You Searched For: Sam%2BJ.%2BJones

Cleopatra Jones / 30×40 / USA

07.11.12

Poster Poster
Title
Cleopatra Jones
AKA
Dynamite Jones (France)
Year of Film
1973
Director
Jack Starrett
Starring
Tamara Dobson, Bernie Casey, Brenda Sykes, Antonio Fargas, Dan Frazer, Bill McKinney, Shelley Winters
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Tamara Dobson, Bernie Casey, Brenda Sykes, Antonio Fargas, Dan Frazer, Bill McKinney, Shelley Winters,
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 #
73/147
Tagline
She's 6 feet 2" of Dynamite... and the Hottest Super Agent Ever!

An excellent design on this 30×40 poster for the release of one the most prominent entries in the blaxploitation genre, 1973’s Cleopatra Jones. The late Tamara Dobson stars as the eponymous secret agent who masquerades as a catwalk model in order to disguise her real job, which sees her traveling the globe and tackling drug gangs. After burning down a Turkish poppy field used to create heroin by the kingpin Mommy (Shelley Winters), Cleopatra returns to Los Angeles to arrest the dirty cops on the cartel’s payroll. An incensed Mommy tracks our heroine back home and tries to prevent her dismantling the rest of her drug operation.

The film is notable for being the first in the genre to feature a strong female lead who uses physical strength and combat skills to battle adversaries, and because of its box-office success was later followed by films such as CoffyBlack Belt Jones and Foxy Brown. Dobson would return for the sequel Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold, which was released two years later but saw nowhere near the same level of success, mostly due to the blaxploitation genre’s waning appeal at that time.

I’m unsure who is responsible for the design of this poster, or for the hand-drawn artwork featured on it, so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

The trailer is on YouTube.

Cleopatra Jones / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Cleopatra Jones
AKA
Dynamite Jones (France)
Year of Film
1973
Director
Jack Starrett
Starring
Tamara Dobson, Bernie Casey, Brenda Sykes, Antonio Fargas, Dan Frazer, Bill McKinney
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Tamara Dobson, Bernie Casey, Brenda Sykes, Antonio Fargas, Dan Frazer, Bill McKinney,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King / one sheet / teaser / Sam and Frodo / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Summer Of Sam / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull / one sheet / advance / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
AKA
--
Year of Film
2008
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Harrison Ford, Shia LaBeouf, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Ray Winstone, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Harrison Ford, Shia LaBeouf, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Ray Winstone, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2008
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold / 30×40 / USA

15.03.13

Poster Poster
Title
Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold
AKA
--
Year of Film
1975
Director
Charles Bail
Starring
Tamara Dobson, Stella Stevens, Ni Tien, Norman Fell, Albert Popwell, Caro Kenyatta, Shen Chan, Christopher Hunt, Chen Chi Lin, Locke Hua Liu, Eddy Donno
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Tamara Dobson, Stella Stevens, Ni Tien, Norman Fell, Albert Popwell, Caro Kenyatta, Shen Chan, Christopher Hunt, Chen Chi Lin, Locke Hua Liu, Eddy Donno,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Robert Tanenbaum
Size (inches)
30 2/16 x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
75/164
Tagline
6ft. 2in. of dynamite explodes into action.

The late Tamara Dobson‘s second and last outing as the titular blaxploitation crime-fighter sees her traveling to Hong Kong to rescue two of her fellow agents who have disappeared whilst on a case. She soon discovers that the owner of a Macao casino and major drug lord, the sinister Dragon Lady (Stella Stevens), is responsible and Cleopatra sets out to stop her at all costs.

Apparently the film failed to make as much of an impact as the first one due to the fall in popularity of blaxploitation films by 1975. Director Charles Bail had previously worked on another entry in the genre, Black Samson, released in 1974. He went on to direct episodes of several TV series including CHiPsKnight Rider and Dragnet.

The excellent artwork is by the American artist Robert Tanenbaum who was responsible for many excellent film posters during the 1970s and 80s. He’s also an award-winning portrait artist and his official website features several galleries of his impressive work. IMPAwards also features a number of his film posters.

