This suitably autumnal poster for Louis Malle’s Le feu follet (The Fire Within) was the creation of the brilliant German designer Hans Hillmann. Now 83 years old, Hillmann was a major film poster designer in the 60s and 70s and is one of Germany’s best known graphic artists. His film posters are abstract and witty in equal measure and he benefitted from working much of the time for a revival distributor where he could riff on already known quantities (in the same way the Criterion Collection’s designers are able to). Though the majority of his posters are illustrations, for Louis Malle’s suicidal odyssey he simply took a photograph of star Maurice Ronet, strewed it with dead leaves and re-photographed it. Conversely his poster for Rene Allio’s little known Pierre et Paul—a face constructed from a crowd of people seen from above—looks like a photograph but is, on closer inspection, an illustration.
Hillmann’s designs could fill volumes so I'll limit myself to some of my favorites for now (for Vivre sa vie, A Woman is a Woman, Storm Over Asia, Pickpocket and The Seven Samurai).