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Weekend / 1967 / one sheet / 2011 re-release / USA

21.08.17

Poster Poster
Title
Weekend
AKA
Week End (France - alt. original title)
Year of Film
1967
Director
Jean-Luc Godard
Starring
Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne, Jean-Pierre Kalfon
Origin of Film
France | Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne, Jean-Pierre Kalfon,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2011
Designer
Steve Chow
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This one sheet was printed by Janus films for their 2011 re-release of Jean-Luc Godard‘s celebrated 1967 film Weekend (or Le Week End). One of the most anarchic and surreal films ever committed to celluloid, Weekend is a satire which takes aim at, amongst other things, the bourgeois status and money-obsessed French middle-class. The story, such as there is one, focuses on a self-obsessed couple played by Mireille Darc and Jean Yanne who have plotted to murder her parents and collect their inheritance. They set off from their home in the city and travel into the French countryside where they come across all manner of scenes, including fatal car crashes and a (justifiably famous) sequence of a traffic jam which the audience watches them traverse with horns blaring the entire time. Society appears to be crumbling around them as they make their way to the small village where her parents live. Eventually, things take a turn for the deadly when they end up in the clutches of a band of hippie, cannibalistic revolutionaries.

This one sheet was created by the Vancouver-based designer Steve Chow who is a regular collaborator with Janus and its sister company The Criterion Collection (the film was released on disc soon after its cinema outing in 2011). Chow has worked on hundreds of posters, magazines, advertising elements and covers for home video releases of various films. Check out his official website to see a gallery of his work and a short biography about his career so far.

In 2011, the Criterion website featured a short interview with Chow on the creation of this poster and I’ve copied the detail here (in case that page disappears one day):

What was your inspiration for the new poster for Weekend?
That particular image really only works with all the elements intact—cropping was not doing us any favors—so we figured, Why not use it whole? It’s just that in order to do that, we had to turn it sideways. It was a natural choice—and it seemed to fit the film’s unpredictable, violent, and humorous tenor. It’s like, “WTF just happened? Is that a plane? A body? How did that car end up like that?” It’s kind of like the visual punch line to a joke that starts with “two materialistic bourgeois jerks go on a road trip . . .”

Where does your interest in Godard films come from?
Godard’s influence is everywhere—in contemporary advertising, commercials, music videos. You could be watching something that is “Godard” and not even realize it. (Just the other night, I saw a new Mexican film that riffed on Anna Karina’s back-of-the-head introduction in Vivre sa vie.) His 1960s works, in particular, still resonate with so much life and excitement. So daring, and so very, very cool, even decades later.

Do you have a particular approach to designing for them?
With all of these Godard posters, I pretty much tried to just get out of the way and let the image speak for itself, and in the end, the most intuitive options were successful. With Pierrot le fou and Vivre sa vie, the resonance of those particular images is strong; title treatments that are too heavy or that get too much attention wouldn’t help tell their stories. Similarly, for Weekend, we’d have a hard time creating an image or a collage that captured the crazy, chaotic energy and direction of the film as well as the one we ended up using. So, with regards to these three posters, if I never hear “Wow, that’s a killer title treatment!” I’ll consider that a success.

Chow also designed the Janus re-release one sheets for Godard’s Pierrot Le Fou and Vivre Sa Vie and both can be seen in this Mubi.com ‘Movie Poster of the Week’ article.

Weekend / one sheet / 2011 / USA

26.04.16

Poster Poster

This is the US one sheet for the release of the 2011 British drama Weekend, written and directed by Andrew Haigh. The film was shot on location in and around Nottingham on a micro budget. It follows gay man Russell (Tom Cullen) who goes to a house party with his straight friends and then onto a gay club alone afterwards looking for a hookup. There he meets Glen (Chris New), an art gallery employee and aspiring artist, and the pair head back to Russell’s flat for what they both assume will just be a one night stand.

Things don’t work out that way and the pair spend the next 48 hours (the titular period) getting to know each other in bars, clubs and bedrooms. Glen eventually reveals he’s hours away from moving to America to attend a two year art course and by the end of the weekend the pair have affected each other more than they could possibly have imagined. The film is a memorable and sensitive depiction of a budding relationship and the performances are wonderfully natural throughout. Haigh’s script is heartfelt but unsentimental and has a genuine emotional truth about it. In my opinion it’s one of the best romantic dramas of the past few decades.

This one sheet was created by Sam Ashby, a London-based graphic designer who has worked on a number of film posters, including quads for films like Beauty. 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.

In addition to this one sheet, Ashby designed several other posters for the film, including the UK quad.

Deliverance / B2 / Japan

21.11.11

Poster Poster
Title
Deliverance
AKA
Un tranquillo week-end di paura [A calm weekend of fear] (Italy)
Year of Film
1972
Director
John Boorman
Starring
Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, Ed Ramey, Billy Redden, Seamon Glass, Randall Deal, Bill McKinney
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, Ed Ramey, Billy Redden, Seamon Glass, Randall Deal, Bill McKinney,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 4/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

John Boorman‘s classic survival tale will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year and it remains a powerful and unique film, with no remake or imitations muddying its legacy. Deliverance has firmly entered the public consciousness and is almost guaranteed to be referenced when film and TV characters leave the city to head into the wild.

It also introduced the idea of mountain men (hillbillies) to folks who’d never visited the kind of country seen in the film. Finally, there’s the famous ‘Duelling Banjos’ music and the oft-quoted ‘squeal like piggy!’ line taken from the infamous rape scene.

This Japanese poster features a mixture of photography and artwork. It appears that the canoes are photographic whilst the river has been enhanced with illustration. The shotgun rising from the water is featured on a handful of other posters for the film, including the British quad and the style B US one sheet.

The original trailer is on YouTube.