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The Godfather / screen print / Ñiko / Cuba

18.06.12

Poster Poster

In August 2011 I was lucky enough to visit the island of Cuba for a ten day trip, which was a fantastic experience. It really does feel like a country stuck in a time warp, circa 1965, particularly once you leave the capital and head into the countryside. It’s a stunningly beautiful island with very hospitable people but the relative poverty of the country is clear to see. It’s often said that the government is likely to relax the current freeze on foreign (particularly Western) investment once ‘Comandante’ Fidel Castro passes away, although with his brother Raul currently in charge very little has changed. This article on the BBC gives you an insight into the current situation.

The Cuban people’s love for film and cinema-going is legendary and our guidebook claimed that at the end of the 1950s there were over 300 cinemas in the capital Havana alone. Today, these great old buildings continue to thrive and whilst there I witnessed the queues of people lining up to see the latest releases. I took this picture of the Yara cinema in the Vedado area of Havana before the evening crowds descended.

Whilst in Havana I visited a bookshop that was selling original Cuban propaganda posters printed in the 1950s and 60s by OSPAAAL. They also had a handful of screen-printed film posters, all of which were reprints of the original Cuban cinema posters or re-imagined designs by local artists. They are officially screen printed by the ICAIC (Instituto Cubano de Artes Industrias Cinematografia) in Havana.

This poster for Francis Ford Coppola‘s classic crime epic The Godfather was designed and illustrated by Antonio Pérez González Ñiko. Born in Havana in 1941, Ñiko (as he is known) studied a Bachelor degree in Art at the city’s university before getting a job at a graphic design agency. He was instrumental in designing multiple posters for the Cuban revolutionary movement in the 1960s and 1970s as well as many film posters in conjunction with the ICAIC.

Now a resident of Mexico, Ñiko works as a professor of Graphic Design at the Gestalt Design School in Xalapa, Veracruz. He continues to design and paint and his work has been featured in countless exhibitions around the world. His personal blog can be viewed here. Galleries of his work can be viewed on his Cargo Collective website here, and the sheer number of film posters he’s worked on is nothing short of incredible.

Whilst in Havana I also picked up a few other posters, one of which (A Clockwork Orange) I have already posted here.

The Avengers / screen print / regular / Tyler Stout / USA

31.07.14

Poster Poster

2012 was an important year for several of cinema’s biggest franchises with the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, appearing four years after the last, plus Christopher Nolan bringing his Dark Knight trilogy to a spectacular close with The Dark Knight Rises. However, unquestionably the cinematic event of the year was the much anticipated release of Marvel’s superhero team-up The Avengers.

Even before the successful release of Iron Man in 2008, the production team in charge of what is known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, had planned to release a series of films focusing on individual superheroes based on Marvel comic characters, with the intention of establishing their backstories, and popularity, with fans before uniting them together in a ‘crossover’ film. The original Avengers comic, which brought together previously stand-alone characters including Thor, Captain America, Hulk and Iron Man, was first released in 1963 and has been in print since then so it was no surprise that it was chosen to the be the crossover film following the first five standalone stories.

The film was helmed by cult screenwriter/director Joss Whedon who saw worldwide success with TV shows like Buffy, Angel and cult favourite Firefly, but this was his first major studio film and his appointment in 2010 was seen as a surprise, but welcome, choice by many fans. Whedon pushed the studio allow him to begin a new script after reading a screenplay by Zak Penn that they had been tinkering with since 2007 and the studio eventually agreed, with production beginning in July 2010.

Marvel’s faith in Whedon paid off in spectacular style when the film was released in 2012 and broke multiple worldwide box-office records, including highest-grossing opening in the US, the highest opening week earnings and fewest number of days to reach half a billion dollars (23). It was the highest grossing film of 2012 and currently stands at third in the all-time rankings.

To celebrate the release of the film, Marvel once again worked with Austin-based Mondo to release a series of screen prints based on characters from the film. The incomparable Austin-based geek culture outfit has worked on prints for all of the standalone Marvel releases, starting with Iron Man in 2008 and only skipping the same year’s The Incredible Hulk.

The team at Mondo assembled a roster of its most celebrated artists to turn in designs for each of the main characters and these were released over the period of a week in April 2012, beginning with Olly Moss‘ portrait of Black Widow and ending with Thor by Martin Ansin and Iron Man by Kevin Tong. A few weeks later, on the eve of the film’s release, Mondo then revealed a print featuring all of the characters that was designed and illustrated by arguably their most popular artist, Tyler Stout.

As usual, the print came in both regular and variant versions and, despite each having relatively high print runs, the poster sold out within seconds of going on sale on Mondo’s webshop. I was lucky to snag a copy of the print via Tyler’s ‘lottery’, which he now holds on his own site shortly after each print release sells out via Mondo.

Whilst adding the regular version to the Film on Paper collection I wanted to interview the man himself about the creation of the poster as I’ve done previously with his work on the prints for AkiraKill Bill and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The interview can be read in full by clicking here.

Note that the final image of Iron Man is stamped on the back of the print.

Ex Machina / screen print / Jock / USA

24.10.16

Poster Poster
Title
Ex Machina
AKA
--
Year of Film
2015
Director
Alex Garland
Starring
Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander, Sonoya Mizuno, Corey Johnson, Claire Selby
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander, Sonoya Mizuno, Corey Johnson, Claire Selby,
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2015
Designer
Jock
Artist
Jock
Size (inches)
24" x 36"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Ex Machina, the directorial debut of Alex Garland, was one of my favourite films of 2015. An independent, British-made sci-fi, the film focuses on the technology of artificial intelligence (AI) and what it means to be human. Domhnall Gleeson plays Caleb, a programmer working for the world’s foremost technology company (the fictional Blue Book). Caleb wins a competition to visit the remote home of the enigmatic CEO of the company, Nathan (Oscar Isaac). Once there he discovers that he is to take part in a top secret test of an artificial intelligence that Nathan has been developing.

Caleb is told that he must subject the AI, named Ava (Alicia Vikander), to the Turing test and see if he can distinguish her from another human by asking her a series of questions. It soon becomes clear that Ava is a remarkable achievement and Caleb becomes very excited by the implications of the technology. Caleb discovers that her creation has come at a price and Ava has engineered a plan to escape from her cell with his help. Unbeknownst to the pair, Nathan is fully aware of the duplicity and the trio are set for a deadly encounter.

This screen print was released in 2015 by the incomparable Mondo, the Austin-based purveyors of limited edition posters and film merchandise. The design and art is the work of Jock, a British illustrator who works on comics, screen prints and is also a concept artist for films. He had collaborated with Alex Garland on Dredd (2012) before being asked to create artwork for Ex Machina. He has also worked on promotional images for films including Iron Man 3 and The Dark Knight Trilogy. Jock has created some fantastic posters over the past few years and they can be viewed on his official website, which also features images of his film concept art and comics work.

