You Searched For: Poland

Camera Buff / B1 / Poland

26.03.12

Poster Poster

A striking image by Polish designer Andrzej Krauze on this country of origin poster for legendary director Krzysztof Kieslowski‘s Camera Buff. The film was the first of Kieslowski’s films to prove successful outside of Poland and went on to win the grand prize at the Moscow Film Festival.

The film is set in Wielice in late 1970s Communist Poland and focuses on a factory worker Filip Mosz (Jerzy Stuhr) whose acquisition of an 8mm camera to film his newborn daughter sees him being approached by the local party leaders. He is asked to film an upcoming conference and before long he is submitting work into local film festivals and hanging around with other film-making enthusiasts. Will Filip’s new found success prove to be at the expense of his family life?

The film is described as being an exploration of censorship in Communist Poland and its repression of the individual’s expression of his observations.

Andrzej Krauze is, I believe, currently living in London (he moved here in 1987) and has worked as a designer, illustrator and satirical cartoonist for several decades. His work has been published in countless newspapers, including the Guardian, The Times and the Independent. A biography can be read here. A gallery of some of his political cartoons is on the Guardian website.

At Your Own Request / B1 / Poland

11.07.16

Poster Poster
Title
At Your Own Request
AKA
Na wlasna prosbe (Poland - original title)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Ewa Petelska, Czeslaw Petelski
Starring
Andrzej Zarnecki, Bogusz Bilewski, Krzysztof Chamiec, Andrzej Gawronski, Piotr Grabowski, Adam Gwara, Janusz Klosinski, Juliusz Lubicz-Lisowski
Origin of Film
Poland
Genre(s) of Film
Andrzej Zarnecki, Bogusz Bilewski, Krzysztof Chamiec, Andrzej Gawronski, Piotr Grabowski, Adam Gwara, Janusz Klosinski, Juliusz Lubicz-Lisowski,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Andrzej Pagowski
Artist
Andrzej Pagowski
Size (inches)
26 10/16" x 38 4/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A striking design features on this Polish poster for the domestic release of At Your Own Request (originally titled Na Wlasna Prosbe). The film was co-directed by husband and wife Ewa Petelska and Czeslaw Petelski, both of whom have since passed away. It must have been granted a release overseas, given that it has an English-language title, but I can find no evidence of which markets it appeared in. It’s fair to say that it’s a little-seen film, especially going by the lack of any user reviews on IMDb but it does have a plot description:

The story is of an engineer in conflict with his superior. He won’t go along with the usual corruption and conformity. He is left to himself amid indifference and ineptitude by his fellow workers and the management.

It doesn’t exactly sound like the most thrilling of dramas but at least this poster is interesting!

The poster was designed and illustrated by Andrzej Pagowski, a prolific film poster artist who was born in Warsaw in 1953 and studied at the celebrated University of Fine Arts in Poznań, graduating in 1978 under the tutorship of the noted artist Waldemar Świerzy. In 1990 he started his own graphic design studio called Studio P, which he developed into an advertising agency by 1993. According to the biography on his official site, Pagowski has illustrated over 1000 posters during his career and has also done work for books, magazines and music covers. In addition, he is also a TV and theatre stage designer and a screenwriter. Undoubtedly a man of many talents!

Pagowski’s official site features an extensive gallery of his work, including several of the posters. Polishposter.com also features multiple pages worth of his movie posters and this culture.pl article is well worth a read too.

To see the other Pagowski-designed posters I’ve collected click here.

Dotknieci / B1 / cup on head style / Poland

03.02.16

Poster Poster
Title
Dotknieci
AKA
Stricken (English language title)
Year of Film
1989
Director
Wieslaw Saniewski
Starring
Ewa Blaszczyk, Piotr Fronczewski, Olgierd Lukaszewicz, Robert Rogalski, Katarzyna Skolimowska, Tadeusz Szymków, Joanna Trzepiecinska, Agnieszka Wagner
Origin of Film
Poland
Genre(s) of Film
Ewa Blaszczyk, Piotr Fronczewski, Olgierd Lukaszewicz, Robert Rogalski, Katarzyna Skolimowska, Tadeusz Szymków, Joanna Trzepiecinska, Agnieszka Wagner,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Cup on head style
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1989
Designer
Stasys Eidrigevičius
Artist
Stasys Eidrigevičius
Size (inches)
26 11/16" x 38 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A striking illustration by Stasys Eidrigevičius features on this B1 poster for the little-seen Polish drama Dotknieci. It’s also known as Stricken so I’m assuming it was given a release outside of Poland but I can find no evidence of a UK or US cinema run. I’ve struggled to find out much about the film other than it was directed by Wieslaw Saniewski who made his name internationally with the release of Nadzór (Custody) in 1984. He’s hardly a prolific director and only has 9 features to his name.

Stasys Eidrigevičius was born in Lithuania in 1949 and would go on to study at the College of Fine Arts and Crafts in Kaunas, which is the country’s second largest city. In 1973 he moved to Vilnius where he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and graduated from there with a diploma. Then in 1980 he moved to Poland and lived in Warsaw from where he pursued a career in design and illustration. As well as his award-winning work on film posters, Stasys is also a celebrated illustrator for book covers as well as a photographer. His own website has plenty of galleries of his work to view and an extensive biography.

Galleries of Stasys’ work can be seen on polishposter.com, and poster.pl. The Polish poster gallery site has six pages dedicated to his work. Check out Stasys’ personal website and you can find him on Facebook here.