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

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom / one sheet / style A / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth, Philip Stone, Roy Chiao, David Yip, Ric Young
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth, Philip Stone, Roy Chiao, David Yip, Ric Young,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Spiros Angelikas
Artist
Bruce Wolfe
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
840002
Tagline
If adventure has a name... it must be Indiana Jones.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom / one sheet / teaser / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth, Philip Stone, Roy Chiao, David Yip, Ric Young
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth, Philip Stone, Roy Chiao, David Yip, Ric Young,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Teaser - black
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Spiros Angelikas
Artist
--
Size (inches)
26 13/16" x 40 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
840002
Tagline
Trust him.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom / one sheet / style B / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth, Philip Stone, Roy Chiao, David Yip, Ric Young
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth, Philip Stone, Roy Chiao, David Yip, Ric Young,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style B
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Spiros Angelikas
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
If adventure has a name... it must be Indiana Jones.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade / one sheet / advance / brown style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade / one sheet / advance / white style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
AKA
--
Year of Film
1989
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Denholm Elliott, Alison Doody, John Rhys-Davies, Julian Glover, River Phoenix, Michael Byrne, Kevork Malikyan, Robert Eddison, Richard Young, Alexei Sayle
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Denholm Elliott, Alison Doody, John Rhys-Davies, Julian Glover, River Phoenix, Michael Byrne, Kevork Malikyan, Robert Eddison, Richard Young, Alexei Sayle,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance - white style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1989
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
27" x 40 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
The man with the hat is back. And this time, he's bringing his dad.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull / quad / advance / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
AKA
--
Year of Film
2008
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Harrison Ford, Shia LaBeouf, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Ray Winstone, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Harrison Ford, Shia LaBeouf, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Ray Winstone, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
2008
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
30" x 39 7/8"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
--

Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold / B2 / Japan

20.04.12

Poster Poster

The late Tamara Dobson‘s second and last outing as the titular blaxploitation crime-fighter sees her traveling to Hong Kong to rescue two of her fellow agents who have disappeared whilst on a case. She soon discovers that the owner of a Macao casino and major drug lord, the sinister Dragon Lady (Stella Stevens), is responsible and Cleopatra sets out to stop her at all costs.

Apparently the film failed to make as much of an impact as the first one due to the fall in popularity of blaxploitation films by 1975. Director Charles Bail had previously worked on another entry in the genre, Black Samson, released in 1974. He went on to direct episodes of several TV series including CHiPsKnight Rider and Dragnet.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Black Belt Jones / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Black Belt Jones
AKA
Johnny lo svelto (Johnny the cute] (Italy)
Year of Film
1974
Director
Robert Clouse
Starring
Jim Kelly, Gloria Hendry
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jim Kelly, Gloria Hendry,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom / A1 / Czechoslovakia

19.03.14

Poster Poster

This is the original Czech poster for the release of Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and Temple of Doom, which followed on from the classic Raiders of the Lost Ark but was in fact a prequel to the original action-adventure. Set in 1935 (so pre-WWII Nazis), the film sees Harrison Ford’s intrepid adventurer escaping from an ambush in a Shanghai nightclub whilst trying to procure an ancient artefact. Together with the American lounge singer Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) and a cocky Chinese kid called Short Round (Jonathan Ke Quan) he escapes on a plane only to be double-crossed by the pilots who disable the controls before parachuting out. Surviving with the improbable help of a rubber dinghy, the trio end up in a remote northern Indian village.

After discovering that all the children from the surrounding area have been kidnapped and taken to the nearby Pankot Palace, as well as the fact that village’s sacred stone is missing, Indy decides to pay a visit to the palace. Although they receive a warm welcome at first, questioning around the missing children is quickly dismissed and later that night Indy is attacked by an assassin, which leads the trio to discover a hidden door in Willie’s room. Venturing through booby-trapped passages they discover an underground temple which is presided over by an evil Thuggee priest called Mola Ram and before long their presence is discovered.

