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Flesh and Blood / quad / UK

29.07.15

Poster Poster
Title
Flesh and Blood
AKA
Flesh+Blood (alt. spelling)
Year of Film
1985
Director
Paul Verhoeven
Starring
Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Burlinson, Jack Thompson, Fernando Hilbeck, Susan Tyrrell, Ronald Lacey, Brion James
Origin of Film
Spain | USA | Netherlands
Genre(s) of Film
Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Burlinson, Jack Thompson, Fernando Hilbeck, Susan Tyrrell, Ronald Lacey, Brion James,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown artist - based on artwork by Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
30 3/16" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
A timeless adventure, a passion for wealth and power. Only the strongest will survive.

This is the British quad for the release of Dutch director Paul Verhoeven‘s first English language film, Flesh and Blood (sometimes referred to as Flesh+Blood). Verhoeven had been making films with subsidies from the Dutch government but things had been proving difficult due to the controversial subject matter of his stories so he decided to seek financial backing from a Hollywood studio. The now defunct Orion Pictures stumped up most of the budget for Flesh and Blood and had asked the director for a war film after seeing the celebrated Soldier of Orange. Verhoeven had nothing prepared in that genre so he worked hastily with a regular collaborator, the screenwriter Gerard Soeteman, to adapt some unused material from their TV series Floris, which was set during the Middle-Ages. Verhoeven would later rue the decision to allow Orion to insist on script changes that added a romantic interest to the story.

Set in Italy in 1501, the film features the Dutch actor Rutger Hauer, who had worked with Verhoeven several times before (including on Floris), as Martin, the leader of a band of mercenaries who are asked to help Lord Arnolfini (Fernando Hilbeck) retake his city that was captured whilst he was away. After successfully storming and recapturing it the mercenaries are initially told they can ransack the houses of the richest inhabitants of the city, but Arnolfini then changes his mind and orders his army to march the mercenaries from the city without the bounty that was agreed. The group vow to take their revenge and when Arnolfini’s son Steven (Tom Burlinson) leaves the castle to meet Agnes (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a noblewoman who has been betrothed to him, the mercenaries strike. After attacking the caravan and badly wounding Arnolfini, they kidnap Agnes and ride away with her. Eventually they end up at a castle where they hole-up and attempt to see off any attempts to rescue Agnes, who is seemingly falling in love with Martin.

Although it features moments of humour, Verhoeven’s intention was to show that the Middle-Ages weren’t as glamorous and pleasant as had been depicted in previous films, so he doesn’t shy away from casual violence, filth and degradation. Agnes in particular is subjected to a humiliating ordeal at the hands of the mercenaries, effectively ending up as their plaything later in the film. There’s plenty of blood-letting too with some battle scenes that are not for the faint hearted. Apparently the production was beset with problems, including an uncooperative international crew who were often drunk or under the influence of drugs, as well as a giant rift that opened up between Verhoeven and Hauer because the actor wanted to build a career as a heroic leading man, but the director wanted his character to be more ambiguous and at times unpleasant. The resulting film is definitely uneven and at times confusing, but is nevertheless engaging. Hauer in particular injects his scenes with plenty of wild energy and Jennifer Jason Leigh is memorable as the sensuous Agnes. Unfortunately Orion botched the American release and the film apparently flopped quickly. Verhoeven would later say he felt that he’d probably made the film too cynical and downbeat for audiences to take.

This artwork was adapted by an unknown British artist from an original piece of art by the Italian artist Renato Casaro, which was originally painted for the German poster. Notable changes include the position of the characters, which widened for this quad, plus the smaller figure of Hauer is also markedly different. One of my favourite artists, Renato Casaro had a prolific movie poster output that lasted over 35 years. He began his career in 1953, aged 19, at the famous Studio Favalli in Rome and would go on to design and paint posters for many of the biggest directors in the world. His skill at accurately portraying actors and his brilliant use of colour and composition saw him much in demand from studios and actors alike. His artwork has featured on posters used in multiple countries, including Japan, Germany, USA as well as in his native Italy.

Check out the incredible amount of work on his official website here, which also features a biography of the artist. In March 2014 I published an exclusive interview with Renato and it can be read by clicking here. The other posters I’ve collected by Renato Casaro are here.

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives / one sheet / USA

25.05.12

Poster Poster

This is one of those posters that you can’t quite believe the studio was willing to go ahead and print, but you’re very glad they did! The poster was designed and illustrated by the brilliant cartoonist Chris Ware, the man behind the sublime Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth graphic novel and other excellent creations such as Quimby the Mouse (one of his earliest charatcters).

In an article on the Vulture website, the artist says of the poster; “I wanted to get at both the transcendent solemnity of the film while keeping some sense of its loose, very unpretentious accessibility.” He also remarks,”This being a poster, however — and even worse, me not really being a designer — I realized it also had to be somewhat punchy and strange, so as to draw viewers in and pique their curiosity without, hopefully, insulting their intelligence.”