My New Partner / B1 / Poland

07.03.16

Poster Poster
Title
My New Partner
AKA
Les ripoux (France - original title) | Skorumpowani (Poland) | Le Cop (UK)
Year of Film
1984
Director
Claude Zidi
Starring
Philippe Noiret, Thierry Lhermitte, Régine, Grace De Capitani, Claude Brosset, Albert Simono, Julien Guiomar, Henri Attal
Origin of Film
France
Genre(s) of Film
Philippe Noiret, Thierry Lhermitte, Régine, Grace De Capitani, Claude Brosset, Albert Simono, Julien Guiomar, Henri Attal,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Wieslaw Walkuski
Artist
Wieslaw Walkuski
Size (inches)
26 3/16" x 37 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Striking and colourful artwork on this Polish B1 poster for the release of the 1984 French comedy film My New Partner that was originally released as Les Ripoux, which translates as ‘the corrupt ones’. The film stars two of France’s most popular and prolific actors, the late Philippe Noiret (best known for his role as the projectionist in Cinema Paradiso) and Thierry Lhermitte who starred in a number of popular comedies during the 1970s and 1980s. 

Noiret plays René, a corrupt Parisian beat cop who regularly dispenses street justice and happily takes bribes from minor criminals to let them carry on, instead of arresting them. When his long-term partner retires he is put together with Francois (Lhermitte), an idealistic young rookie who’s just graduated from training. René must work hard to convince Francois that his way of doing things is the right way, including using a sultry prostitute friend to seduce the innocent cop. The film was enough of a success to spawn two sequels (of lesser quality) over the following years.

The artwork on the poster is by Wieslaw Walkuski who was born in 1956 and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Since 1981 Walkuski has worked as a graphic designer and artist for publishing houses and theaters, as well as for the Polish film organisations Polfilm and Film Polski. He’s worked freelance since 1987 and has painted over 200 film posters. He continues to live and work in Warsaw. Walkuski’s official website features galleries of many of his designs and images of his other work.

He’s responsible for some incredible designs and two of my favourites include those he painted for Lars Von Trier’s Breaking the Waves and the Dustin Hoffman comedy Tootsie.

Blue Thunder / B1 / Poland

31.08.12

Poster Poster
Title
Blue Thunder
AKA
Blekitny grom (Poland)
Year of Film
1983
Director
John Badham
Starring
Roy Scheider, Warren Oates, Candy Clark, Daniel Stern, Paul Roebling, David Sheiner, Joe Santos, Malcolm McDowell
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Roy Scheider, Warren Oates, Candy Clark, Daniel Stern, Paul Roebling, David Sheiner, Joe Santos, Malcolm McDowell,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Wieslaw Walkuski
Artist
Wieslaw Walkuski
Size (inches)
28.5" x 38 6/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A wild design on this Polish poster for the 1983 American action film Blue Thunder. The late Roy Scheider stars as Frank Murphy, an LAPD pilot who’s given the chance to fly the world’s most advanced helicopter, nicknamed Blue Thunder, and use it in the war against crime. Following the death of a city councilwoman Frank begins a covert investigation and discovers that there are corrupt forces at work who plan to use the stealth helicopter for more than just crime prevention.

The artwork on the poster is by Wieslaw Walkuski who was born in 1956 and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Since 1981 Walkuski has worked as a graphic designer and artist for publishing houses and theaters, as well as for the Polish film organisations Polfilm and Film Polski. He’s worked freelance since 1987 and has painted over 200 film posters. He continues to live and work in Warsaw. Walkuski’s official website features galleries of many of his designs and images of his other work.

He’s responsible for some incredible designs and two of my favourites include those he painted for Lars Von Trier’s Breaking the Waves and the Dustin Hoffman comedy Tootsie.

The trailer for Blue Thunder is on YouTube.

Romancing the Stone / B1 / Poland

14.12.12

Poster Poster
Title
Romancing the Stone
AKA
Milosc, szmaragd i krokodyl (Poland)
Year of Film
1984
Director
Robert Zemeckis
Starring
Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Zack Norman, Alfonso Arau, Manuel Ojeda, Holland Taylor, Mary Ellen Trainor
Origin of Film
Mexico | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Zack Norman, Alfonso Arau, Manuel Ojeda, Holland Taylor, Mary Ellen Trainor,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Jakub Erol
Artist
Jakub Erol
Size (inches)
26 2/16" x 37 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A brilliant design on this Polish poster for Robert Zemeckis‘ 1984 adventure comedy, Romancing the Stone, which starred Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. The latter plays Joan Wilder, a romance novelist who discovers that her sister has been kidnapped in Colombia and, after receiving a mysterious treasure map in the mail, she travels to South America to meet the treasure-hunting criminals responsible and make an exchange. After getting lost in the jungle she meets soldier of fortune Jack Colton (Douglas) who offers to lead her to safety and the pair embark on madcap adventure to rescue Joan’s sister. The film was successful enough to warrant a sequel, The Jewel of the Nile, that was released only a year later.

This poster features artwork by a designer and artist called Jakub Erol who was born in Zamość in 1941 and graduated from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts in 1968. He worked as a prolific poster artist for over 25 years and designed several iconic images for both Polish and American films. Some of his other poster highlights include the bizarre image he conjured up for Ridley Scott’s Alien, a striking design for James Cameron’s The Terminator and the excellent poster for Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The Polishposter.com website features many of his designs, several which are for sale, and the Polish cinemaposter.com website also features three pages of his work. This list of his designs on the same website gives you an idea of how prolific an artist he was.

Wsciekly / B1 / Poland

18.01.16

Poster Poster

Striking artwork on this B1 poster for the 1980 Polish crime thriller Wsciekly, apparently released internationally as Mad Dog. Helmed by Roman Zaluski the film is described on IMDb as a:

‘Detective thriller about a killer loose in the crowds. The film follows a sniper on his rounds looking for victims, while a police inspector, with few clues in his hand, has to figure out the motive for killings as well as who the psychopath is and where he might strike next. He uncovers that the mentally deranged sniper can’t stand seeing people happy together in public places.’

I can’t find any evidence of the film having been released in the US or UK but I can only assume it made it to some English-language territories because of the title translation. The film is available to watch in full on YouTube (albeit in terrible quality).

