The Enduring Appeal of Movie Posters


As I was surfing the ‘Net looking for topics to write about I found few items that show both the evolution of movie posters and how they endure both as works of art and commerce.

First, there was an article in the December 3 San Diego Reader about rejected movie posters from the 1980’s. This article was just one in a series of articles about a collection of movie posters designs that the studios rejected. Most of these movie posters featured in the article were mock-ups or one of many versions that an artist created for studio executives to choose from. One of the posters featured was for the thriller Fatal Attraction. The mock up is on the left and the version that appeared in movie theaters is on the right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
I like the one on the right, since the tagline of “On the other side of drinks, dinner and a one night stand is a terrifying love story” makes you wonder, “What do they mean by that?

Another web item featured pictures of Ghanaian movie posters. While I mentioned these types of movie posters in a previous entry, (you can read it in The Travels of American Culture  February 10, 2011) to refresh your memory, Ghanaian movie posters came about in the 1980’s as VCR’s and videocassettes were introduced in the African nation of Ghana. Independent contractors would drive around the countryside with a television, VCR and generator. They would stop in a particular town and for a small admission fee, they would show a movie, mostly American films. In order to advertise their show, they hired artists to create movie posters. These creations were made with oil paint and canvas. Sometimes the posters reflected the plot of the movie, other times they reflected the imagination of the artists. (See below.)


Well, by the mid 1990’s, as television and video became more available, these mobile cinemas fell by the wayside and the operators couldn’t afford the artists anymore, so they relied on photocopied movie posters. Subsequently, these posters became sought after by collectors and they have asking prices of $200 and up.

So, how do these two examples show the enduring appeal of movie posters? Don’t worry, I’m getting to that. Movie posters are the original multi-taskers. They are vehicles of both commerce and art. Movie posters, if they are designed well, pique the viewer’s curiosity about a film, later they serve to remind the viewer how much he or she enjoyed the film and are things of beauty, in and of themselves. If they didn’t meet these criteria in the first place, no one would want them. So, despite all the tech diversions out there, folks still have an affinity for a 27 inch x 40 inch piece of paper that features pictures of people in situations ranging from the absurd to realistic. “It’s the stuff that dreams are made of.”

Sources:
http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/big-screen/2011/dec/03/part-5-famous-movie-poster-rejects-youve-never-see/

http://blogtown.portlandmercury.com/BlogtownPDX/archives/2011/12/01/ghanas-movie-posters-are-better-than-americas-movie-posters

http://www.obsessedwithfilm.com/cool-stuff/cool-stuff-ghanaian-movie-posters.php

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4 Responses to “The Enduring Appeal of Movie Posters”

  1. Waylon Crickard Says:

    Great blog post, definitely like it. I recently began writing a blog, any guidelines to me? Would seriously appreciate your assist. Cheers!

    • Ilena Di Toro Says:

      Thanks for your comments. The only advice I would give anyone who wants to write a blog is to write about something that interests you, pick a publishing schedule you can stick with and steer clear from writing the “Waaah! My life sucks!” type of entries. When I read the “My life sucks!” entries, I can’t help but think “Yeah, big deal. You and a million other people have sucky lives.”

  2. URL Says:

    Some genuinely superb weblog posts on this site , regards for contribution. 386075

    • Ilena Di Toro Says:

      Thanks for your kind words. Please visit again. Also, you can follow me on Facebook (Just Movie Posters.Com) or Twitter (JMPosters). I post blog updates and other items on those two places, so by following me on one or the other, you’ll be kept up to date as to what I’m up to.

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