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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.

Black Dynamite / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Platoon / one sheet / international

10.07.15

Poster Poster
Title
Platoon
AKA
--
Year of Film
1987
Director
Oliver Stone
Starring
Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Richard Edson, Keith David, Forest Whitaker, Kevin Dillon, Johnny Depp
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Richard Edson, Keith David, Forest Whitaker, Kevin Dillon, Johnny Depp,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Mike Bryan
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

An iconic image on this one sheet for the release of Oliver Stone‘s Academy Award-winning Vietnam war classic, Platoon, one of a three films that the director made on the subject (the others being Born on the Fourth of July and Heaven & Earth). The script, which was written by Stone, is based on his own experiences as an infantryman who served in tours of duty during the Vietnam war. He had signed up in 1967 after dropping out of Yale University and specifically requested to see combat in the war that had seen the first ground troops sent to the country two years earlier. Stone served in two different divisions for over a year and was wounded twice,  receiving several medals, including a Purple Heart.

The film follows Charlie Sheen‘s army grunt Chris Taylor (a proxy for Stone) who is serving as part of Bravo Company, 25th Infantry Division near the Cambodian Border. Taylor is fresh into the field and is treated with disdain by the more experienced soldiers (an incredible ensemble of acting talent, including Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Keith David and Forest Whitaker) who have all been in country for months, and he is quickly made aware that his presence is inconsequential. After a few skirmishes in which some members of the division are killed, Taylor is eventually accepted into the group and discovers the grinding boredom and rampant drug use amongst his fellow soldiers. Tensions between two sergeants, the ill-tempered, battle-scarred Barnes (Berenger) and the pleasant, more reasonable Elias (Dafoe) reach breaking point following an incident involving innocent villagers. Upon returning to base, the issue of a court-martial for illegal killing is raised and when the division is sent out on their next patrol, things reach boiling point, leaving Taylor fighting to survive against the enemy as well as members of his own team.

This one sheet features a shot from a pivotal scene in the film where Elias is left behind during an evacuation to escape from advancing Vietcong troops. The shot was used on most posters for the film’s release across the board, but not on the US one sheet. This poster is in fact a one sheet printed for use in English-speaking international countries (note the lack of MPAA rating). It most commonly appears without the white border and measuring 25″ x 39″ but this is the full-size 27″ x 41″ bordered version.

I had always assumed the image was a photograph but I only recently discovered it’s the work of the American artist Mike Bryan who also painted the fantastic and iconic Robocop one sheet. Heritage auction house sold the original paintings for both posters in March 2014 and included with each was a note from Bryan himself. The platoon one can be read here.

Platoon / one sheet / USA

13.08.14

Poster Poster
Title
Platoon
AKA
--
Year of Film
1987
Director
Oliver Stone
Starring
Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Richard Edson, Keith David, Forest Whitaker, Kevin Dillon, Johnny Depp
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Richard Edson, Keith David, Forest Whitaker, Kevin Dillon, Johnny Depp,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Final
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Bill Gold
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
860115
Tagline
The first casualty of war is innocence

An iconic image on this one sheet for the release of Oliver Stone‘s Academy Award-winning Vietnam war classic, Platoon, one of a three films that the director made on the subject (the others being Born on the Fourth of July and Heaven & Earth). The script, which was written by Stone, is based on his own experiences as an infantryman who served in tours of duty during the Vietnam war. He had signed up in 1967 after dropping out of Yale University and specifically requested to see combat in the war that had seen the first ground troops sent to the country two years earlier. Stone served in two different divisions for over a year and was wounded twice,  receiving several medals, including a Purple Heart.

The film follows Charlie Sheen‘s army grunt Chris Taylor (a proxy for Stone) who is serving as part of Bravo Company, 25th Infantry Division near the Cambodian Border. Taylor is fresh into the field and is treated with disdain by the more experienced soldiers (an incredible ensemble of acting talent, including Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Keith David and Forest Whitaker) who have all been in country for months, and he is quickly made aware that his presence is inconsequential. After a few skirmishes in which some members of the division are killed, Taylor is eventually accepted into the group and discovers the grinding boredom and rampant drug use amongst his fellow soldiers. Tensions between two sergeants, the ill-tempered, battle-scarred Barnes (Berenger) and the pleasant, more reasonable Elias (Dafoe) reach breaking point following an incident involving innocent villagers. Upon returning to base, the issue of a court-martial for illegal killing is raised and when the division is sent out on their next patrol, things reach boiling point, leaving Taylor fighting to survive against the enemy as well as members of his own team.