This poster was designed and illustrated by Andrzej Pagowski, a prolific film poster artist who was born in Warsaw in 1953 and studied at the celebrated University of Fine Arts in Poznań, graduating in 1978 under the tutorship of the noted artist Waldemar Świerzy. In 1990 he started his own graphic design studio called Studio P, which he developed into an advertising agency by 1993. According to the biography on his official site, Pagowski has illustrated over 1000 posters during his career and has also done work for books, magazines and music covers. In addition, he is also a TV and theatre stage designer and a screen writer. Undoubtedly a man of many talents!

Pagowski’s official site features an extensive gallery of his work, including several of the posters. Polishposter.com also features multiple pages worth of his movie posters and this culture.pl article is well worth a read too.

Note that there is an alternative style poster for Wsciekly, also by Pagowski, that features more dog-like art and can be seen here.

Porno / B1 / Poland

31.05.17

Poster Poster

A striking illustration features on this Polish B1 poster for the release of the Polish comedy-romance Porno. Directed by Marek Koterski and starring Zbigniew Rola, I believe the film was not released outside its native country. The plot is described on IMDb:

[A] Middle aged man lies sleeplessly in bed, recalling his numerous sexual encounters. The various couplings are haphazard, loveless affairs in which most of the women are as anxious to release sexual tension as he is. He fails to find fulfilment and is left with feelings of despair and hopelessness.

According to IMDb it was the top grossing Polish film of 1990.

This Polish poster was designed and illustrated by Andrzej Pagowski, a prolific film poster artist who was born in Warsaw in 1953 and studied at the celebrated University of Fine Arts in Poznań, graduating in 1978 under the tutorship of the noted artist Waldemar Świerzy. In 1990 he started his own graphic design studio called Studio P, which he developed into an advertising agency by 1993. According to the biography on his official site, Pagowski has illustrated over 1000 posters during his career and has also done work for books, magazines and music covers. In addition, he is also a TV and theatre stage designer and a screenwriter. Undoubtedly a man of many talents!

Pagowski’s official site features an extensive gallery of his work, including several of the posters. Polishposter.com also features multiple pages worth of his movie posters and this culture.pl article is well worth a read too.

To see the other Pagowski-designed posters I’ve collected click here.

What a Lady You Are… / B1 / Poland

06.03.17

Poster Poster
Title
What a Lady You Are...
AKA
Cózes ty za pani...
Year of Film
1979
Director
Tadeusz Kijanski
Starring
Ewa Borowik, Waldemar Kownacki, Jan Kobuszewski, Boleslaw Plotnicki, Erwin Nowiaszek, Mieczyslaw Hryniewicz, Arkadiusz Jakubik
Origin of Film
Poland
Genre(s) of Film
Ewa Borowik, Waldemar Kownacki, Jan Kobuszewski, Boleslaw Plotnicki, Erwin Nowiaszek, Mieczyslaw Hryniewicz, Arkadiusz Jakubik,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Waldemar Swierzy
Artist
Waldemar Swierzy
Size (inches)
26 2/16" x 37 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A striking design by Waldemar Świerzy on this B1 poster for the domestic release of the Polish film What a Lady You Are… (released in Poland as Cózes ty za pani…). The film was directed by Tadeusz Kijanski and was one of only three films he helmed. According to IMDb, his directorial career ended a year later in 1980. 

The film’s plot is described on the Polish site filmweb (Google translated)

The film is set during the First World War. Jacob lives in a village on the border of two partitions: an Austrian and Russian. Here marries Magda. When war breaks out, Jacob goes to the front. He must fight not only the enemy, but also Poles from another partition.

The full film is available to watch on Youtube, should you wish.

The late Waldemar Świerzy is considered to be one of the most important Polish designers and artists and it’s estimated he’s worked on over 2500 posters during his career. He was born in Katowice in 1931 and graduated from the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts in 1952. He later became professor in the University of Fine Arts in Poznań from 1965 and Professor in the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in 1994. The artist was one of the key figures in the influential Polish School of Posters a movement to push the level of quality of Polish posters forward which was active for over 30 years, starting in the 1950s. Świerzy won multiple awards during his career and had several exhibitions of his work held over the years. He sadly passed away in 2003.

Polishposter.com has several pages of his work and this biography on culture.pl goes into great detail about his life and work. Poster.com.pl has another gallery of his work.

Alabama / B1 / spider style / Poland

28.04.17

Poster Poster
Title
Alabama
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Ryszard Rydzewski
Starring
Maria Probosz, Beata Maj-Dabal, Grzegorz Matysik, Wlodzimierz Adamski, Monika Alwasiak
Origin of Film
Poland
Genre(s) of Film
Maria Probosz, Beata Maj-Dabal, Grzegorz Matysik, Wlodzimierz Adamski, Monika Alwasiak,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Spider style
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Wieslaw Walkuski
Artist
Wieslaw Walkuski
Size (inches)
26.5" x 37 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Striking artwork by Wieslaw Walkuski features on this B1 format poster for the country of origin release of the 1984 drama, Alabama. Directed by Ryszard Rydzewski, the film went seemingly unreleased anywhere outside of Poland and the plot is described thusly on filmweb.pl (translated):

Peter (Grzegorz Matysik) and Bozena (Maria Probosz) study medicine.They love each other and plan a common future. Bozena relationships with family are very bad, they do not maintain contacts. Young remain with the small salary of Peter. With time Bozena convinced that the life of Peter is not easy. They share their differences characters and temperaments. On the downside girl catches Peter’s betrayal. Desperate escapes. In dramatic circumstances, he meets Joe (Włodzimierz Adamski).

Wieslaw Walkuski was born in 1956 and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Since 1981 Walkuski has worked as a graphic designer and artist for publishing houses and theaters, as well as for the Polish film organisations Polfilm and Film Polski. He’s worked freelance since 1987 and has painted over 200 film posters. He continues to live and work in Warsaw. Walkuski’s official website features galleries of many of his designs and images of his other work.