Although the film received mixed critical notice back in 1984, particularly in respects to its darker tone and increased violence over Raiders (the film was responsible for the creation of the American PG-13 rating), the film was mostly well received by fans and has since gained more of a critical appreciation. Spielberg was less enamoured by the finished film, however, and is quoted as saying “Temple of Doom is my least favourite of the trilogy. I look back and I say, ‘Well the greatest thing that I got out of that was I met Kate Capshaw. We married years later and that to me was the reason I was fated to make Temple of Doom'”

The film was first released in Czechoslovakia in 1986 and this poster was designed and printed by the Czech artist Milan Pecák. The imagery alludes to one of the most memorable scenes in the film, which seriously disturbed me when I watched it as a child, where Mola Ram sacrifices an unlucky innocent into a fiery pit. A celebrated designer and artist, Pecák was born in 1962 and studied at the Vaclav Hollar School of Fine Arts in Prague before working as an architect and later as a set designer for several films.

It was whilst working on the 1986′ ‘Zastihla Me Noc’ that he was first given the opportunity to work on the film’s poster and from then onwards he was in demand as an artist for posters advertising Czech releases, as well as several American films, including Gorillas in the Mist, Mississippi Burning and arguably his most famous design for James Cameron’s Terminator (released in Czechoslovakia in 1990). In addition to film posters, Pecak is also an accomplished book and magazine cover illustrator and in his spare time works on fine art painting as well as digital graphics.

Milan Pecak’s official website can be viewed here and features several galleries of his work as well as a biography.

House / one sheet / 2010 re-release / USA

19.06.13

Poster Poster

A cinematic experience quite unlike any other, Japanese director Nobuhiko Obayashi‘s 1977 masterpiece House is almost impossible to categorize or even describe and simply needs to be seen to be believed. The American distributor Janus Films, who supervised a restoration of the film in 2010, attempt to summarise the film better than I possibly could:

‘How to describe Nobuhiko Obayashi’s 1977 movie House? As a psychedelic ghost tale? A stream-of-consciousness bedtime story? An episode of Scooby Doo as directed by Dario Argento? Any of the above will do for this hallucinatory head trip about a schoolgirl who travels with six classmates to her ailing aunt’s creaky country home, only to come face to face with evil spirits, bloodthirsty pianos, and a demonic housecat. Too absurd to be genuinely terrifying, yet too nightmarish to be merely comic, House seems like it was beamed to Earth from another planet.’

Relatively unknown outside of his native Japan, Obayashi had started his career in the field of experimental filmmaking and quickly forged a reputation as a master visual artist. His skills were soon utilised by advertising agencies and he quickly became a sought-after commercial director, working with Western actors including Sophia Loren and Charles Bronson who were earning lucrative paycheques to hawk various goods. The Japanese studio Toho approached Obayashi and asked him to develop a script for a horror film that would hopefully emulate the great success of Spielberg’s Jaws. The director spoke to his 11-year-old daughter Chigumi to get some inspiration, claiming later that adults “only think about things they understand…everything stays on that boring human level”.

The resultant script, written by Chiho Katsura, included several of Chigumi’s suggestions. Toho green-lit the script and then, after struggling to find a director willing to tackle it, gave the job to Obayashi himself despite him not being a member of the Toho staff. The resultant film is clearly the work of someone who is unafraid to experiment with the medium of film and the director spent two months on Toho’s biggest soundstage shooting the script without storyboards and utilising a whole host of special effects techniques, several of which Obayashi seemingly created especially for this film. House was a huge hit, much to the studio’s surprise, unquestionably helped by the fact that the popular band Godiego providing the best-selling soundtrack, thus cementing the film’s appeal to the youth market.

