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Moonrise Kingdom / one sheet / advance / USA

31.12.12

Poster Poster

Wes Anderson‘s superb Moonrise Kingdom is my favourite film of 2012 and this American one sheet is in the running for poster of the year too. Arguably the director’s best to date (although I’d have a hard time justifying picking this over Rushmore) the film is set on a fictional New England island in the 1960s and follows the exploits of a pair of young lovers who decide to elope (her from home, him from scout camp) and trigger a series of events as the islanders set out on the hunt for them. The pair at the centre of the film (as depicted on this poster) are played by two unknowns, Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman. They are surrounded by Anderson regulars, including Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman, as well as a handful of first-time collaborators like Bruce Willis and Edward Norton.

This poster is the result of a pairing of two considerable talents; the British artist Michael Gaskell and the American letterer and illustrator Jessica Hische. Gaskell, born in 1963, is an award-winning painter of still-life, landscapes and portraits who has been the subject of five solo shows in London and has twice been awarded second prize in the BP Portrait Award. His official website features a biography as well as a gallery of his work. I’m not sure how his involvement in this poster came about and have been unable to find out any details online. I intend to try and contact him to discover more.

Jessica Hische is responsible for the design of the typography that was used on the posters as well as the credits during the film itself. Hische is a multi-talented letterer and illustrator who has worked on projects for advertising, editorial, branding and books. Her official website features a biography as well as an extensive portfolio of her work. The site used to have a page on which the designer wrote about her involvement in the project:

“I worked directly with Wes and his small team of co-producers to bring his vision to life. […] The initial direction was based on Ed Benguiat’s Edwardian Script, but the direction shifted toward something more hand-hewn looking and lightly referencing titles from a Chabrol film. I was hired to create the 20 or so credits in the beginning of the movie, and a typeface to be used for the end credits. I ended up creating two fonts—a display and a text weight of the same typeface. […] Working with Wes was an absolute dream and I was amazed and impressed at just how involved he is with every aspect of his films.”

The page notes that art direction was given from Jeremy Dawson and Molly Cooper who were producer and co-producer respectively.

The trailer for the film is on YouTube and if you’re yet to see the film I strongly urge you to hunt down a copy of it ASAP, with the only caveat being that if you’re not a fan of Wes Anderson’s output then this film will not convert you!

In Bruges / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
In Bruges
AKA
--
Year of Film
2008
Director
Martin McDonagh
Starring
Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Clémence Poésy
Origin of Film
UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Clémence Poésy,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2008
Designer
Mojo
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Shoot first. Sightsee later.

Brick / one sheet / The Brain style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Brick
AKA
--
Year of Film
2005
Director
Rian Johnson
Starring
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emilie de Ravin, Nora Zehetner, Matt O'Leary, Noah Fleiss, Brian J. White, Meagan Good, Noah Segan, Lukas Haas, Richard Roundtree
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emilie de Ravin, Nora Zehetner, Matt O'Leary, Noah Fleiss, Brian J. White, Meagan Good, Noah Segan, Lukas Haas, Richard Roundtree,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
The Brain style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2005
Designer
P+A | Mojo
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
"The foil with the inside track."

Brick / one sheet / The Pin style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Brick
AKA
--
Year of Film
2005
Director
Rian Johnson
Starring
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emilie de Ravin, Nora Zehetner, Matt O'Leary, Noah Fleiss, Brian J. White, Meagan Good, Noah Segan, Lukas Haas, Richard Roundtree
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emilie de Ravin, Nora Zehetner, Matt O'Leary, Noah Fleiss, Brian J. White, Meagan Good, Noah Segan, Lukas Haas, Richard Roundtree,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
The Pin style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2005
Designer
P+A | Mojo
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
"All the jake sprang from him."

Brick / one sheet / Brendan style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Brick
AKA
--
Year of Film
2005
Director
Rian Johnson
Starring
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emilie de Ravin, Nora Zehetner, Matt O'Leary, Noah Fleiss, Brian J. White, Meagan Good, Noah Segan, Lukas Haas, Richard Roundtree
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emilie de Ravin, Nora Zehetner, Matt O'Leary, Noah Fleiss, Brian J. White, Meagan Good, Noah Segan, Lukas Haas, Richard Roundtree,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Brendan style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2005
Designer
P+A | Mojo
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
"Thick as what all"

Brick / one sheet / Laura style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Brick
AKA
--
Year of Film
2005
Director
Rian Johnson
Starring
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emilie de Ravin, Nora Zehetner, Matt O'Leary, Noah Fleiss, Brian J. White, Meagan Good, Noah Segan, Lukas Haas, Richard Roundtree
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emilie de Ravin, Nora Zehetner, Matt O'Leary, Noah Fleiss, Brian J. White, Meagan Good, Noah Segan, Lukas Haas, Richard Roundtree,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Laura style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2005
Designer
P+A | Mojo
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
"Hard luck in a red kimono"

Brick / one sheet / Tug style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Brick
AKA
--
Year of Film
2005
Director
Rian Johnson
Starring
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emilie de Ravin, Nora Zehetner, Matt O'Leary, Noah Fleiss, Brian J. White, Meagan Good, Noah Segan, Lukas Haas, Richard Roundtree
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emilie de Ravin, Nora Zehetner, Matt O'Leary, Noah Fleiss, Brian J. White, Meagan Good, Noah Segan, Lukas Haas, Richard Roundtree,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Tug style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2005
Designer
P+A | Mojo
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
"He shined a gat as he blew the burg"

We Need to Talk About Kevin / one sheet / USA

25.03.15

Poster Poster

A striking design features on this US one sheet for the release of the 2011 adaptation of Lionel Shriver‘s best-selling 2003 novel We Need to Talk About Kevin. The film rights were acquired by BBC Films in 2005 so it took producers several years to bring the story to screen. Scottish director Lynne Ramsay (Ratcatcher, Morvern Callar) was attached to the project early on and went through several script revisions before filming began, with one of the latter ones apparently used to help bring down the production budget.