A compendium of his work called The Art of Jock has just been released and I highly recommend picking up a copy. See details here.

Alien / screen print / regular / Martin Ansin / USA

05.02.16

Poster Poster
Title
Alien
AKA
Star Beast (USA - working title) | Alien - Den 8. passager (Denmark)
Year of Film
1979
Director
Ridley Scott
Starring
Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto,
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
Regular
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2014
Designer
Martin Ansin
Artist
Martin Ansin
Size (inches)
24" x 35 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Ridley Scott’s seminal sci-fi horror Alien may be over 35 years old but its impact on cinema and pop culture is still being felt today. The film featured a breakout performance by Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, a member of a deep space mining crew who respond to a distress signal on an unexplored planet and end up fighting for their lives when a malevolent alien creature is brought back onto their ship The Nostromo. Despite countless imitators over the years no one has yet managed to better the original and Scott himself even tried (and fell short IMO) with 2012’s prequel Prometheus.

An excellent but markedly different sequel would follow with 1986s Aliens and I have a hard time choosing between the two when it comes to my personal favourite. Two other significantly less well-received sequels followed in the next 11 years but they did nothing to dampen enthusiasm for the original. British games developers The Creative Assembly were given full access to the 20th Century Fox archives for the film whilst they were creating Alien Isolation, a critically acclaimed first-person survival horror set 15 years after events in the original film and released in 2014.

This screen print by the Uruguayan artist Martin Ansin was released by the incomparable Mondo, the Austin-based purveyors of limited edition posters and film merchandise. The print was one of several created by Martin Ansin for a joint show with fellow artist Kevin Tong held at the Mondo Austin gallery during March 2014. Ansin also worked on a print for Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel Prometheus and other films covered by the pair included James Cameron’s sequel Aliens and Flash Gordon. Badass Digest went to the show and interviewed Ansin and Tong, which can be read here and Collider.com ran an article featuring loads of images from the show. There was a variant of this print available that was printed with a gold colour scheme, also with metallic inks.

Looper / screen print / regular / Martin Ansin / USA

08.07.16

Poster Poster

A striking design by the artist Martin Ansin features on this official screen print for the 2012 sci-fi film Looper. Written and directed by Rian Johnson, creator of the superb ‘Brick’ (2005), the film is a futuristic, somewhat dystopian crime-drama based around the theme of time travel. Looper is set in both 2044 and 2074 and stars Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the same character from each era, with the latter made to look uncannily like the former thanks to the skills of makeup artist Kazuhiro Tsuji. The audience learns that time-travel was invented in 2074 but then immediately outlawed. Because the tracking of individuals is so advanced and accurate, enterprising criminal gangs begin using the technology to dispose of victims they want disappeared.

These individuals are sent back in time 30 years and killed by the titular loopers who are paid in silver bars strapped to the victims. Eventually, however, all loopers must accept that they too are sent back in time to be killed by their younger selves. They are sent with reward of a packet of gold bars strapped to them and this moment known as ‘closing the loop’, is intended to stop the future authorities seeing a link to the use of time-travel. Young Joe (Gordon-Levitt) discovers that his flat-mate Seth (Paul Dano) failed to close his own loop because his older self warned him of a mysterious figure in the future known as the Rainmaker who has begun to overthrow the crime bosses and is murdering each of the loopers one by one. Joe reluctantly agrees to help his crime boss Abe (Jeff Daniels) track down Seth and close the loop.

One day Joe comes face to face with his older self and the older Joe (Willis) manages to overpower his younger self and he escapes. Older Joe is determined to kill the Rainmaker when he was just a child and young Joe discovers the target is a young child called Cid (Pierce Gagnon) who lives on a remote farm with his mother Sara (Emily Blunt). Sara confides that Cid has advanced telekinetic powers and that the young boy is barely able to control them when he gets angry. Soon, Abe’s henchmen come looking for young Joe and he must try to survive whilst also protecting Cid from older Joe and attempting to stop him from fulfilling his destiny as the Rainmaker.

Johnson also introduces an alternative timeline in which young Joe kills his older self before he can escape but then shows how the timelines are then ingeniously linked together. The film was met with great critical acclaim and performed brilliantly at the box-office, with takings several times the original production cost. Some recent reviews on IMDb have been pretty brutal and unforgiving of what are perceived to be plot holes focused around the time travel concepts, but the director himself has since explained that the film was never intended to get too focused on the technicalities of how it works:

‘Even though it’s a time-travel movie, the pleasure of it doesn’t come from the mass of time travel. It’s not a film like Primer, for instance, where the big part of the enjoyment is kind of working out all the intricacies of it. For Looper, I very much wanted it to be a more character-based movie that is more about how these characters dealt with the situation time travel has brought about.’

This screen print was commissioned by the limited edition poster outfit Mondo for a screening of the film at the 2012 Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. It was created by the talented Uruguayan designer and artist Martin Ansin, whose work has graced many of the best posters released by Mondo, including several in the Universal Monsters series, like this amazing Phantom of the Opera one. This design for Looper cleverly captures the time travel concepts and the two versions of the lead character.  The artist also worked on a variant of the poster that features a silver colourway.

The other posters I’ve collected by Ansin can be seen here. His official website is well worth a browse.

A Field in England / screen print / teaser / UK

10.08.16

Poster Poster

Several months before the release of director Ben Wheatley‘s fourth film, A Field in England, a limited edition screen print was commissioned by the production company Rook Films and released in a small run of 75. The film is set during the mid-17th Century English Civil War and was apparently in development for several years after the director became interested in the historical period whilst filming a documentary about the Sealed Knot, an English society that carries out historical reenactments. Amy Jump, Wheatley’s regular collaborator (and wife), wrote the screenplay with filming taking place over twelve days in September 2012.

The film has a small cast of British actors, several of which are known for their comedy backgrounds, including Julian BarrattReece Shearsmith and Michael Smiley. Filmed in black and white, the story is set, as the title suggests, in fields near to the edge of a battleground. It follows an alchemist’s assistant named Whitehead (Shearsmith) who has fled away from his strict commander and encounters a group of men who have deserted the battle and are in search of an alehouse. Soon they are intercepted by an Irishman called O’Neil (Smiley, as depicted on this poster) who is another alchemist in search of a treasure he believes to be buried nearby. 

Whitehead’s master had tasked him with apprehending the Irishman, who was also in the master alchemist’s employ but stole his work and materials. Armed with a pistol, the malevolent O’Neil takes control of the group and tasks Whitehead with finding the ‘treasure’. Using hallucinogenic substances (magic mushrooms and other powders that were commonly used during the period) O’Neil keeps the men in check but things don’t exactly go to plan. The film features several psychedelic sequences and cleverly uses split-screen imagery and sound design to great effect.