Despite Japanese success the film wasn’t released outside of the country, that is until Janus Films bought the distribution rights and aided with a digital restoration in preparation for a cinema re-release, and eventually a blu-ray release on their Criterion label in 2010. When the Nashville-based designer and artist Sam Smith (AKA Sam’s Myth) prepared a poster for a preview showing of the film at his local Belcourt Theatre he had no idea that Janus would eventually decide to not only use the image for their official one sheet but also as the cover of the eventual Criterion release. In June 2013 I interviewed Sam and the resultant article can be read here. We discussed the House poster and the following excerpt explains how he arrived at the final design:

How quickly did you arrive at using the image of Blanche the cat as the poster image?
Almost instantly actually. In fact, my friend Zack Hall who is a manager at the Belcourt sent me some images and we were brainstorming at that image of Blanche just jumped out at me and seemed like something I could use. But I wanted to transform it from the screenshot into a graphic piece. The angle of that shot isn’t quite straight on, so I manipulated that, and I gave the cat’s face the entire frame of the poster, removed from the picture frame. I touched the image up and blew it out in black and white, and I just saw this field of red-orange over the whole thing, thinking it could really transform that image into something iconic. The lettering and everything else– the little house illustration– all came very quickly, in a single pass. It’s by far the fastest any poster design has ever come together for me. I didn’t really think much about it and don’t really remember it happening.

Were you surprised at how iconic the Blanche image has ended up being?
A little bit, but I must give credit to Obayashi who came up with this image in the first place. It’s not like I drew it or created it out of my own imagination. I feel that I just plucked it out of the film and tried to transform it graphically into something iconic that represented the insane, exciting, colorful energy of the film, while adding my own touches with the lettering and accoutrements. People loved it though. I suggested making t-shirts and stickers, and I still see people wearing them when I’m at a festival or traveling somewhere. It really taught me that in this day and age, the most important quality of a poster is for its design to feel iconic and eye-catching, above all else. The goal is to get people talking about the film and going to see the film and telling their friends about it, and it’s cool to hear people say “you know, the movie with the poster of the red cat face” and realize you had a role in the film finding its audience.

———————

Sam’s blog has a post about the creation of the House poster and is well worth a read.

World on a Wire / one sheet / 2011 re-release / USA

19.06.13

Poster Poster

German wunderkind Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s dystopian science-fiction epic World on a Wire (Welt am Dracht) was one of 40 films that he directed during his prolific career before his untimely death at the age of 37 (in 1982). Considered a pioneer of the New German Cinema movement, Fassbinder originally prepared World on a Wire, his only sci-fi story, for German television as a two-part miniseries. Based on the 1964 novel Simulacron-3 by the American author Daniel F. Galouye, the film is set in an alternative-reality 1970s in which a supercomputer built by the cybernetics & future science institute (IKZ), and known as the Simulacron, is hosting an advanced simulation program of an artificial world. 9000 so-called ‘identity units’ are living as human beings who are totally unaware that their world is entirely artificial with their every move tracked and followed by the computer in order to help (it is implied) large multinational companies with an advanced form of marketing research.

When the technical director of the program dies in a mysterious incident, his replacement Fred Stiller (Klaus Löwitsch) must unravel the mystery of his demise whilst also investigating the sudden disappearance of the institute’s security adviser, Günther Lause. When Stiller’s colleagues claim to have no recollection of Lause and one of the simulated humans commits suicide, he descends into a twisting conspiracy that leads him to question his very existence. To say the film’s themes were prescient would be an understatement, with most web users readily submitting themselves to online tracking cookies (a form of market research) by the likes of Google, and its influence of films like 1999s The Matrix and even James Cameron’s Avatar cannot be denied.

After airing on German television World on a Wire practically disappeared from reach, with bootleg VHS copies of the original broadcasts being the only way fans could watch it. In 2010 the American distributor Janus Films aided in a digital restoration and  US cinema release of the film, with an eventual 2011 blu-ray release on their Criterion label. The Nashville-based designer and artist Sam Smith (AKA Sam’s Myth) was asked to put together a poster for the cinema release, which would also end up being used for the blu-ray cover. In June 2013 I interviewed Sam and the resultant article can be read here. We discussed the World on a Wire poster and this is the excerpt from the interview:

The World on a Wire cover, which was printed as a poster too, is a fantastic design that had the film’s titles as it’s starting point. The final poster came about thanks to the client suggesting a simple iconic image would be better suited for the film. Can you talk about that project and what it meant to you?
Janus entrusted me with this poster design after we did House and Kuroneko together. I remember being very concerned with topping my previous work and trying to come up with my best poster yet. I was also pursuing a very misguided impulse to try to create something visually complex that could compete with what Mondo artists like Tyler Stout and Ken Taylor were doing. I built some comps around this idea, using my translated and modified version of Fassbinder’s original title treatment as a framing device.