He’s responsible for some incredible designs and two of my favourites include those he painted for Lars Von Trier’s Breaking the Waves and the Dustin Hoffman comedy Tootsie.

Note that this is one of two Polish posters for Alabama, and the other design can be seen here.

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind / B1 / Poland

22.02.16

Poster Poster
Title
Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
AKA
CE3K (USA - informal short title)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Melinda Dillon, Terri Garr
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Melinda Dillon, Terri Garr,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Andrzej Pagowski
Artist
Andrzej Pagowski
Size (inches)
26 7/16" x 38 5/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Anyone who’s seen Steven Spielberg‘s 1977 sci-fi classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind will know just how erroneous this painting by the Polish artist and designer Andrzej Pagowski is in representing the aliens seen in the film, but to me that’s part of its charm. It certainly wasn’t the first time that a Polish poster artist chose to reinterpret a creature from a film they were tasked with creating advertising material for, although Pagowski seems particularly fond of doing so as can be seen with his poster for Ridley Scott’s Alien, amongst others.

Spielberg had been developing Close Encounters for several years, with the origins stretching back to his youth and an early fascination with sci-fi and UFOs, but when Jaws became a critical and box-office behemoth in 1975, he was given creative carte blanche by the studio Columbia with whom he had negotiated a deal to develop a sci-fi film. The film’s Wikipedia page details the multiple iterations the screenplay went through, including a draft by Paul (Taxi Driver) Schrader, but the final script was written by Spielberg (with uncredited help from Jerry Belson). The director later revealed that he had been warned off making a film on the subject by both the US government as well as NASA, with the latter reportedly writing him a 20 page letter advising against it. This only served to fuel Spielberg’s passion for the project.

The film begins in the Sonoran desert with French scientist Claude Lacombe (legendary French director François Truffaut) and a group of US government scientists rushing to the site where a group of World War II-era planes that went missing mid-flight 30 years earlier appear overnight without explanation. They later find a ship that went missing in 1925 in the Gobi desert whilst an American air traffic control team overhears two airline pilots discussing a near-miss with an unidentified flying object, but decline to officially report it.

In Indiana, electrical technician Roy Neary (a memorable performance by Richard Dreyfusshas a close encounter with a UFO whilst responding to a state-wide power outage. He soon becomes obsessed with an image he keeps seeing in his head and his erratic behaviour soon alienates his wife and kids. Neary and a group of others who have come into contact with the unidentified visitors, including single-mum Jillian (Melinda Dillon) whose young son was abducted one night, converge on Devils Tower in Wyoming. There the government have set up a site in preparation for the anticipated arrival of the alien’s mothership and no one is prepared for what happens next.

The film was another critical and commercial success for Spielberg, earning almost $340 million on a $18 million production budget. It would go on to win multiple awards and quickly entered the cultural zeitgeist, sparking the imagination of millions around the world who agreed it’s unlikely that we’re alone in the universe.

 

Andrzej Pagowski is a prolific film poster artist who was born in Warsaw in 1953 and studied at the celebrated University of Fine Arts in Poznań, graduating in 1978 under the tutorship of the noted artist Waldemar Świerzy. In 1990 he started his own graphic design studio called Studio P, which he developed into an advertising agency by 1993. According to the biography on his official site, Pagowski has illustrated over 1000 posters during his career and has also done work for books, magazines and music covers. In addition, he is also a TV and theatre stage designer and a screenwriter. Undoubtedly a man of many talents!

Pagowski’s official site features an extensive gallery of his work, including several of the posters. Polishposter.com also features multiple pages worth of his movie posters and this culture.pl article is well worth a read too.

Spaceballs / B1 / Poland

08.04.16

Poster Poster
Title
Spaceballs
AKA
La folle histoire de l'espace [The crazy history of space] (France)
Year of Film
1987
Director
Mel Brooks
Starring
Mel Brooks, John Candy, Rick Moranis, Bill Pullman, Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, George Wyner, Michael Winslow, Joan Rivers, Lorene Yarnell Jansson, John Hurt
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mel Brooks, John Candy, Rick Moranis, Bill Pullman, Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, George Wyner, Michael Winslow, Joan Rivers, Lorene Yarnell Jansson, John Hurt,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Maciej Buszewicz
Artist
Maciej Buszewicz
Size (inches)
26 7/16" x 37 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Wild artwork by Maciej Buszewicz features on this Polish B1 poster for one of the all-time great parody films, 1987’s Spaceballs. Helmed by the legendary comedian, actor, director and screenwriter Mel Brooks, who was responsible for several other entries in the genre, including Blazing Saddles (Westerns) and Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Spaceballs set out to send-up the sci-fi genre and did so with great success. Star Wars is the main film in the firing line, but the Star Trek series, Planet of the Apes and even Alien all receive their share of the lampooning. Brooks struck a deal with George Lucas to be able to spoof the original trilogy and even employed his Industrial Light and Magic to handle the alien creature design, as well as asking other companies owned by him to work on post-production of the film.

The story begins on the titular planet Spaceball which is rapidly running out of breathable air. The incompetent President Skroob (Brooks himself) hatches a plan to steal the air from neighbouring planet Druidia by kidnapping the daughter of its King Roland, Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga), who is set to marry the narcoleptic Prince Valium (Jim J. Bullock). He dispatches Dark Helmet (a memorable performance by Rick Moranis) on the giant ship Spaceball One to carry out the mission. What they weren’t anticipating is that Vespa has decided to do a runner before the wedding takes place and has disappeared with her droid of honour Dot Matrix (think a female C3PO). King Roland tasks the mercenary Lone Starr (Bill Pullman, essaying a mix between Luke Skywalker and Han Solo) and his sidekick Barf (the late John Candy, as seen on this poster) with tracking Vespa down. With the help of wise and powerful Yoghurt (also Brooks), who is in command of The Schwartz, the gang must deal with Dark Helmet and put a stop to Skroob’s nefarious plans.