Rather unusually the film was simultaneously released in cinemas, on DVD and blu-ray, on Video on Demand (VOD) and also shown on the Film 4 channel. This report from the BFI (PDF), published several months after release, goes into interesting detail about how it was received. It’s fair to say that, although the critical reception was largely positive (87% on Rotten Tomatoes), audiences reactions were massively polarised. You only have to look at the reviews section on the IMDb’s page for the film to see the 1 and 2 star ratings right next to those calling the film a masterpiece and awarding it the full ten stars.

The film is undoubtedly less commercial and ‘mainstream’ than the director’s previous films, including Kill List and the brilliant comedy Sightseers, so it will have confounded fans of those films expecting something more straightforward. Those that did like A Field in England praise the strange and brooding atmosphere, the aforementioned sound design, and the clever cinematography and use of editing to enhance the sense of menace.

The poster

Rook Films commissioned the designer/artists Kenn Goodall and Luke Insect, who work together under the moniker of Twins of Evil, to work on this teaser poster before filming had even taken place. The pair had worked on the soundtrack release for Sightseers for Rook in the past and Wheatley’s producing partner Andy Starke had purchased one of the pair’s screen prints for Witchfinder General.

A Field in England had an excellent website subtitled ‘A Film 4 Digital Masterclass’ that went into great detail about all aspects of the making of the film. This poster had its own section titled ‘The evolution of the poster’ in which Goodall and Insect discussed its creation and showcased several images created during its inception. This lone figure and aesthetic was later used to create the British quad poster, with the line-up of characters expanding to five. The artwork on this teaser later became the cover for the blu-ray release of the film. Note that although some images of this print depict green grass around the figure’s feet, the final poster, screen printed by The Private Press, didn’t feature this colour. Also note that it’s signed (initialled really) by Wheatley as well as the two artists.

This page features other art created for the film, including a great soundtrack poster also by the Twins of Evil. You can check out Luke Insect’s solo website here and Kenn Goodall’s site is here.

Inside Llewyn Davis / screen print / Telegramme / UK

19.08.16

Poster Poster

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

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

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

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

Prometheus / screen print / regular / Martin Ansin / USA

16.09.16

Poster Poster

It’s fair to say that the film that would become Prometheus was long in gestation and expectations were set impossibly high before its release. Originally developed as the fifth entry in the Alien franchise, Ridley Scott and James Cameron (directors of the original film and its sequel) began developing a story after Scott expressed an interest in returning to the universe he brought to life. His intention was to make the film a prequel and focus on the so-called ‘space jockey’ creature that was seen briefly in the derelict space ship during the first part of the original film. Unfortunately the studio (Fox) decided to instead concentrate on the ill-fated Alien vs Predator (2004) and Cameron stepped away from the sequel project.

In 2009 the idea of a reboot of the Alien series was mooted and this quickly morphed into the previously conceived prequel to the first film. Screenwriter Jon Spaihts delivered a first version of the script and after several stop-starts the project was eventually green-lit. Before filming commenced, however, Damon Lindelof was hired to retool the script to suit Fox’s intention to make it less of a sci-fi horror and more something that would appeal to a wider audience. Once filming began there began a strange period where Scott and others played down all links to the original film and made efforts to sell it as the start of a ‘new, grand mythology’. Unfortunately this tactic wasn’t entirely successful and many audience members went into the cinema expecting to watch something close to Scott’s original film.

The film is set in the late 21st Century and follows a group of scientists on a mission to a distant moon after following clues discovered around Earth. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) believe that they have been invited to meet humanity’s forerunners and their mission is funded by Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), the billionaire CEO of the Weyland Corporation. The titular ship sets off to LV-223 with the crew in stasis whilst an Android named David (Michael Fassbender) tends to the ship. When they eventually reach the moon, the expedition team, led by Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) sets off to investigate a mysterious structure on the surface. Things don’t exactly go to plan from here on in and members of the crew are killed by a snake-like creature that spits acid and a black fluid that infects its host and causes them to behave aggressively. After some of the team discover a chamber with a number of the deceased space-jockey figures from Alien, it soon becomes clear that David is working under different orders than the rest of the crew. Things get increasingly ridiculous following this point and the film ends with one of the more preposterous sci-fi scenes of the last few years.

Prometheus made over $400m at the worldwide box-office and received mostly favourable reviews from professional critics, but its reputation amongst general audiences wasn’t exactly stellar. I recall reading many disappointed comments from people who’d expected something more from a film set in the Alien universe, especially one so long in gestation. One of the biggest criticisms was aimed at the plot holes that the film has, along with several moments of laughable dialogue and clunky character choices that don’t make much sense. It’s fair to say that the rewrites and stop-start nature of the project had a profound impact on the final film and undoubtedly created a lot of the issues it has. I personally don’t mind the film too much and feel it has several things going for it, including superb production design, almost flawless special effects and a great score. A sequel is on the way in 2017 and it’ll be interesting to see if Scott has listened to the critics of this film. Already, from reading early reports and viewing on-set photos, it’s clear that he intends to bring the story towards the feel of the first film.

 

This screen print by the Uruguayan artist Martin Ansin was released by the incomparable Mondo, the Austin-based purveyors of limited edition posters and film merchandise. The print was one of several created by Martin Ansin for a joint show with fellow artist Kevin Tong held at the Mondo Austin gallery during March 2014. Ansin also worked on a print for the original 1979 Alien and other films covered by the pair included James Cameron’s sequel Aliens and Flash Gordon. Badass Digest went to the show and interviewed Ansin and Tong, which can be read here and Collider.com ran an article featuring loads of images from the show. There was a variant of this print available that was printed with a gold colour scheme, also with metallic inks.

Alien / ‘You are my lucky star’ / screen print / variant / Mark Englert / USA

12.01.17

Poster Poster
Title
Alien
AKA
Star Beast (USA - working title) | Alien - Den 8. passager (Denmark)
Year of Film
1979
Director
Ridley Scott
Starring
Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto,
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
Variant
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2012
Designer
Mark Englert
Artist
Mark Englert
Size (inches)
12" x 36"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Ridley Scott’s seminal sci-fi horror Alien may be over 35 years old but its impact on cinema and pop culture is still being felt today. The film featured a breakout performance by Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, a member of a deep space mining crew who respond to a distress signal on an unexplored planet and end up fighting for their lives when a malevolent alien creature is brought back onto their ship The Nostromo. Despite countless imitators over the years no one has yet managed to better the original and Scott himself even tried (and fell short IMO) with 2012’s prequel Prometheus.

An excellent but markedly different sequel would follow with 1986s Aliens and I have a hard time choosing between the two when it comes to my personal favourite. Two other significantly less well-received sequels followed in the next 11 years but they did nothing to dampen enthusiasm for the original. British games developers The Creative Assembly were given full access to the 20th Century Fox archives for the film whilst they were creating Alien Isolation, a critically acclaimed first-person survival horror set 15 years after events in the original film and released in 2014.