Ultimately Janus suggested that it would be great to see me try something simple and iconic, and they referred to two designs I did for Before Sunrise and Before Sunset where a more minimal arrangement of shape and color suggested something deeply about the film and its themes. This is kind of feedback designers dream about at night! I threw two overlapping circles down and studied them as symbol of the multiple worlds/realities in the film. From there, this poster came together quite quickly too.

————

Sam’s blog features an excellent ‘process’ post on the making of the poster that I strongly urge you to check out.

Life of Brian / one sheet / style A / USA

18.04.12

Poster Poster

Probably my favourite of the five cinematic outings by the Monty Python crew, Life of Brian is one of the funniest films ever made and the brilliant satirical humour hasn’t diminished at all in the thirty plus years since its release. Infamously causing an uproar with various religious groups, it also saw EMI, the original financial backers, pulling out during production claiming the script was blasphemous. Luckily, George Harrison stepped in with the finance, apparently after realising it may have been the last chance to see another Python film in cinemas. His company HandMade Films was formed as a result of this deal.

The film’s religion-baiting story sees a man called Brian (Graham Chapman) born at the same time as Jesus Christ and initially mistaken for the Messiah, who ends up living an unremarkable life under the Roman occupation of Judea. Things take a fateful turn when his infatuation with a young rebel called Judith (Sue Jones-Davies) leads him to join the People’s Front of Judea, a bickering group who have decided to take a stand against the emperor.

The film raised the ire of several religious groups who were outraged at the concept, despite most of them having never even seen the film, and it was only given a general release once several cuts had been made. Despite the edits, several local UK councils banned the film from being shown at cinemas within their boroughs. Apparently some of these bans lasted until very recently, with the Welsh town of Aberystwyth finally lifting its one in 2009, which then saw a screening of the film attended by Jones, Michael Palin and Sue Jones-Davies, who was the then mayor of the town.

One of the more infamous bans was carried out by the Norwegians who refused to allow the film to be screened at all, which lead some of the international marketing material for the film to be emblazoned with the proclamation ‘So funny it was banned in Norway!’

This is the American one sheet for the release of the film featuring illustration by an artist I have been unable to identify. William Stout had previously provided an illustration for an alternative one sheet, which can be seen here.

The original American trailer can be seen on YouTube.

Life of Brian / quad / 1988 re-release / UK

11.04.14

Poster Poster

Probably my favourite of the five cinematic outings by the Monty Python crew, Life of Brian is one of the funniest films ever made and the brilliant satirical humour hasn’t diminished at all in the thirty plus years since its release. Infamously causing an uproar with various religious groups, it also saw EMI, the original financial backers, pulling out during production claiming the script was blasphemous. Luckily, George Harrison stepped in with the finance, apparently after realising it may have been the last chance to see another Python film in cinemas. His company HandMade Films was formed as a result of this deal.

The film’s religion-baiting story sees a man called Brian (Graham Chapman) born at the same time as Jesus Christ and initially mistaken for the Messiah, who ends up living an unremarkable life under the Roman occupation of Judea. Things take a fateful turn when his infatuation with a young rebel called Judith (Sue Jones-Davies) leads him to join the People’s Front of Judea, a bickering group who have decided to take a stand against the emperor.

The film raised the ire of several religious groups who were outraged at the concept, despite most of them having never even seen the film, and it was only given a general release once several cuts had been made. Despite the edits, several local UK councils banned the film from being shown at cinemas within their boroughs. Apparently some of these bans lasted until very recently, with the Welsh town of Aberystwyth finally lifting its one in 2009, which then saw a screening of the film attended by Jones, Michael Palin and Sue Jones-Davies, who was the then mayor of the town.