Some of the more memorable scenes include the Lone Starr’s interactions with the gangster Pizza the Hut, voiced by long-time Brooks collaborator Dom DeLuise, as well as a scene at an intergalactic diner which features John Hurt playing himself and suffering the same chest-bursting fate he did in Alien. The film wasn’t met with a great reception on its initial release but would subsequently gain a huge cult following, helped no end by the home video explosion at the end of the 1980s. It’s now regarded as one of Brooks’ best films and rumours of a long-mooted sequel were resurrected following the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the end of 2015.

Maciej Buszewicz is a highly influential Polish designer who is perhaps best known for his book cover designs and is the founder of the celebrated Busciewicz Book Design Studio based in the University of Warsaw. Born in 1952, Busciewicz graduated from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts and began a career in graphic design. He became an Art Director at the ISKRY Publishing House in 1980 and at the Poljazz Record Company. Four years later he began teaching typography at the Academy and this led to teaching assignments all over the world. As well as books and record covers, the artist has worked on graphic identities, stamp designs and posters. I couldn’t find many other film posters that he worked on, aside from the poster for the Russian drama Commissar, but doubtless there are others. According to this profile on the Ideas on Design site he has won the award for Most Beautiful Book of the Year in Poland no less than 23 times!

 

 

From the Life of the Marionettes / B1 / Poland

20.04.16

Poster Poster
Title
From the Life of the Marionettes
AKA
Aus dem Leben der Marionetten (West Germany - original title)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Ingmar Bergman
Starring
Robert Atzorn, Christine Buchegger, Martin Benrath, Rita Russek, Lola Müthel, Walter Schmidinger, Heinz Bennent, Ruth Olafs, Karl-Heinz Pelser, Gaby Dohm
Origin of Film
West Germany | Sweden
Genre(s) of Film
Robert Atzorn, Christine Buchegger, Martin Benrath, Rita Russek, Lola Müthel, Walter Schmidinger, Heinz Bennent, Ruth Olafs, Karl-Heinz Pelser, Gaby Dohm,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Wieslaw Walkuski
Artist
Wieslaw Walkuski
Size (inches)
26 6/16" x 37 11/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Wieslaw Walkuski artwork features on this Polish poster for the release (in 1983) of Swedish director Ingmar Bergman‘s From the Life of the Marionettes. The film was developed and shot by Bergman whilst he was living as a tax exile in West Germany and had a screenplay and soundtrack in German. It was originally developed as a TV movie and was shown on a German public-service channel in November 1980, but was later released at several film festivals and granted wider cinema releases in the following years.

The film depicts the degeneration of the relationship between the arguing couple seen briefly in Bergman’s earlier film, Scenes From a Marriage, Katarina and Peter Egermann (played by Christine Buchegger and Robert Atzorn). The Wikipedia plot description makes it sound like a pretty grim watch:

‘As Katarina seeks other lovers, the emotionally repressed and despondent Peter descends into neuroses, eventually leading him to tearfully murder a prostitute (played by Rita Russek), with the same name as his wife, at a Munich peep show before sodomising her dead body. In the closing sequence he is incarcerated in a mental asylum’

Wieslaw Walkuski was born in 1956 and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Since 1981 Walkuski has worked as a graphic designer and artist for publishing houses and theaters, as well as for the Polish film organisations Polfilm and Film Polski. He’s worked freelance since 1987 and has painted over 200 film posters. He continues to live and work in Warsaw. Walkuski’s official website features galleries of many of his designs and images of his other work.

He’s responsible for some incredible designs and two of my favourites include those he painted for Lars Von Trier’s Breaking the Waves and the Dustin Hoffman comedy Tootsie.

Rhapsody in August / B1 / Poland

11.05.16

Poster Poster
Title
Rhapsody in August
AKA
Hachi-gatsu no kyôshikyoku (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
1991
Director
Akira Kurosawa
Starring
Sachiko Murase, Hisashi Igawa, Narumi Kayashima, Tomoko Ôtakara, Mitsunori Isaki, Toshie Negishi, Chôichirô Kawarasaki, Mieko Suzuki, Richard Gere
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Sachiko Murase, Hisashi Igawa, Narumi Kayashima, Tomoko Ôtakara, Mitsunori Isaki, Toshie Negishi, Chôichirô Kawarasaki, Mieko Suzuki, Richard Gere,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
Poland
Designer
Waldemar Świerzy
Artist
Waldemar Świerzy
Size (inches)
26 6/16" x 38 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A striking design by the celebrated Polish artist and designer Waldemar Świerzy features on this Polish B1 poster for the release of the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa‘s penultimate film, Rhapsody in August. The story focuses on three generations of a Japanese family who were affected by the 1945 Nagasaki atomic bomb. Kane (Sachiko Murase) is the grandmother of the family who lost her husband to the explosion and she is tasked with looking after her four grandchildren for the summer, whilst her children visit a man who claims to be Kane’s long-lost brother in Hawaii. The children learn about the effects of the bomb and what it meant for their family. Richard Gere appears as Clark, an American-born cousin of Kane’s children, who gets involved in a ceremony to commemorate the bombing.

The late Waldemar Świerzy is considered to be one of the most important Polish designers and artists and it’s estimated he’s worked on over 2500 posters during his career. He was born in Katowice in 1931 and graduated from the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts in 1952. He later became professor in the University of Fine Arts in Poznań from 1965 and Professor in the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in 1994. The artist was one of the key figures in the influential Polish School of Posters a movement to push the level of quality of Polish posters forward which was active for over 30 years, starting in the 1950s. Świerzy won multiple awards during his career and had several exhibitions of his work held over the years. He sadly passed away in 2003.

Polishposter.com has several pages of his work and this biography on culture.pl goes into great detail about his life and work. Poster.com.pl has another gallery of his work.