 

This screen print by the American artist Mark Englert was created for the 2012 San Diego Comic Con and was sold at the Gallery 1988 stall. Englert, whose official website is here, first appeared on collectors’ radars with his print for The Thing that was released earlier in 2012. Since then he has worked on a number of landscape format prints (typically 12″ x 36″) featuring scenes from cult films and TV shows. One of his most popular releases was one for The Walking Dead that was released around the same time as this Alien print. Each print is given a name that relates to the property in some way. In this case ‘You are my lucky star’ is the name of the song that Ellen Ripley (Weaver) sings as she’s climbing into the space suit at the end of Alien.

Check out this interview with Englert on Collider.com which was carried out at the same Comic Con and they also featured him in their first ever ‘Limited Paper’ column. Englert’s own site features the posters and other items he’s worked on so far, which includes vinyl sleeves and more. There’s a short biography on his website which mentions he was born in 1979. There’s an excellent interview with Mark on 411posters.com here.

He has a store here and you can follow him on Twitter here.

Thor / screen print / regular / Martin Ansin / USA

16.11.16

Poster Poster

This screen print depicting the Marvel character Thor, as played by Chris Hemsworth, was created by the talented Uruguayan designer and artist Martin Ansin. It was commissioned by the limited edition poster outfit Mondo as part of a series of prints that were released in preparation for the highly anticipated Marvel superhero team-up, The Avengers (2012). A print was released for each of the seven main heroes featured in the first film. This included one for Captain America by the design outfit Phantom City Creative and one for The Hulk by Ken Taylor. This page on Collider.com shows five of the posters and the other two can be seen here. To finish of the series Mondo asked Tyler Stout to design a poster for the actual Avengers film itself. See here for my interview with Tyler about his work on the print.

Not all of the characters that made the line-up for the first film were given a solo outing before The Avengers was released. The first Iron Man film that was released in 2008 set the template that others followed and made a tidy profit at the box office in doing so. A sequel followed two years later and then Thor’s solo outing was released in 2011 along with the first Captain America film. This then completed what is called Phase One in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Phase Two began with Iron Man 3 in 2013.

Ansin’s work has graced many of the best posters released by Mondo, including several in the Universal Monsters series, like this amazing Phantom of the Opera one. This Thor poster was printed in a regular and variant version with the variant having a grey/silver colourway and glow-in-the-dark inks.

The other posters I’ve collected by Ansin can be seen here. His official website is well worth a browse.

The Big Lebowski / screen print / Tyler Stout / Posters and Toys variant / USA

21.05.11

Poster Poster

This is the scarce Posters and Toys variant of the 2011 screen print by Tyler Stout for the much-loved Coen Brothers classic, The Big LebowskiJeff Bridges stars as The Dude, a lifelong slacker who also happens to share his name with a millionaire philanthropist with a trophy wife who owes money to a shady pornographer. A pair of hired goons break into his place, rough him up and urinate on his rug. When the goons realise they have the wrong man they leave The Dude alone but, after consulting with his friends Walter (a memorable turn by John Goodman) and Donny (Steve Buscemi), he decides to seek out the real Lebowski to seek compensation for the rug, but things start to spiral out of control when the wife is kidnapped and he agrees to help secure her return.

To say the film has become something of a cultural phenomenon since its release in 1998 would be an understatement. As well as a worldwide legion of fans, there’s the annual Lebowski-Fest, which started in 2002 in Louisville, Kentucky and has since been held in several other cities. Jeff Bridges iconic ‘The Dude’ character is even the focus behind a form of religion called Dudeism.

I’d have a hard time choosing between this and Fargo as my favourite Coen Brothers film, although Raising Arizona and Barton Fink are also strong contenders.

I recently spotted this rather excellent GIF.

Reservoir Dogs / screen print / regular / Tyler Stout / USA

14.02.17

Poster Poster
Title
Reservoir Dogs
AKA
Le Iene (Italy)
Year of Film
1992
Director
Quentin Tarantino
Starring
Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, Chris Penn, Michael Madsen, Lawrence Tierney, Quentin Tarantino
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, Chris Penn, Michael Madsen, Lawrence Tierney, Quentin Tarantino,
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
Regular
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2012
Designer
Tyler Stout
Artist
Tyler Stout
Size (inches)
24" x 36"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

It seems hard to believe but Reservoir Dogs, the debut film by Quentin Tarantino, was released 25 years ago this October. Often cited as one of the greatest independent films ever made, the depiction of the events leading up to, and the aftermath of, a botched diamond heist remains as powerful today as it was a quarter of a century ago.

Famously written whilst Tarantino was working at a video rental shop in Manhattan Beach, California, the script eventually found its way into the hands of the actor Harvey Keitel. He helped the budget grow to $1.5m and the production team got to work gathering the great cast together, including the likes of Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi and Michael Madsen. Whilst not a financial success in the US, despite strong reviews, the film was accepted more readily in the UK where it earned almost three times the American take at the box-office. When Pulp Fiction was released two years later the film garnered a lot more attention.

Back in 2012, Tarantino celebrated the 20th anniversary of the film by screening a 35mm print of the film at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles, which he owns. Held in late October, the screening was apparently attended by a ‘raucous and electrified crowd’. As the credits rolled, folks from the incomparable limited-edition geek culture outfit Mondo were there to unveil a special screen print created especially for the event.

The print was designed and illustrated by Tyler Stout, the celebrated artist who had worked on the Mondo-released print for Tarantino’s event screening of Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair (also at the New Beverley). As is typical for Tyler’s work, the print came in both regular and variant versions and when Mondo put the remaining posters onto their online store they both sold out within seconds.

Whilst adding this regular version to the Film on Paper collection I wanted to interview the man himself about the creation of the print as I’ve done previously with his designs for AvengersAkira, Kill Bill and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The interview can be read in full here.

Planet Of The Apes / screen print / Martin Ansin / regular / AP / USA

20.06.14

Poster Poster
Title
Planet Of The Apes
AKA
Apornas planet (Sweden)
Year of Film
1968
Director
Franklin J. Schaffner
Starring
Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, James Daly, Linda Harrison
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, James Daly, Linda Harrison,
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
Regular - Artists Proof
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2012
Designer
Martin Ansin
Artist
Martin Ansin
Size (inches)
24" x 36"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Another superb design by Martin Ansin on this screen print for the original 1968 sci-fi classic Planet of the Apes, which was released in January 2012 as part of a series of Apes inspired prints by Mondo, the celebrated Austin-based limited-edition art boutique. A true cult classic, the first Planet of the Apes was adapted from the book La Planète des singes by the French author Pierre Boulle and went through several iterations at the scripting stage, with the first draft handled by American TV legend Rod Serling, plus a few potential directors before Franklin J. Schaffner was handed the job and production began. The film was shot mostly on location and used some stunning locales, including Lake Powell in Utah/Arizona and along the Colorado river.