One of the more infamous bans was carried out by the Norwegians who refused to allow the film to be screened at all, which lead some of the international marketing material for the film to be emblazoned with the proclamation ‘So funny it was banned in Norway!’

This is a scarce, alternate style UK quad which differs from the other somewhat confusing design, which is simply the logo doubled up. A reader of the site got in touch to confirm that this quad was designed in house at HandMade films. To quote their informative email:

HandMade and the Pythons decided to re-submit the film to Irish Film Board to have the original ban overturned. The submission was successful and with the censor certification under our belt plans to release the film moved ahead and the Life of Brian was finally released in Ireland  I recall in the summer of 1988 as I recall eight years after original release. One of the unsung heroes of HandMade was freelance artist/designer George Rowbottom.

George was closely involved in many HMF posters over the years along with Ray Cooper and it was George who re-worked Life of Brian poster and came up with the “tablet” design for the quad used for the Irish release and also the superior amended 1-sheet. In both cases these were printed by National Screen who printed all our posters for domestic and international.

The original American trailer can be seen on YouTube.

Beauty / quad / advance / UK

20.07.15

Poster Poster
Title
Beauty
AKA
Skoonheid (South Africa)
Year of Film
2011
Director
Oliver Hermanus
Starring
Deon Lotz, Charlie Keegan, Michelle Scott, Albert Maritz, Sue Diepeveen, Roeline Daneel, Drikus Volschenk
Origin of Film
South Africa | France | Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Deon Lotz, Charlie Keegan, Michelle Scott, Albert Maritz, Sue Diepeveen, Roeline Daneel, Drikus Volschenk,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
2012
Designer
Sam Ashby
Artist
Sam Ashby
Size (inches)
30" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Love - Envy - Obsession

This is the advance quad poster for the UK release of the first Afrikaans-language film to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival, 2011’s Beauty, which was directed by Oliver Hermanus. Set in Bloemfontein and Cape Town, the film is a drama that is intended to highlight the bigoted attitudes towards homosexuality in South Africa, which forces men like François van Heerden (Deon Lotz) to lead a closeted life. François has become bored with his marriage to wife Elena Michelle Scott, is frustrated with his daughter’s behaviour, and is bored of his job at a local sawmill. He is shown to be regularly meeting a group of gay men at a remote farm where they engage in sexual activities and then return to their families.

After meeting Christian Roodt (Charlie Keegan), the handsome son of an old friend, at a wedding he becomes obsessed with him and begins to fake reasons to travel to Cape Town where Christian lives with his family. When he sees his daughter relaxing on the beach with Christian, François starts to descend even deeper into his dangerous obsession. After spending a drunken evening out in Cape Town, he calls Christian asking him to pick him up and when the pair drive back to François’ hotel an incident occurs that neither are prepared for. The ending is fairly ambiguous but we’re led to believe that life will be no happier for the married man.

This fantastic UK quad was created by Sam Ashby, a London-based graphic designer who has worked on a number of film posters, including quads for films like Weekend (2011). According to this interview, Sam used to work at the poster design firm AllCity as Head of Design before leaving to set up his own studio in 2010. His website hasn’t been updated in a number of months so I’m not sure if he’s still active as a film poster designer.

It’s worth noting that I bought this poster directly from the UK distributor Pecadillo Pictures and it’s printed on thicker paper than standard quads. The printing quality is not as high as would usually be expected.

An interview with Sam Smith, AKA Sam’s Myth

19.06.13

Nashville-based Sam Smith, who works under the moniker Sam’s Myth, is an acclaimed graphic designer and artist who has worked with multiple independent film distributors on official posters for films as diverse as the brilliant 1977 Japanese cult oddity House (for a 2010 re-release) and the sprawling biopic Carlos. In addition, Sam has designed and illustrated screen prints and unofficial posters for film screenings at the likes of Nashville’s celebrated Belcourt Theatre and San Francisco’s famous Castro Theatre.

