothers, Rock Steady Crew,, Grandmaster Flash, Busy Bee Grandmixer DST,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
ICA
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
Unknown
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
28 7/8" x 38 2/8"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
It's the rappin' scratchin' breakin'

Nijinsky / one sheet / USA

27.02.17

Poster Poster
Title
Nijinsky
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Herbert Ross
Starring
Alan Bates, George De La Pena, Leslie Browne, Alan Badel, Carla Fracci, Colin Blakely, Ronald Pickup, Ronald Lacey, Vernon Dobtcheff, Jeremy Irons
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Alan Bates, George De La Pena, Leslie Browne, Alan Badel, Carla Fracci, Colin Blakely, Ronald Pickup, Ronald Lacey, Vernon Dobtcheff, Jeremy Irons,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Richard Hamsel
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
800034
Tagline
Genius. Madman. Animal. God. Nijinsky. | A True Story.

Richard Amsel artwork features on this one sheet for the release of the biographical drama Nijinsky. The film tells the story of the celebrated Russian ballet dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky who was born in 1889 in what is now Kiev, Ukraine and died in 1950 in London, England. Often cited as the greatest dancer of the 20th Century he was celebrated for his virtuosity, his ability to dance en pointe and his gravity defying leaps. The film was based on the dancer’s personal diaries and the 1934 biography that was written by his wife Romola de Pulszky. It was directed by the late Herbert Ross, a sometime actor, choreographer, producer and director who is perhaps best known for Footloose (1984).

The plot is described thusly on IMDb:
Set in the early 1910s at a time of passionate artistic experimentalism, and based on biographical fact, this is the story of Vaslav Nijinsky, the young and brilliant but headstrong premier danseur and aspiring choreographer of the Ballets Russes. The company is managed by the famous Sergei Diaghilev, himself a controlling and fiercely possessive impresario. The increasing tension between these powerful egos, exacerbated by homosexual desire and jealousy, becomes triangular when the young ballerina Romola de Pulsky determinedly attempts to draw the increasingly mentally unstable Nijinsky away from Diaghilev.

Richard Amsel was born in Philadelphia in 1947 and studied at the city’s College of Art. Whilst there he entered and won a nationwide artist competition to paint the poster for the film ‘Hello Dolly!’. Amsel was just 22 at the time and this win helped him quickly establish a career in New York where he worked on album covers (including one for Barry Manilow) as well as magazine covers and editorial art. In addition, he worked on posters some of the most important films of the 1970s, including Chinatown, Nashville and The Sting. During the 1970s he also worked on a series of covers for the American magazine TV Guide, which are still celebrated to this day.

In the 1980s Amsel worked on what is my favourite Indiana Jones poster, the Raiders of the Lost Ark 1982 re-release one sheet. He had also painted the original release version, featuring a much more serious looking Indy. The artist’s final film poster was the one sheet for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in 1985. Amsel sadly died of AIDS-related complications that same year. He leaves behind a great legacy of unforgettable artwork, some of which I already have in the Film on Paper collection and which can be seen here.

Trick Or Treat / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Trick Or Treat
AKA
Morte a 33 giri [Death at 33rpm] (Italy)
Year of Film
1986
Director
Charles Martin Smith
Starring
Marc Price, Tony Fields, Lisa Orgolini, Doug Savant, Gene Simmons, Ozzy Osbourne
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Marc Price, Tony Fields, Lisa Orgolini, Doug Savant, Gene Simmons, Ozzy Osbourne,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
29 7/8" x 39 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Death. Resurrection. Destruction. The Ultimate comeback.

Walk The Line / one sheet / teaser / style A / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Walk The Line
AKA
Quando l'amore brucia l'anima [When love burns the soul] (Italy)
Year of Film
2005
Director
James Mangold
Starring
Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin, Robert Patrick, Dallas Roberts, Dan John Miller, Larry Bagby, Shelby Lynne
Origin of Film
USA | Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin, Robert Patrick, Dallas Roberts, Dan John Miller, Larry Bagby, Shelby Lynne,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Teaser - version A - dark November style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2005
Designer
Studio Number One
Artist
Shepard Fairey
Size (inches)
26 6/8" x 39 6/8"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Danny Boy / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Danny Boy
AKA
Angel (original title)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Neil Jordan
Starring
Veronica Quilligan, Stephen Rea, Alan Devlin, Peter Caffrey, Honor Heffernan, Lise Ann McLaughlin, Ian McElhinney
Origin of Film
Ireland | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Veronica Quilligan, Stephen Rea, Alan Devlin, Peter Caffrey, Honor Heffernan, Lise Ann McLaughlin, Ian McElhinney,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A nightmare happened at the Dreamland Ballroom. And Danny, the saxophone player, was the only witness. It was a jolting looking at violence that at first horrified him. The fascinated him. And ultimately seduced him.

Sid & Nancy / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Sid & Nancy
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Alex Cox
Starring
Gary Oldman, Chloe Webb, David Hayman, Debby Bishop, Andrew Schofield, Xander Berkeley, Courtney Love, Perry Benson, Tony London
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Gary Oldman, Chloe Webb, David Hayman, Debby Bishop, Andrew Schofield, Xander Berkeley, Courtney Love, Perry Benson, Tony London,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Kunst
Artist
--
Size (inches)
29 6/8" x 39 7/8"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Love kills

Imagine: John Lennon / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Imagine: John Lennon
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Andrew Solt
Starring
John Lennon, Yoko Ono
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
John Lennon, Yoko Ono,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Lennon
Size (inches)
27" x 40 5/8"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Discover John...the angry youth, the musician, the radical, the husband, the father, the lover, the idealist...through his own words and personal collection of film and music.

Let’s Spend The Night Together / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Let's Spend The Night Together
AKA
Time Is on Our Side: The Rolling Stones (Italy)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Hal Ashby
Starring
Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Ron Wood, Ian Stewart, Ian McLagan
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Ron Wood, Ian Stewart, Ian McLagan,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
830014
Tagline
Let's Spend the Night Together . . . live it!

Sid and Nancy / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Sid and Nancy
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Alex Cox
Starring
Gary Oldman, Chloe Webb, David Hayman, Debby Bishop, Andrew Schofield, Xander Berkeley, Courtney Love, Perry Benson, Tony London
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Gary Oldman, Chloe Webb, David Hayman, Debby Bishop, Andrew Schofield, Xander Berkeley, Courtney Love, Perry Benson, Tony London,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--