Mississippi Burning / B1 / Poland

26.05.16

Poster Poster

A striking illustration by Wieslaw Walkuski on this B1 poster for the first release in Poland (in 1990) for Alan Parker‘s 1988 crime thriller Mississippi Burning. The film was loosely based on the real life case of the murders of three civil rights workers in the titular American state in 1964. Screenwriter Chris Gerolmo based his script on an article and several books on the FBI investigation of the case that had been written in the intervening years. Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe play two FBI agents sent to the fictional town of Jessup County in order to investigate the disappearance of the three workers. Their investigation is met with suspicion and hostility by local residents, as well as the local police and the KKK. As attacks on African-American families intensify, the pair must use unorthodox methods to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Wieslaw Walkuski was born in 1956 and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Since 1981 Walkuski has worked as a graphic designer and artist for publishing houses and theaters, as well as for the Polish film organisations Polfilm and Film Polski. He’s worked freelance since 1987 and has painted over 200 film posters. He continues to live and work in Warsaw. Walkuski’s official website features galleries of many of his designs and images of his other work.

He’s responsible for some incredible designs and two of my favourites include those he painted for Lars Von Trier’s Breaking the Waves and the Dustin Hoffman comedy Tootsie.

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.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial / B1 / Poland

11.06.14

Poster Poster
Title
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
AKA
Night Skies (USA working title)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Jakub Erol
Artist
Jakub Erol
Size (inches)
26 5/16" x 38"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the original Polish poster for the first release (in 1984) of Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi masterpiece, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. The story of a small alien who gets stranded on earth and meets a young boy called Elliot (Henry Thomas) touched the hearts of millions of movie-goers around the world. Within a year of its release it was crowned the highest-grossing film of all time, overtaking the previous leader, George Lucas’ Star Wars (this record has since been bested by over forty films in the intervening years). 2012 saw E.T. celebrate its 30th anniversary and having watched the blu-ray release recently there’s no question that it has stood the test of time well.

This poster is one of only a few from the worldwide marketing campaign to feature a full depiction of E.T. and this was likely okayed because it’s release in Poland came two years after most other territories and revealing the alien would have been less of an issue. Note that the top part of the poster is slightly blurry around the text but this is the case on every copy of the poster I’ve seen. As is typical of Polish posters printed around this period, the paper is of a lower grade and the printing processes meant that images were never as sharp as they would be elsewhere in the world.

This poster was created by the designer and artist Jakub Erol who was born in Zamość in 1941 and graduated from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts in 1968. He worked as a prolific poster artist for over 25 years and designed several iconic images for both Polish and American films. Some of his other poster highlights include the bizarre image he conjured up for Ridley Scott’s Alien, a striking design for James Cameron’s The Terminator and the poster for Robocop. One of his best, in my opinion, is the skull-style poster he created for the release of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The Polishposter.com website features many of his designs, several which are for sale, and the Polish cinemaposter.com website also features three pages of his work. This list of his designs on the same website gives you an idea of how prolific an artist he was.

Aliens / B1 / creature style / Poland

14.09.15

Poster Poster
Title
Aliens
AKA
Aliens - Scontro finale [Final encounter] (Italy), Aliens - Le retour [The return] (France)
Year of Film
1986
Director
James Cameron
Starring
Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, Paul Reiser
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, Paul Reiser,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Creature
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Andrzej Pagowski
Artist
Andrzej Pagowski
Size (inches)
26 9/16" x 37"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Very wild artwork features on this Polish poster for the release (in 1987) of James Cameron‘s sci-fi masterpiece Aliens. I find it hard to choose between this and Ridley Scott’s original Alien (1979) that saw a small crew on the salvage ship Nostromo get hunted down by a single Xenomorph, which burst from the chest of one of their colleagues following a planetary expedition. The original film is much more of a claustrophobic horror whereas Cameron decided to up the ante and make the sequel an action-packed thrill-ride. Sigourney Weaver reprised her role as Ripley, the only surviving crew member from the Nostromo and the film opens with her escape pod being discovered after 57 years floating through space. After waking her from cryo-sleep, a representative from Weyland Yutani (the company she was working for her) brief her that the planet on which her crew encountered the alien eggs is being terraformed and contact has been lost from the outpost there. After much cajoling they manage to persuade her to return to the planet with a bunch of hardened marines, but she agrees to go only if the purpose of the trip is “Not to study. Not to bring back. But to wipe them out.” Unfortunately for Ripley and the Marines, Weyland Yutani has nefarious plans for the aliens and things soon go awry, but the company didn’t count on Ripley’s tenacity and will to survive.

This poster was designed and illustrated by Andrzej Pagowski, a prolific film poster artist who was born in Warsaw in 1953 and studied at the celebrated University of Fine Arts in Poznań, graduating in 1978 under the tutorship of the noted artist Waldemar Świerzy. In 1990 he started his own graphic design studio called Studio P, which he developed into an advertising agency by 1993. According to the biography on his official site, Pagowski has illustrated over 1000 posters during his career and has also done work for books, magazines and music covers. In addition, he is also a TV and theatre stage designer and a screen writer. Undoubtedly a man of many talents! His official site features an extensive gallery of his work, including several of the posters. Polishposter.com also features multiple pages worth of his movie posters and this culture.pl article is well worth a read too.

There is another poster for the Polish release of the film, which I have nicknamed the ‘bubbles’ style and this will be added to the site at a later date.

Raiders of the Lost Ark / B1 / Skull style / Poland

14.05.14

Poster Poster
Title
Raiders of the Lost Ark
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott, Alfred Molina
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott, Alfred Molina,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Skull style
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Jakub Erol
Artist
Jakub Erol
Size (inches)
26 4/16" x 38 3/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the skull-style B1 poster for the Polish release (in 1983) of the first film in Steven Spielberg‘s legendary Indiana Jones series, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Written by George Lucas, who was in the middle of producing and releasing the original Star Wars trilogy, the story harks back to the adventure film serials of the 1930s and 40s. Set in 1936, Harrison Ford (also fresh from the set of The Empire Strikes Back) plays the titular archaeologist adventurer who is hired by the US government to track down the legendary Ark of the Covenant before an occult section of the Nazi party with nefarious intentions do so. The film is full of memorable characters, thrilling set-pieces and Ford treads a perfect, often comedic, line between surly reluctance and dashing heroism. The film would spawn two sequels over the next 8 years, with Spielberg and Ford returning for both, followed by a somewhat disappointing entry in 2008.