A true cineaste, Sam’s portfolio overtly reflects his taste in movies since he’ll often elect to work on a poster for a cult, independent or little-seen film of his own choosing, plus he regularly works on packaging and disc menus for the much-loved video label Criterion. On top of this, Sam is an accomplished musician who has drummed for the likes of Ben Folds, Tristen and My So Called Band, and when not working on design projects he can be found on the road with one of these bands. Work on record covers, gig posters and other music-related projects also feature in Sam’s folio.

I first became aware of Sam when I purchased the superb re-release one sheets for House (see below) and Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s sci-fi epic World on a Wire in 2011, and I’ve been following his work ever since then. I wanted to interview Sam for the site at the same time as adding those two posters to my site and the resultant article is below.

The designer, artist and musician Sam Smith, June 2013

The designer, artist and musician Sam Smith, June 2013

The US one sheet for the 2010 re-release of Nobuhiko Obayashi's House, designed by Sam's Myth

The US one sheet for the 2010 re-release of Nobuhiko Obayashi’s House, designed by Sam’s Myth

I’ve split the interview up into six parts and you can use the links below to jump directly to a section, should you wish.

Part 1 – Origins and starting out
Part 2 – Film and music
Part 3 – 
Working methods
Part 4 – Criterion
Part 5 – Posters in detail
Part 6 – Influences, advice and future plans

Part 1 – Origins and starting out

I’d like to start with your origins, if I may? When and where were you born?
I was born in 1981 in Nashville, TN. I’ve lived in Nashville for the bulk of my life, aside from going to school in New York City and touring around the world off and on for the several years after that.


I understand your father is also a designer? Can you talk about his work?
He was and still is an artist who has worked in different mediums, never as a designer per se, but a painter and woodworker and found object artist… All kinds of things. For a period in the 80’s he worked with airbrush creating large, colorful abstract landscapes, patterns and conceptual imagery. His drawing and illustration style has always had an enormous influence on my art. He fostered my obsession with all things visual. Now he lives in the country and makes furniture and things out of reclaimed wood, writes novels and short stories, and draws from time to time.

Before Sunrise and Before Sunset screen prints by Sam's Myth

Before Sunrise and Before Sunset screen prints by Sam’s Myth


How did you start out designing? Did you study it at university?
I’ve always just made art on my own, due in large part most likely to my dad and I working on creative projects all the time when I was a child. I would draw all of the characters and things I was obsessed with– Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Batman, Dick Tracy, Roger Rabbit… By the time The Simpsons hit, I had been cartooning and drawing my own comics for several years. In high school, my love for posters began I guess, as I would draw and paste-up posters and flyers for all of my bands’ shows as well as all major school events. I “designed” the album art for my band’s releases, combining art I made, found images and photographs with type, and I found this very enjoyable. I went to New York University for the Cinema Studies program, went on tour after that, and literally stopped making visual art for several years.

What was your first real break into the world of professional design? Was there a first major client?
My first real break was the House poster. After touring for about four years, I had a long break and decided to do something about the fact that I had let my art skills atrophy so severely from not drawing or designing anything for years while I focused on other things. My mom had just built a small art studio in the back yard of the house I grew up in, and I holed up for a week there and forced myself to just crank out some posters. My love for film had grown so much at college, where I earned a degree in writing about film from an academic perspective.

My Neighbor Totoro screen print by Sam's Myth for the Belcourt Theatre, Nashville. 2009

My Neighbor Totoro screen print by Sam’s Myth for the Belcourt Theatre, Nashville. 2009

While touring my writing also declined and I didn’t have a lot of interest in being a film critic. So I figured that making film posters would be a great way to channel my love for films (and for reading and interpreting films) into a visual art project. I made eight to ten designs during those several days that are still some of my favorite things I’ve done. I took them to my friends at the Belcourt Theatre, Nashville’s historic art-house, and showed them what Mondo was doing with collectible movie screen prints in Austin, thinking we could try something similar.