This one sheet was designed by the great Bill Gold who is best known for his working relationship with Clint Eastwood that has lasted over four decades. He worked on the iconic one sheet for Dirty Harry and went on to design the American poster for every Eastwood film since, which includes the brilliant one for Clint’s last Western,Unforgiven (1992). Gold has also designed posters for some of Hollywood’s greatest directors, including the likes of Stanley Kubrick (A Clockwork Orange, with artwork by Philip Castle) and Alfred Hitchcock (Dial M For Murder).

Born in New York City in 1921, Gold studied illustration and design at the Pratt Institute before starting his professional design career in 1941 in the publicity department for Warner Brothers. One of his earliest designs was for the classic Humphrey Bogart filmCasablanca and within a few years he went on to become the head of the studio’s poster department. In 1962 he started Bill Gold Advertising in New York and then spent the next four decades creating hundreds of memorable poster designs and collaborating with some of the best illustrators in the business, including the brilliant Bob Peak.

Gold started to design less posters towards the end of the 1990s, with only a handful of posters for Eastwood films being credited to him. His last poster was for the 2011 film J. Edgar (directed by Eastwood), which Gold agreed to work on after an unsuccessful period of retirement following the poster he worked on for Mystic River in 2003. He continues to live in Upstate New York and in 2011 a book was released to coincide with his 90th birthday called Bill Gold Posterworks, which features 450 pages worth of his incredible designs and details his creative process. Unfortunately, it has an eye-watering price tag that has prevented me picking a copy up but I hope that one day a more affordable version will be released.

Platoon / Thailand

20.04.15

Poster Poster
Title
Platoon
AKA
--
Year of Film
1987
Director
Oliver Stone
Starring
Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Richard Edson, Keith David, Forest Whitaker, Kevin Dillon, Johnny Depp
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Richard Edson, Keith David, Forest Whitaker, Kevin Dillon, Johnny Depp,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Kwow
Size (inches)
21 7/16" x 30 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the original Thai poster for the release of Oliver Stone‘s Academy Award-winning Vietnam war classic, Platoon, one of a three films that the director made on the subject (the others being Born on the Fourth of July and Heaven & Earth). The script, which was written by Stone, is based on his own experiences as an infantryman who served in tours of duty during the Vietnam war. He had signed up in 1967 after dropping out of Yale University and specifically requested to see combat in the war that had seen the first ground troops sent to the country two years earlier. Stone served in two different divisions for over a year and was wounded twice,  receiving several medals, including a Purple Heart.

The film follows Charlie Sheen‘s army grunt Chris Taylor (a proxy for Stone) who is serving as part of Bravo Company, 25th Infantry Division near the Cambodian Border. Taylor is fresh into the field and is treated with disdain by the more experienced soldiers (an incredible ensemble of acting talent, including Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Keith David and Forest Whitaker) who have all been in country for months, and he is quickly made aware that his presence is inconsequential. After a few skirmishes in which some members of the division are killed, Taylor is eventually accepted into the group and discovers the grinding boredom and rampant drug use amongst his fellow soldiers. Tensions between two sergeants, the ill-tempered, battle-scarred Barnes (Berenger) and the pleasant, more reasonable Elias (Dafoe) reach breaking point following an incident involving innocent villagers. Upon returning to base, the issue of a court-martial for illegal killing is raised and when the division is sent out on their next patrol, things reach boiling point, leaving Taylor fighting to survive against the enemy as well as members of his own team.

The artwork on this Thai poster is by the artist who signs his work Kwow, about whom I’ve been able to discover little beyond other titles he worked on. The figure kneeling with his arms up references one of the most iconic scenes of the movie, which also appeared on several international posters for the film and was painted by Mike Ryan (the original artwork was sold at auction in 2014).