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Movie Poster of the Week: Godard in Italian

Posters for JLG’s Italian releases tell a different story.
Above: Italian poster for Weekend (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1967).
Flaming car aside, the poster above, with its emphasis on a torrid embrace that seems right off the cover of a Harlequin romance, doesn’t really scream Jean-Luc Godard. When I came across two Italian posters for Weekend the other day (the other, seen at the end of this piece, more sexploitation than romance but equally inappropriate to the film) I started to look at other Italian posters for Godard’s films and I found them all strikingly different from their French counterparts.
While the Nouvelle vague in France coincided with a new wave in poster design, based mostly around photomontage, Italian distributors either resisted moving away from the kind of overtly emotional, painterly style of poster illustration that had been their stock in trade, or deliberately subverted the iconoclastic new films coming out of France with images that were more comfortingly familiar or sensationally commercial. The Italian posters for Godard’s 60s films, while gorgeously rendered by some of the great Italian artists of the era, make them look more like angst-ridden melodramas or sex comedies. The one notable exception is Averardo Ciriello’s colorful artwork for Alphaville which is much stranger and more light-hearted than Jean Mascii’s classic monochrome design for the French poster.
Below are posters for the Italian releases of almost all of Godard’s 60s films in chronological order.
Above: Italian poster by Sandro Simeoni for Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1960).
Above: Italian poster by Sandro Simeoni for A Woman is a Woman (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1961).
Above: Italian poster by Donelli for Vivre sa Vie (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1962).
Above: Italian locandina by Donelli for Vivre sa Vie (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1962).
Above: Italian poster by Giuliano Nistri for Contempt (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1963).
Above: Italian poster by Ezio Tarantelli for A Married Woman (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1964).
Above: Italian poster by Averardo Ciriello for Alphaville (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1965).
Above: Italian poster for Pierrot le Fou (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1965).
Above: Italian poster by Ezio Tarantelli for Masculin Féminin (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1966).
Above: Italian poster by Angelo Cessalon for Made in U.S.A. (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1966).
Above: Italian poster for Two or Three Things I Know About Her (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1967).
Above: Italian poster for La Chinoise (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1967).
Above: Another Italian poster for Weekend (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1967).
See a previous post I wrote on the lesser-known posters of Jean-Luc Godard, and one on a contemporary design for Weekend.
Posters courtesy of Heritage Auctions, Film Art Gallery and the blog Uncouth Reflections. If I have missed any other sources please let me know.

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