Charlton Heston stars as George Taylor, one of a group of astronauts who awake from deep space hibernation to discover that their craft has crash landed on an alien planet 2000 years into the future. The group set-off across the barren landscape in search of life. Eventually they come to an area with lush vegetation and fresh-water lake, which they dive into with relief. Soon afterwards they come across a group of primitive, mute humans but suddenly the whole group is attacked and rounded up by talking, armed, unif0rm-wearing gorillas. One of the astronauts is killed by gunfire, Taylor is shot in the throat and he and his friend are captured and taken back to Ape City. There he meets chimpanzee archaeologist Cornelius (Roddy McDowall) and his fiancee, animal psychologist Zira (Kim Hunter), who soon discover Taylor is not like the other primitives. Eventually he regains his ability to talk and must answer to the President of the apes Assembly Dr. Zaius (James Whitmore) who is determined to discover Taylor’s origins at any cost.

Fearing his life is in danger, Cornelius and Zira help Taylor escape the city and lead him to a cave by the sea in which the history of the planet’s inhabitants is shown to be at odds with the Assembly’s teachings. After an ambush by the Dr Zaius and his gorilla troops, Taylor is eventually allowed to leave and before long he has made a horrifying discovery about the planet, in what is arguably the most famous twist ending in the history of cinema. The film was a success worldwide and spawned a number of sequels of varying quality, plus a short-lived TV series, and a whole raft of merchandising, including what is often cited as the first action-figures tied to a film property, certainly pre-dating the phenomenally successful Star Wars figures.

One of my favourite artists working today, Martin Ansin‘s work has graced many of the best posters released by Mondo, including several in the Universal Monsters series like this amazing Phantom of the Opera print and an excellent Dracula (1931) one. You only have to look at the gallery on his official site to see how talented an artist he is, with an eye for composition and detail unmatched by most of the artists in Mondo’s roster. To see the other posters I’ve collected so far that were designed by Ansin, click here.

Robocop / screen print / regular / Martin Ansin / USA

13.04.15

Poster Poster
Title
Robocop
AKA
Robocop: O batsos robot (Greece)
Year of Film
1987
Director
Paul Verhoeven
Starring
Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer,
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
Regular
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2014
Designer
Martin Ansin
Artist
Martin Ansin
Size (inches)
24" x 36"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Part man. Part machine. All cop.

A striking design by Martin Ansin on this screen print for Paul Verhoeven‘s sci-fi masterpiece, Robocop. Set in a dystopian future Detroit where organised crime is rampant and the city is close to financial ruin, the mega-corporation Omni Consumer Products enters into an agreement with the city to run the police force and plans to introduce a robotic enforcer to work alongside the human officers. When tests with a weaponised droid called ED-209 go awry and an OCP junior executive is killed, the chairman agrees to back the plans of Bob Morton (Miguel Ferrer), another OCP executive with designs for a cyborg (half-man, half-machine) cop.

Shortly after, veteran officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) is brutally attacked and effectively killed on his first patrol at a new precinct and Morton sees him as the perfect candidate for his Robocop program. OCP quickly goes about transforming his ravaged body into the future of law enforcement, but when he reawakens Murphy initially struggles with his transformation and loss of his family. Soon he sets about avenging his ‘death’ at the hands of crime boss Clarence Bodicker (an unforgettable performance from Kurtwood Smith) and attacks the corruption that is destroying Detroit, which leads all the way to the boardroom of OCP.

This print was one of several created by Martin Ansin for a joint show with fellow artist Kevin Tong held at the Mondo Austin gallery during March 2014. Tong also worked on a print for Robocop and other films covered included Flash Gordon and Alien. Badass Digest went to the show and interviewed Ansin and Tong, which can be read here and Collider.com ran an article featuring loads of images from the show. There was a variant of this print available that was printed with metallic inks and has a different colour scheme, see here.

One of my favourite artists working today, Martin Ansin‘s work has graced many of the best posters released by Mondo, including several in the Universal Monsters series like this amazing Phantom of the Opera print and an excellent Dracula (1931) one. You only have to look at the gallery on his official site to see how talented an artist he is, with an eye for composition and detail unmatched by most of the artists in Mondo’s roster. To see the other posters I’ve collected so far that were designed by Ansin, click here.

Man of Steel / screen print / Martin Ansin / USA

03.07.15

Poster Poster

It’s fair to say that Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot Man of Steel divided both critics and audiences upon its release in 2013. Following Bryan Singer’s failed attempt to rekindle the franchise with the disappointment that was 2006’s Superman Returns, expectations were high for this film, coming as it did with production backing from Christopher Nolan who’d struck gold with his Batman trilogy. British actor Henry Cavill stepped into the role of Clark Kent / Kal-El and was joined by a number of notable actors, including Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, his adoptive father, and Amy Adams as Lois Lane. The film is effectively an origin story and opens with the destruction of Superman’s home planet of Krypton, resulting in the death of his father Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and mother Faora-Ul (Antje Traue). The rest of the film deals with his arrival on earth and adoption by the Kent family, whose attempts to conceal their adopted son’s identity are threatened by the arrival of the evil Kryptonian General Zod (Michael Shannon) and his gang of miscreants.

The film is undoubtedly visually stunning with state of the art special effects but is lacking something in the storytelling department, certainly not helped by a fairly clunky script. A lot of the criticism about the film was levelled at the final quarter of the film that sees Superman face off against Zod in the middle of a Metropolis that is smashed to pieces by the two Kryptonians with seemingly no thought for the potential loss of life in the city. Additionally, the climactic scene is often cited as being very un-Superman. It also served as a prelude to 2016’s Batman vs Superman and the much anticipated Justice League film due the year after.

This screen print by the Uruguayan artist Martin Ansin was released by the incomparable Mondo, the Austin-based purveyors of limited edition posters and film merchandise. There is a variant that was printed onto a sheet of steel and only 130 of those were released. The regular edition was a timed-release and was available to purchase over a period of three days (standard Mondo releases are done at a random time on a first-come, first-served basis). This meant that the edition of the regular print ended up being 5585.

The pose of Superman was apparently inspired by a painting by the celebrated artist Alex Ross, which is itself a homage to the first issue of the Superman comic that was printed in 1939.

One of my favourite artists active today, Martin Ansin‘s work has graced many of the best posters released by Mondo, including several in the Universal Monsters series like this amazing Phantom of the Opera print and an excellent Dracula (1931) one. You only have to look at the gallery on his official site to see how talented an artist he is, with an eye for composition and detail unmatched by most of the artists in Mondo’s roster. To see the other posters I’ve collected so far that were designed by Ansin, click here.

