After the feast of design from the 1920s and 30s over the past two weeks I thought it was time to return to the present and look at a few of the more interesting new and recent posters out there. First up, two terrific optical illusions for two of the most anticipated serious-minded films of the fall (each premiering in Venice): George Clooney’s The Ides of March and Tomas “Let the Right One In” Alfredson’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Ides, the story of a Presidential candidate and his ambitious young press secretary, puts a clever spin on the Big Head poster and nicely solves the problem of having to give equal wall space to both Ryan Gosling and George Clooney. I like the way the last letters of Time magazine puts a big ME over the candidate’s face. The Tinker, Tailor poster, best seen up close, overlays the head of Gary Oldman—as John le Carré’s world-weary spy George Smiley—with long strings of letters and numbers, a few word clues hidden here and there and the opening date written as 16092011 in tiny red numbers on Smiley’s lapel.
I also like these two gold-hued posters below for two films in theaters right now and not only because they look great next to each other. For The Devil’s Double, Dominic Cooper as Uday Hussein (or maybe as the man hired to act as his decoy) looks as if he may have been dipped in Winnie the Pooh’s sea of honey. The Pooh poster is an unusual example of minimalism and negative space in the usually shouty field of kids film posters, but it seems in keeping with the restraint and elegance of Disney’s current Pooh reboot.
Two teaser posters have recently been released for Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming double-whammy: Contagion, which plays interestingly, though not brilliantly, with type (and that biohazard sign seems to have been overplayed recently) and Haywire, which has an unusual faded, low-light look to it.
The poster for Raul Ruiz’s Mysteries of Lisbon might be a little conventional, but it has a rich elegance that works for the film, and I love that tiny figure on the stairs in the background (again worth seeing up close). Meanwhile, the poster for Miranda July’s The Future, which opens in theaters today, is like its inverse mirror image. I do like the title treatment with its three rows of three letters, but I just wish that the credit block wasn’t taking up all that space beneath July’s head.
And, finally, another pair of posters that I think go wonderfully together with their warrior women in action: one (which has been around for a while but I only just saw) for ESPN’s documentary about transsexual tennis star Renée Richards which uses a very striking photograph and some well placed type, and the other for Lynn Hershman Leeson’s feminist art history doc !Women Art Revolution with its take on Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading the People” illustrated by underground comic legend Spain Rodriguez.