This poster was created by the designer and artist Jakub Erol who was born in Zamość in 1941 and graduated from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts in 1968. He worked as a prolific poster artist for over 25 years and designed several iconic images for both Polish and American films. Some of his other poster highlights include the bizarre image he conjured up for Ridley Scott’s Alien, a striking design for James Cameron’s The Terminator and the poster for Robocop.

The Polishposter.com website features many of his designs, several which are for sale, and the Polish cinemaposter.com website also features three pages of his work. This list of his designs on the same website gives you an idea of how prolific an artist he was.

Innerspace / B1 / Poland

07.10.15

Poster Poster

This is the Polish B1 poster for the release (in 1989) of Joe Dante’s 1987 sci-fi comedy Innerspace, in which Dennis Quaid plays the brilliantly named Tuck Pendleton, a loudmouth test pilot who is shrunken to miniature size as part of an experiment and then accidentally injected into the body of hypochondriac Jack Putter (Martin Short) during a robbery at a science lab. Madcap high-jinks ensue and the films nods heavily in the direction of the classic sci-fi film Fantastic Voyage. The film is definitely one of the high points in the myriad of high-concept films of the 1980s and I rate it as one of Joe Dante’s best films.

This poster was designed and illustrated by Andrzej Pagowski, a prolific film poster artist who was born in Warsaw in 1953 and studied at the celebrated University of Fine Arts in Poznań, graduating in 1978 under the tutorship of the noted artist Waldemar Świerzy. In 1990 he started his own graphic design studio called Studio P, which he developed into an advertising agency by 1993. According to the biography on his official site, Pagowski has illustrated over 1000 posters during his career and has also done work for books, magazines and music covers. In addition, he is also a TV and theatre stage designer and a screen writer. Undoubtedly a man of many talents! His official site features an extensive gallery of his work, including several of the posters. Polishposter.com also features multiple pages worth of his movie posters and this culture.pl article is well worth a read too.

End of the Lonely Farm Berghof / B1 / Poland

06.11.15

Poster Poster
Title
End of the Lonely Farm Berghof
AKA
Slady wilczych zebów (literally 'Wolves' Teeth Marks') | Zánik samoty Berhof (Czech - original title)
Year of Film
1984
Director
Jirí Svoboda
Starring
Jana Brejchová, Radoslav Brzobohatý, Milan Knazko, Lubomír Kostelka, Ladislav Krivácek, Miroslav Machácek, Jerzy Nowak, Viteszlav Pohanka
Origin of Film
Czechoslovakia
Genre(s) of Film
Jana Brejchová, Radoslav Brzobohatý, Milan Knazko, Lubomír Kostelka, Ladislav Krivácek, Miroslav Machácek, Jerzy Nowak, Viteszlav Pohanka,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Wiktor Sadowski
Artist
Wiktor Sadowski
Size (inches)
26 11/16" x 38 4/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A striking illustration by the Polish artist Wiktor Sadowski features on this Polish poster for the release of the Czechoslovakian film End of the Lonely Farm Berghof. Directed by Jirí Svoboda, the film appears to be little-seen, at least judging by the absence of any reviews on its IMDb page and elsewhere. The plot is described on kinosvetozor.cz thusly:

“Based on a novel by Vladimir Korner, Zanik Samoty Berhof takes place just as World War II has ended, and the Germans who live in Sudentenland now find themselves citizens of Czechoslovakia. Hitler annexed that area during the war, and it was simply given back after the war. Rather than peacefully accept the situation, some Germans continued to fight in this northwestern border region, refusing to accept the end of the war. In this story, several of these people end up at the Berhof farm […] When the mayor of the town decides that these “warmongers” have to be handled immediately, the fate of the people on the farm seems bleak indeed.”

Wiktor Sadowski who was born in Olendry in 1956 and later graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Sadowski has painted hundreds of film posters during his career and has won several prestigious awards, including a gold medal at Poster Biennale of Poland in 1984 and a gold medal from the New York Society of Illustrators in 1994. There are multiple galleries of his work online, including this one on the Polish Poster Gallery website and this one on Polishposter.com that both clearly show the quality of his artwork.

Raiders of the Lost Ark / B1 / explosion style / Poland

14.08.15

Poster Poster
Title
Raiders of the Lost Ark
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott, Alfred Molina
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott, Alfred Molina,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Explosion style
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Grzegorz Marszalek
Artist
Grzegorz Marszalek
Size (inches)
25 15/16" x 38 5/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the explosion-style B1 poster for the Polish release (in 1983) of the first film in Steven Spielberg‘s legendary Indiana Jones series, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Written by George Lucas, who was in the middle of producing and releasing the original Star Wars trilogy, the story harks back to the adventure film serials of the 1930s and 40s. Set in 1936, Harrison Ford (also fresh from the set of The Empire Strikes Back) plays the titular archaeologist adventurer who is hired by the US government to track down the legendary Ark of the Covenant before an occult section of the Nazi party with nefarious intentions do so.

The film is full of memorable characters, thrilling set-pieces and Ford treads a perfect, often comedic, line between surly reluctance and dashing heroism. The film would spawn two sequels over the next 8 years, with Spielberg and Ford returning for both, followed by a somewhat disappointing entry in 2008.

This poster was created by the designer and artist Grzegorz Marszatek who was born in Swinna in 1949 and later studied at the College of Fine Arts in Poznań where he obtained an honours degree under noted professors (and artists in their own right) Lucjan Mianowski and Waldemar Świerzy. Since 1971 he has been a teacher himself at the same college, which is now a university, and in 1994 he was awarded the degree of Professor of Fine Arts. He was the director of the Visual Communication department at Poznań university until 2010 and he’s also been involved at the Szczecin Academy of Fine Arts. As well as teaching Marszatek has worked as an illustrator for film and theatre posters, magazine covers and editorials, and book covers. 