Scott Pilgrim vs The World / screen print / Kevin Tong / USA

11.05.15

Poster Poster

Ace director Edgar Wright‘s Scott Pilgrim vs The World was my favourite film of 2010 and is one of the most carefully crafted, brilliantly realised and wonderfully energetic films ever released. Based on a series of graphic stories created by Canadian cartoonist Bryan Lee O’Malley, the film tells the story of the eponymous character, played in the film by Michael Cera, who falls for the alluring Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and must then battle her seven evil exes in order to win her heart. The actors playing the exes are perfectly cast and include Brandon RouthChris Evans and Jason Schwartzman.

The film is a visual treat and rewards multiple viewings thanks to the brilliant script, kinetic editing and careful inclusion of hidden elements (look out for the many ‘X’s secreted throughout the film, for example). Some of the effects have to be seen to be believed, including an amazing battle of the bands sequence featuring two building-sized dragons and one angry gorilla beast. Much was made of the fact that the film was a critical success but was unable to make much of a box-office impact on release, but there’s no question that the film has found, and will continue to find, an appreciative audience on home video.

The official film posters for the film were slightly disappointing considering the level of craft put into the film itself and I felt at the time that, despite an interesting advance poster, so much more could have been done.

This screen print was commissioned by the limited edition poster outfit Mondo for a joint show with fellow artist Martin Ansin held at the Mondo Austin gallery during March 2014. Other films covered included Robocop, Flash Gordon and Alien. Badass Digest went to the show and interviewed Ansin and Tong, which can be read here and Collider.com ran an article featuring loads of images from the show.

Tong, who lives and works in Austin has collaborated with Mondo for a number of years, producing some fantastic pieces for a whole variety of films, including Bride of Frankenstein and Gravity. As well as film illustration he’s also worked on band posters and his official site has galleries of his work. EvilTender has an excellent interview with Tong that’s well worth a read.

 

The Wicker Man / screen print / regular / Richard Wells / UK

04.01.16

Poster Poster

The Wicker Man is a true British classic and even though it started life as a low-budget b-feature the film has lost none of its power since its release forty years ago this year. Based on a script by celebrated screenwriter Anthony Shaffer, who had previously seen great success with the play Sleuth (1970), The Wicker Man was helmed by first time director Robin Hardy and was filmed on location around Scotland, with several coastal settings chosen to stand-in for the fictional island of Summerisle. It’s unfair to call the film a horror as it’s a mix of murder-mystery with occult undertones and features an unforgettable finale that lingers in the mind for a long time after the credits roll.

Edward Woodward stars as Sergeant Howie, a strait-laced policeman sent from the Scottish mainland to to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a local girl. After encountering indifference and hostility from the inhabitants, Howie decides to investigate the islands’ de facto leader Lord Summerisle (A memorable Christopher Lee) and soon discovers that this charismatic figure’s influence and beliefs hold sway over the population. The policeman realises too late that he has been brought to the island for reasons more sinister than the supposed disappearance of a local girl, and things are about to get very heated indeed for the unlucky Sergeant Howie.

This screen print was created by the British designer and illustrator Richard Wells (AKA Slippery Jack) in a traditional woodcut style that perfectly suits the film. Wells first debuted the artwork digitally in 2013 to mark the film’s 40th anniversary and then the following year he collaborated with Under the Floorboards to release a screen print of it in both regular and variant editions (the variant is on a different, brighter type of paper). There are so many great details to the print and I spot new ones each time I look at it. In 2013 Wells worked on a similar style print for Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England that was originally only given to cast and crew members but was later made available to the public in early 2015.

Check out Richard Wells’ portfolio site here and his DeviantArt gallery here.

It / ‘They All Float’ / screen print / regular / Mark Englert / USA

20.10.17

Poster Poster

This is a screen print by the American artist Mark Englert for the 1990 TV version of Stephen King’s classic novel ‘It’, which was recently remade to great critical acclaim (and box office success). Originally shown as a two-part mini series, then later released on DVD and blu-ray as an edited single movie, the film is set in the fictional Maine town of Derry during two time periods (1960 and 1990). The story focuses on a group of children who are menaced by a shapeshifting creature that preys on their worst fears in order to attack and eat them. The creature appears once every 30 years and over the previous century many of the town’s children have disappeared. The group (nicknamed by themselves as The Losers Club) decide to take on It who most often appears as the malevolent clown Pennywise (Tim Curry). After driving it back underground in 1960, the group make a promise to return and put a stop to It once and for all 30 years later.

Note that this is the regular edition and it glows in the dark which reveals hidden details, including Pennywise’s face in a hidden moon, and the spider form of It in the top left corner glows too.

This print was created in 2012. Englert, whose official website is here, first appeared on collectors’ radars with his print for The Thing that was released earlier in 2012. Since then he has worked on a number of landscape format prints (typically 12″ x 36″) featuring scenes from cult films and TV shows. One of his most popular releases was one for The Walking Dead that was released around the same time as this print. Each is given a name that relates to the property in some way. In this case ‘They All Float’ is part of the famous line spoken by Pennywise.

Check out this interview with Englert on Collider.com which was carried out at the 2012 Comic Con and they also featured him in their first ever ‘Limited Paper’ column. Englert’s own site features the posters and other items he’s worked on so far, which includes vinyl sleeves and more. There’s a short biography on his website which mentions he was born in 1979. There’s an excellent interview with Mark on 411posters.com here.

He has a store here and you can follow him on Twitter here.

Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan / screen print / regular / Tyler Stout / USA

29.04.13

Poster Poster

The Wrath of Khan was the follow up to 1979s Star Trek – The Motion Picture, which was the first feature film to hit cinemas following the ending of the original series 10 years previously. Even though the show was cancelled by the network (NBC) after only three seasons, it had garnered a significant cult following and had made a major impact on popular culture, helped greatly by broadcast syndication on channels across the US during the 1970s. Despite earning significant box-office takings, many critics and fans of the original series were disappointed with the first feature film and reviews tended to criticise it as overlong, bereft of any significant action and, worst of all, boring.

A sequel was inevitable, but Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the original series and executive producer of the first film, was removed from its production by Paramount after they claimed that Roddenberry had forced the first film over budget and had muddled the script with too many re-writes. His replacement was Harve Bennett, with Roddenberry given an ‘executive consultant’ role. Bennett studied the original series for inspiration having decided that the film should be more action-packed and regain some of the swashbuckling feel that had been lost in the first film. Deciding that the sequel needed a decent bad guy, Bennett settled on the character of Khan Noonien Singh, a genetically engineered super solider, who had featured in the first series episode Space Seed, which had long been a fan favourite. At the end of that episode Khan and some of his comrades had been banished to the inhospitable planet of Ceti Alpha V so his return in the film would not be against the series’ canon.