With the story unfolding anachronically using flashbacks, the film stars Tilda Swinton as Eva Khatchadourian, the mother of Kevin (Ezra Miller who has committed a high-school massacre and is in prison. Eva, who was once a successful travel writer, is shown to be working at travel agents in a mall and living in a modest house near the prison allowing her to visit Kevin. The flashback sequences show how Eva struggled to adapt to being a mother and the effect this had on her son as he grows up, including some heart-rending scenes showing how Kevin cried incessantly as a baby.

The relationship between Eva and her husband Franklin (John C. Reilly) and daughter Celia (Ashley Gerasimovich) are also shown to be strained, and as he ages Kevin’s behaviour becomes more worrying. Eva begins to fear that her son is taking pleasure in hurting others and the film culminates in the massacre, which is not shown in detail but is nevertheless very chilling. The film received mostly positive reviews and was chosen by film critic Mark Kermode as his best film of 2011. Swinton was rightfully nominated for several awards for her performance

The poster design is credited to P+A and Mojo. P+A stands for Percival + Associates and their official site is currently under construction, but their extensive portfolio of film and TV poster work can be seen on IMPAwards. It appears that the company has been designing posters since 2005 and I have the set of Brick posters that they produced in 2006 in the Film on Paper collection. It appears that they collaborated with Mojo on multiple posters up until 2012, as can be seen on Mojo’s IMPAwards page. No further posters have been credited to Mojo since that year and their website URL now redirects to Eyestorm Productions, which is described as a full-service creative agency, apparently focused on video work. I can only assume they no longer work on film posters as such and that P+A handle all print work now.

Life During Wartime / one sheet / USA

18.10.16

Poster Poster

Artwork by artist Akiko Stehrenberger features on this one sheet poster for the release of director Todd Solondz‘s Life During Wartime. The film is a sort of semi-sequel to Happiness which he directed 11 years earlier. It features the same characters but each one has been re-cast with new actors. The plot mainly revolves around the three Jordan sisters that appeared in Happiness and looks at where their lives are a decade later. Like the director’s other films it straddles a fine line between dark comedy and uncomfortable drama. The performances from the likes of Allison JanneyShirley Henderson and Michael Lerner are all excellent and, although perhaps not as memorable as Happiness, it’s still worth a watch.

Akiko Stehrenberger is one of my favourite poster artists working today and she’s created several memorable pieces of key poster art over the past few years. As detailed on her official website, Akiko began her career in New York City as an illustrator for various magazines, including SPIN and The Source. In 2004 she moved to Los Angeles and began working on illustrations for film posters as well as other freelance projects. She’s won multiple awards and has created poster designs for some of the most celebrated directors working today.

One of her most celebrated posters is the one sheet for Funny Games, Michael Haneke’s 2008 remake of his own film of the same name, released a decade earlier. When first released, many people assumed it was a manipulated photograph of the actress Naomi Watts but this excellent interview on Mubi confirms that it’s a digital illustration. The article is well worth a read to get an idea of how Akiko works and the process she went through for that poster. The gallery of posters on her website features a mixture of designs that were chosen by the distributor to be used as official campaign material as well as ones that didn’t get chosen but are nevertheless excellent. I particularly love this poster for Blue Ruin and the unused quad art for Under the Skin. You can see from her portfolio of work that she’s not afraid to experiment with new styles for each project.

There’s another gallery of her work on IMPawards.

Into the Abyss / one sheet / USA

16.06.17

Poster Poster
Title
Into the Abyss
AKA
Into the Abyss: A Tale of Death, a Tale of Life (long title) | Tod in Texas [Dead in Texas] (Germany)
Year of Film
2011
Director
Werner Herzog
Starring
Werner Herzog, Richard Lopez, Michael Perry, Damon Hall, Lisa Stolter-Balloun, Charles Richardson, Jason Burkett
Origin of Film
USA | UK | Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Werner Herzog, Richard Lopez, Michael Perry, Damon Hall, Lisa Stolter-Balloun, Charles Richardson, Jason Burkett,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2011
Designer
P+A / Mojo
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 39 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
A tale of death, a tale of life

This is the US one sheet for the release of Werner Herzog‘s 2011 documentary, Into the Abyss. The film is one of the legendary German director’s best films from the past decade and focuses on the situation of a prisoner in a maximum security prison in Texas who is awaiting execution. The subject is one that Herzog had wanted to focus on for a number of years and he had originally intended to look at life inside a maximum security prison in Germany. Originally the director planned to interview a number of death row inmates but ended up focusing on just one, Michael Perry, and looking into the reason for his incarceration and (at that time) imminent execution.

Using the director’s trademark interview style, where he asks questions off-camera typically to a single person, the film looks at the crime that Perry and an accomplice are said to have perpetrated and the effect it has had on the victims’ families. Herzog shies away from trying to decipher whether Perry is guilty or innocent (the man himself claims innocence) of the murder of three people in Conroe, Texas in 2001. The film is gripping throughout and some of the most memorable scenes are when the siblings of the murdered people are interviewed. One person in particular has suffered such imaginable loss it is almost breathtaking.

This poster was designed by P+A (Percival and Associates) an established and prolific design company whose output can be viewed on IMPAwards. Their official website is not currently up and running. Mojo design were also involved but the company now appears to be defunct (Into the Abyss was one of their last posters) – their output can also be viewed on IMPAwards.