The intricate lettering, oblique imagery and brilliant use of colour is quintessential of Ware’s work and it’s a thrill to see it on such a big scale. I’ve read some complaints that it’s almost too difficult to read, but I think that’s part of its charm and it is infinitely more interesting than most of the bland photoshopped creations so prevalent today.

The film itself, as the title suggests, focuses on the reminiscences of Uncle Boonmee, a dying man who spends his final days recalling his previous lives with the ghost of his dead wife and his long lost son who has returned as a kind of ape creature with red eyes (as depicted on this poster). Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, the film is based on a book that was written after a man named Boonmee approached Phra Sripariyattiweti, the abbot of a Buddhist temple in the director’s home town, claiming he could clearly remember his own previous lives while meditating. The abbot was so impressed with Boonmee’s ability that he published a book called A Man Who Can Recall His Past Lives in 1983.

Winning the Palme d’Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, it’s certainly not a film for everyone with slow meditative sequences and bizarre, often hallucinatory imagery, but it’s definitely worth a watch, particularly for fans of world cinema.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Father And Daughter / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Father And Daughter
AKA
--
Year of Film
2000
Director
Michaël Dudok De Wit
Starring
N/A
Origin of Film
UK | Belgium | Netherlands
Genre(s) of Film
N/A,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2000
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Fish Tank / A1 / Czechoslovakia

20.10.16

Poster Poster

A unique design by Bohdan Heblik features on this Czech poster for the release of director Andrea Arnold‘s 2009 film Fish Tank. The British director won an Oscar for her short film Wasp in 2003 and her first feature-length film, Red Road, was released three years later. Like her first film, Fish Tank is a slice of gritty British realism focusing on a female protagonist. The location has changed, however, with East London replacing Glasgow.

Katie Jarvis plays the main character, 15-year-old Mia. Jarvis was a first-time actress who was cast after one of the film’s casting assistants saw her arguing with her boyfriend in public. Mia is a troubled teen who has been expelled from school multiple times. She lives with her mum Joanne (longtime Eastenders actress Kierston Wareing) and her younger sister on a council estate. She’s also a bit of a loner and has recently fallen out with her friend Keeley. Mia dreams of pursuing a career as a dancer and practices her moves in an empty flat on the estate. The arrival of her mum’s new boyfriend Connor (Michael Fassbender, just on the cusp of superstardom) into their home unsettles Mia. Although events quickly spiral out of control, Connor will prove to have a profound effect on the direction Mia’s life takes.

This Czech poster was created in 2010 for a yearly film festival called Projekt 100. Each year, AČFK (the Association of Czech Film Clubs) selects a handful of classic films (and recent films of particular note) to be distributed at independent cinemas throughout the Czech Republic.

Bohdan Heblik is a prolific Czech designer who has a personal website featuring plenty of examples of his work. There’s not much in the way of a biography but I believe he was born in 1978 and currently lives in Prague. It appears he’s worked on posters for the Projekt 100 festival three times, including 2010 when this poster was created. If you look on this page you can see the other designs he created that year, including one for the 1971 film Harold and Maude.

Dancer In The Dark / one sheet / advance / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Dancer In The Dark
AKA
Taps (Denmark - working title)
Year of Film
2000
Director
Lars von Trier
Starring
Björk, Catherine Deneuve, Vladica Kostic, David Morse, Cara Seymour, Peter Stormare
Origin of Film
Denmark | Germany | Netherlands | Italy | USA | UK | France | Sweden | Finland | Iceland | Norway
Genre(s) of Film
Björk, Catherine Deneuve, Vladica Kostic, David Morse, Cara Seymour, Peter Stormare,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2000
Designer
POV
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Fish Tank / one sheet / USA

23.01.17

Poster Poster

This is the American one sheet for the release of director Andrea Arnold‘s 2009 film Fish Tank. The British director won an Oscar for her short film Wasp in 2003 and her first feature-length film, Red Road, was released three years later. Like her first film, Fish Tank is a slice of gritty British realism focusing on a female protagonist. The location has changed, however, with East London replacing Glasgow.

Katie Jarvis plays the main character, 15-year-old Mia. Jarvis was a first-time actress who was cast after one of the film’s casting assistants saw her arguing with her boyfriend in public. Mia is a troubled teen who has been expelled from school multiple times. She lives with her mum Joanne (longtime Eastenders actress Kierston Wareing) and her younger sister on a council estate. She’s also a bit of a loner and has recently fallen out with her friend Keeley. Mia dreams of pursuing a career as a dancer and practices her moves in an empty flat on the estate. The arrival of her mum’s new boyfriend Connor (Michael Fassbender, just on the cusp of superstardom) into their home unsettles Mia. Although events quickly spiral out of control, Connor will prove to have a profound effect on the direction Mia’s life takes.

This one sheet was created by the American design agency Indika Entertainment Advertising, which was founded in 1994 by James Verdesoto and Vivek Mathur and is based in New York City. They work on print and web campaigns for films, TV shows and home entertainment and have won multiple awards for their work over the years. One of their most iconic posters is the teaser one sheet for Pulp Fiction. They also designed the teaser one sheet for American Psycho.