Mexican actor Ricardo Montalban agreed to reprise his role as Khan and the story sees him escaping exile and seeking revenge against Captain Kirk, whom he blames for the death of his wife. After commandeering the USS Reliant, Khan learns of the Genesis Device, a torpedo which is intended to reorganise matter to create a hospitable world but can also destroy planets if used in the wrong way. The crew of the Starship Enterprise sets out to stop Khan but their intervention will not be without sacrifice and the ending of the film sees Leonard Nimoy’s Spock seemingly dead after sacrificing himself to save his comrades. This story arc would continue for two more films, concluding with The Voyage Home in 1986. Among several memorable scenes is the moment when Khan taunts Kirk with a threat against his wife, leading to this infamous outburst. KHAAAAAAAAAN!

When Mondo, the incomparable limited-edition screen print outfit, announced they were opening a gallery in their hometown of Austin, anticipation quickly reached fever pitch, with fans desperate to see what artwork would be on the walls when the doors opened for the first time. The answer was kept secret until the evening of March the 10th, 2012 when the opening night was held and the theme of their first show was revealed to be that of classic sci-fi. Most of Mondo’s premier artists turned in some incredible pieces for the show, as can be seen on this recap blog post on their website and on this SlashFilm post.

One of the highlights of the show was fan-favourite artist Tyler Stout’s print for The Wrath of Khan. A brilliantly composed image featuring Ricardo Montalban‘s unforgettable, titular bad guy, the poster was printed in two flavours; a red and gold regular and a silver and gold variant. Whilst adding the regular version to the Film on Paper collection I wanted to interview the man himself about the creation of the poster and that article can be read here.

Scott Pilgrim vs The World / screen print / regular / Martin Ansin / USA

12.10.12

Poster Poster

Ace director Edgar Wright‘s Scott Pilgrim vs The World was my favourite film of 2010 and is one of the most carefully crafted, brilliantly realised and wonderfully energetic films ever released. Based on a series of graphic stories created by Canadian cartoonist Bryan Lee O’Malley, the film tells the story of the eponymous character, played in the film by Michael Cera, who falls for the alluring Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and must then battle her seven evil exes in order to win her heart. The actors playing the exes are perfectly cast and include Brandon RouthChris Evans and Jason Schwartzman.

The film is a visual treat and rewards multiple viewings thanks to the brilliant script, kinetic editing and careful inclusion of hidden elements (look out for the many ‘X’s secreted throughout the film, for example). Some of the effects have to be seen to be believed, including an amazing battle of the bands sequence featuring two building-sized dragons and one angry gorilla beast. Much was made of the fact that the film was a critical success but was unable to make much of a box-office impact on release, but there’s no question that the film has found, and will continue to find, an appreciative audience on home video.

The official film posters for the film were slightly disappointing considering the level of craft put into the film itself and I felt at the time that, despite an interesting advance poster, so much more could have been done.

This screen print was commissioned by the limited edition poster outfit Mondo for the Alamo Drafthouse premiere of the film. It was created by the incredibly talented Uruguayan designer and artist Martin Ansin, whose work has graced many of the best posters released by Mondo, including several in the Universal Monsters series, like this amazing Phantom of the Opera one. He perfectly captures the kinetic energy of the film and the title treatment is absolutely spot on, echoing as it does the use of type in the film itself. The artist also worked on a variant of the poster that features Nega Scott, seen briefly at the end of the film.

The other posters I’ve collected by Ansin can be seen here. His official website is well worth a browse.

The Thing / screen print / regular / Drew Struzan / USA

24.08.12

Poster Poster
Title
The Thing
AKA
John Carpenter's The Thing (USA - complete title) | Stvor (Serbia)
Year of Film
1982
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David,Charles Hallahan, Donald Moffat, Richard Dysart, David Clennon, Richard Masur, T. K. Carter, Joel Polis, Thomas G. Waites, Peter Maloney
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David,Charles Hallahan, Donald Moffat, Richard Dysart, David Clennon, Richard Masur, T. K. Carter, Joel Polis, Thomas G. Waites, Peter Maloney,
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
Regular
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2012
Designer
Drew Struzan
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
25 14/16" x 38 2/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This year the Alamo Drafthouse cinema in Austin, Texas celebrated the 30th anniversary of the summer of 1982, a period they dubbed ‘the greatest summer of movies…ever’. It’s not hard to see why when, in the space of three months, films like E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Mad Max 2,  Tron, Poltergeist and John Carpenter’s The Thing were released in cinemas. A series of screenings have taken place over the past few months and for several of these shows a limited edition screen printed poster was created by the folks at Mondo, the celebrated offshoot of  the Drafthouse.

Perhaps the most exciting of these was the one created for my favourite film of all time, John Carpenter’s The Thing. Mondo surpassed everyone’s expectations for the poster by harking back 30 years and working directly with the legendary artist Drew Struzan who was responsible for the fantastic one sheet for the film. Using the original painted artwork, Drew and the Mondo team were able to create a screen print of the classic image; a perfect choice to celebrate the anniversary of the film’s release.

Announcing the poster, Movies.com carried out an exclusive interview with Struzan and it’s an absolute must-read for fans of the artist and his work. One of the most interesting parts of the interview sees Struzan recalling the creation of the original poster:

“I got a phone call, the simplest phone call I ever got, saying, “We have a job, we want to know if you can do it, the catch is we need it by tomorrow.””

After agreeing to the ridiculously tight deadline, Struzan remembers getting to work:

“It was a very odd experience. I got an immediate concept, which is not unusual for me; I usually have something roving around in my mind. I dressed up in a winter snow outfit and my wife took a Polaroid of me. This was 30 years ago, back in the stone age when the only way to communicating a hundred miles away was the telephone or the fax machine. So I did the drawing and I faxed it back to the studio and they said, “Fine. We need it by tomorrow morning.” I went to work.”

And the result is this iconic image that perfectly captures the mood of the film and stands out as one of Struzan’s best poster designs, which is no mean feat when you consider the artist’s incredible output over several decades.

Around the time of the release, the website Machinima released a brilliant three-part documentary called ‘Limited Run: Mondo’s Modern Classic’ that features the process of creating this poster and includes interviews with Struzan and John Carpenter.

Clockwork Orange / screen print / Nelson Ponce / Cuba

13.01.12

Poster Poster
Title
Clockwork Orange
AKA
Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (USA - poster title) | Arancia meccanica (Italy)
Year of Film
1971
Director
Stanley Kubrick
Starring
Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Michael Bates, James Marcus, Michael Tarn, Patrick Magee
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Michael Bates, James Marcus, Michael Tarn, Patrick Magee,
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Cuba
Year of Poster
2009
Designer
Nelson Ponce
Artist
Nelson Ponce
Size (inches)
20 2/16" x 30 3/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

In August 2011 I was lucky enough to visit the island of Cuba for a ten day trip, which was a fantastic experience. It really does feel like a country stuck in a time warp, circa 1965, particularly once you leave the capital and head into the countryside. It’s a stunningly beautiful island with very hospitable people but the relative poverty of the country is clear to see. It’s often said that the government is likely to relax the current freeze on foreign (particularly Western) investment once ‘Comandante’ Fidel Castro passes away, although with his brother Raul currently in charge very little has changed. This article on the BBC gives you an insight into the current situation.