Testing the waters, they agreed to print up some posters for a couple upcoming films– I made screen prints for My Neighbor Totoro and The Human Condition, which was being re-released by Janus Films. Janus also had a digital version of House booked at the Belcourt as a midnight movie and I made a poster. I knew that Janus was supportive of what we were doing at the Belcourt and I’d always dreamed of working with them and with Criterion, their home video wing. My initial goal was to create 25 different posters for HOUSE just to increase my odds of landing on something great that might catch Janus’ attention, but I only made it through a few ideas, and the cat poster was the best. People really responded to it, and the midnight screenings at the Belcourt were a smashing success, so much so that Janus went ahead and planned to strike a new 35mm print and give HOUSE the full run in other theaters.

Janus asked if they could use my poster design as their official one-sheet. That led naturally to a relationship working with Criterion and Janus on an ongoing basis. So I feel I owe everything to the Belcourt and to Janus for giving me that opportunity to see myself as a professional designer of posters.


Have you always been freelance or have you worked in an agency?
I’ve always been freelance. I enjoy the challenge of maintaining a steady stream of professional work but doing so on my own schedule. I do fantasise sometimes about combining powers with other artist friends and forming a sort of collective, all working out of the same studio and sharing gear and tools, helping each other out and, most importantly, playing ping pong. I’ve never really considered working for an agency but wouldn’t rule it out, particularly if it were a movie poster agency which would have its own interesting challenges.

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Flash Gordon / B2 / artwork style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Flash Gordon
AKA
Blixt Gordon (Sweden)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Mike Hodges
Starring
Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Chaim Topol, Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow, Ornella Muti, Brian Blessed
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Chaim Topol, Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow, Ornella Muti, Brian Blessed,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Artwork
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Flash Gordon / B2 / photo style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Flash Gordon
AKA
Blixt Gordon (Sweden)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Mike Hodges
Starring
Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Chaim Topol, Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow, Ornella Muti, Brian Blessed
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Chaim Topol, Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow, Ornella Muti, Brian Blessed,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Photo
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Flash Gordon / one sheet / teaser / portrait / USA

21.11.12

Poster Poster
Title
Flash Gordon
AKA
Blixt Gordon (Sweden)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Mike Hodges
Starring
Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Chaim Topol, Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow, Ornella Muti, Brian Blessed
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Chaim Topol, Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow, Ornella Muti, Brian Blessed,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Teaser - portrait
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Philip Castle
Size (inches)
25 4/16" x 28 2/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

There are few films quite like Flash Gordon and having re-watched it on blu-ray recently I was reminded how much of an impression it had on me when I first saw it as a child. I also listened to the excellent audio commentary with director Mike Hodges, who admits to being an unlikely choice to direct and confirms in no uncertain terms that they were making things up as they went along. It sounds like a typically chaotic Dino De Laurentiis production with scenes being written the night before filming and huge amounts of the budget going on the costume and set designs (though these are very impressive, even today).

This is an unusual teaser one sheet printed on paper that is thicker than normal paper with a metallic-ink finish. It was used in North America to promote the film months ahead of its release and there was also a landscape format version printed.  The renowned British artist Philip Castle is responsible for the artwork, which depicts the scene towards the end of the film where Flash Gordon and the Hawkmen attack and capture the rocket fortress Ajax.

Born in London in 1943, Castle’s design career has seen him working on album covers for some of the biggest names in British music, including Wings, Mott the Hoople and Pulp. His skills were utilised for the famous cover for David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane, which saw him airbrushing over a photograph by Celia Philo. He also worked on the cover for the legendary computer game Elite.

Perhaps his most famous film poster work was the result of his collaboration with director Stanley Kubrick and the airbrushed images used to promote A Clockwork Orange are utterly fantastic. The final one sheet for the film is one of the most iconic posters of all time, with the same painting being used to promote the film all over the world, and it continues to be used to this day. In 1987 the pair would collaborate once more on the poster for Full Metal Jacket, which again proved to be a seminal piece of work. There’s an interesting interview with Castle available to watch on YouTube in which he discusses his work with Kubrick.

This page features several examples of his brilliant work and there are multiple images tagged on Tumblr. The posters I’ve collected by him can be seen here.