Marszatek’s official site can be viewed here and features galleries of his work, including his posters. Polishposter.com features a gallery of many of his film posters.

There were three Polish posters created for the 1983 first release of Raiders of the Lost Ark, including this one and Jakub Erol’s fantastic skull-style poster.

Stranger Than Paradise / B1 / Poland

18.01.17

Poster Poster
Title
Stranger Than Paradise
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Jim Jarmusch
Starring
John Lurie, Eszter Balint, Richard Edson, Cecillia Stark, Danny Rosen, Rammellzee, Tom DiCillo
Origin of Film
USA | West Germany
Genre(s) of Film
John Lurie, Eszter Balint, Richard Edson, Cecillia Stark, Danny Rosen, Rammellzee, Tom DiCillo,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1991
Designer
Andrzej Klimowski
Artist
Andrzej Klimowski
Size (inches)
26 10/16" x 38 6/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A unique design by the designer and illustrator Andrzej Klimowski features on this Polish B1 poster for Jim Jarmusch’s Stranger Than Paradise. Following the 1980 release of Permanent Vacation, the director’s debut feature, he began work on what would become Stranger Than Paradise. A shorter version of the film was created first and shown at film festivals before it was expanded to full length and released in 1984. It’s considered to be a landmark in the independent / arthouse film movement and inspired many filmmakers over the following years. The film stars jazz musician John Lurie and former Sonic Youth guitarist Richard Edson as two friends, Willie and Eddie, and deals with their interaction with the former’s Hungarian cousin, Eva (Eszter Balint).

Told over three separate acts, the plot is minimalist and begins with Eva arriving at Willie’s spartan New York flat to stay for ten days. Aunt Lotte, with whom Eva was meant to be staying, is in hospital and Willie begrudgingly takes Eva in. After a while he begins to warm to his guest and is sad when she leaves to go to Cleveland. A year later, Willie and Eddie travel to visit Eva but end up just as bored as they were in New York. In act three, the pair decide to travel to Florida on a whim and end up taking Eva with them. The story culminates with the trio getting mixed up at the airport as Eva plans to fly back to Hungary.

Made on a budget of around $100k, the film was a relative success and earned over $2.4m. It was also a hit with critics and won a host of awards, including at festivals like Cannes and Sundance, where it won the coveted Special Jury Prize.

 

Andrzej Klimowski is a celebrated designer and illustrator who was born in London to Polish émigré parents in 1949. After studying at Saint Martin’s School of Art he moved to Poland to train at Warsaw’s famous Academy of Fine Art. Beginning in the 1970s Klimowski has worked on book covers for celebrated authors including PG Wodehouse and Kazuo Ishiguro. In the mid-1970s he was given the opportunity to work on film posters and turned in work for titles including Roman Polanski’s Chinatown and Robert Altman’s Nashville. He also began to work on theatre posters around the same time and began teaching illustration during the 1980s. He has won multiple awards over the years, including ones for his film posters.

This article in Eye Magazine is an excellent read and details the development of his unique style that he came to whilst working on posters and book covers. Here’s an excerpt that’s pertinent to this poster:

‘I was interested in an image without surface,’ explains Klimowski, ‘an illusion, which is like the projected image in the movies, or a printed image, not fine print like lithography or etching, but offset litho for the masses.’ Photocollage allowed him to cut into reality, sometimes crudely so the cut-lines show, manipulate it, and reassemble it with a degree of verisimilitude – ‘a deposit of the real world’ – that the paintbrushes preferred by his fellow Polish poster artists could not achieve. Montages made from his own photographs and other elements were transferred to lith film, the film image was traced on to paper, colour (crayon, paint or pastel) and other textures were applied, then the two layers were taped together so the colour shone through from inside.

Klimowski continues to create illustrations and book covers today and is now Professor Emeritus at the Royal College of Art in London, having served as head of the illustration course for many years. His own website is here and features a short biography. The one on the RCA’s website is more extensive. Polishposter.com features a decent gallery of his film poster work, including the five that he worked on for Jim Jarmusch films.

Escape From New York / B1 / Poland

16.11.15

Poster Poster
Title
Escape From New York
AKA
New York 1997 ( France / Japan - English title) | John Carpenter's Die Klapper-Schlange [Rattlesnake] (Germany)
Year of Film
1981
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Wieslaw Walkuski
Artist
Wieslaw Walkuski
Size (inches)
26 10/16" x 38 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the original poster for the Polish release (in 1983) of John Carpenter’s sci-fi classic Escape From New York. I’d have a hard time choosing my favourite of the three (fictional) characters Carpenter and Kurt Russell created together; R.J. MacReady (The Thing), Jack Burton (Big Trouble in Little China) and Snake Plissken (EFNY). The latter is the gruff former war hero and convicted bank robber who is sent onto the island of Manhattan of an alternative 1997, which has been sealed-off as a lawless prison, in search of the American President whose plane crashed there after a terrorist attack. He’s arguably the coolest of the three and is a character much imitated in other lesser films featuring a reluctant hero.

The artwork on the poster is by Wieslaw Walkuski who was born in 1956 and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Since 1981 Walkuski has worked as a graphic designer and artist for publishing houses and theaters, as well as for the Polish film organisations Polfilm and Film Polski. He’s worked freelance since 1987 and has painted over 200 film posters. He continues to live and work in Warsaw. Walkuski’s official website features galleries of many of his designs and images of his other work.

He’s responsible for some incredible designs and two of my favourites include those he painted for Lars Von Trier’s Breaking the Waves and the Dustin Hoffman comedy Tootsie.

 

The rest of the John Carpenter posters I’ve collected can be seen by clicking here.