The Cuban people’s love for film and cinema-going is legendary and our guidebook claimed that at the end of the 1950s there were over 300 cinemas in the capital Havana alone. Today, these great old buildings continue to thrive and whilst there I witnessed the queues of people lining up to see the latest releases. I took this picture of the Yara cinema in the Vedado area of Havana.

Whilst in Havana I visited a bookshop that was selling original Cuban propaganda posters printed in the 1950s and 60s by OSPAAAL. They also had a handful of screen-printed film posters, all of which were reprints of the original Cuban cinema posters or re-imagined designs by local artists. They are officially screen printed by the ICAIC (Instituto Cubano de Artes Industrias Cinematografia) in Havana.

This poster for Stanley Kubrick’s classic Clockwork Orange was designed by the Cuban artist Nelson Ponce (full name Nelson Ponce Sanchez) who was born in 1976 and is a graphic designer and illustrator who also teaches at the ISDI (Instituto Superior de Diseño Industrial) in Havana. His re-imagined poster for the Cuban film Vampiros en la Habana, which was released in 1999, won him acclaim from both the design community and the Cuban public.

The Havana Cultura website has a great interview with the designer.

Whilst at the shop I also picked up a couple of other film posters and a handful of original propaganda posters which I plan to post on the site in the coming months.

Akira / screen print / Tyler Stout / regular / USA

09.11.11

Poster Poster
Title
Akira
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Starring
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama,
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
Regular
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2011
Designer
Tyler Stout
Artist
Tyler Stout
Size (inches)
23 15/16" x 36"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Neo-Tokyo is about to E.X.P.L.O.D.E.

Katsuhiro Otomo‘s landmark anime, based on his own manga of the same name, was chosen by the artist Tyler Stout to be the first in a series of ‘Mondo Mystery Movies’; one-time-only screenings of a mystery film organised by the crew at the incomparable Mondo Tees. After the screening those in attendance are able to purchase a screen print by a mystery artist who is only revealed at the end of the film.

The 9th MMM has just happened and those lucky enough to secure a ticket were treated to a showing of George Romero’s classic Dawn of the Dead in a mall surrounded by 200 zombies with the man himself in attendance. Here’s a recap of the event on Collider.com.

Because the poster is exclusive to the showing and never sold on Mondo’s website it’s pretty much impossible for collectors who were unable to attend the screening to get hold of it, unless they’re willing to scour sites like eBay and accept the significant mark-ups in price that come with a second-hand purchase.

I had pretty much given up hope of ever getting hold of Akira, but after purchasing another print from Tyler’s website I opened the tube to find that he’d also included a regular version of Akira in there. Apparently he’d treated a few lucky folks to the copies of the print he’d been given by Mondo after the event, which gives you some idea of the kind of guy Tyler is.

I recently emailed him to ask him a few questions about the print so that I could add them to this site and the resulting interview can be found on this blog page, along with a few exclusive images from the creation of the poster.

There was also a variant of the poster (80 printed) with metallic inks and a different colour scheme that can be seen on Expresso Beans.

Akira had a huge impact on me when it was shown on the UK’s Channel 4 sometime in the early 1990s. I’d never seen anything quite like it and it opened my eyes to the world of anime films that were slowly being released in the UK, including the likes of Ninja Scroll, Ghost in the Shell and the great work of Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli.

The film was recently released on blu-ray and the lossless Japanese soundtrack is astonishingly good. There’s still talk of a live-action remake which fills me, and countless other fans of the anime, with great dread. I really hope it doesn’t happen!

Here’s the blu-ray trailer.

Vampires in Havana / screen print / Cuba

22.10.12

Poster Poster
Title
Vampires in Havana
AKA
¡Vampiros en La Habana! (Cuba - original title)
Year of Film
1985
Director
Juan Padrón
Starring
Manuel Marín, Margarita Aguero, Frank González, Irela Bravo, Carlos González, Mirella Guillot, Carmen Solar, Juan Padrón
Origin of Film
Cuba | Spain | West Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Manuel Marín, Margarita Aguero, Frank González, Irela Bravo, Carlos González, Mirella Guillot, Carmen Solar, Juan Padrón,
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
Restrike
Origin of Poster
Cuba
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Eduardo Munoz Bachs
Artist
Eduardo Munoz Bachs
Size (inches)
20 2/16" x 30 3/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

In August 2011 I was lucky enough to visit the island of Cuba for a ten day trip which was a fantastic experience. It really does feel like a country stuck in a time warp, circa 1965, particularly once you leave the capital and head into the countryside. It’s a stunningly beautiful island with very hospitable people but the relative poverty of the country is clear to see. It’s often said that the government is likely to relax the current freeze on foreign (particularly Western) investment once ‘Comandante’ Fidel Castro passes away, although with his brother Raul currently in charge very little has changed. This article on the BBC gives you an insight into the current situation.

The Cuban people’s love for film and cinema-going is legendary and our guidebook claimed that at the end of the 1950s there were over 300 cinemas in the capital Havana alone. Today, these great old buildings continue to thrive and whilst there I witnessed the queues of people lining up to see the latest releases. I took this picture of the Yara cinema in the Vedado area of Havana before the evening crowds descended.

Whilst in Havana I visited a bookshop that was selling original Cuban propaganda posters printed in the 1950s and 60s by OSPAAAL. They also had a handful of screen-printed film posters, all of which were reprints of the original Cuban cinema posters or re-imagined designs by local artists. They are officially screen printed by the ICAIC (Instituto Cubano de Artes Industrias Cinematografia) in Havana.

This is a screen print of the original poster for the 1985 animated film Vampires in Havana, which was directed by Cuban Juan Padrón. The story follows Joseph Amadeus von Dracula, known as Pepito, a trumpet player living in 1930s Havana who spends his time plotting to overthrow the incumbent dictatorship of Gerardo Machado. He’s completely unaware that he’s actually a vampire and that his uncle, a descendant of the original Count Dracula, has been using him as a test subject a secret formula which allows vampires to move about freely in sunlight. After learning about the potion, two sets of Vampires, including a group of Chicago mobster bloodsuckers, chase after Pepito with plans to use it for their own selfish means, but all is not as it seems with the potion.

The artwork is by the late designer and children’s book illustrator Eduardo Munoz Bachs who was born in Span in 1937 and moved to Cuba with his parents in 1941. Despite having no formal training in graphic design he designed his first poster for the ICAIC (Instituto Cubano de Arte e Industria Cinematografica), which was founded after the Cuban revolution to produce and promote Cuban films. He went on to design over 2000 film posters and is considered one of the most important Cuban graphic designers ever to have worked. He sadly passed away in 2001.

This Pinterest gallery features many of his posters. Whilst I was at the shop I also picked up a poster for A Clockwork Orange and one for The Godfather.