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Movie Poster of the Week: The 54th BFI London Film Festival

The ingenious poster for this year’s BFI London Film Festival, which kicked off this Wednesday, could not be more up my alley: a poster made from movie posters. Designed by [correction] Leo Burnett and Village Green, it was created by actually printing up posters, pasting them on a wall and then tearing them to conjure up the London skyline. The posters are all British quads, though not all for British films. There are local favorites My Beautiful Laundrette and This is England, and not one but two for The Long Good Friday, but there’s also Jamon Jamon and Nine Queens and Lost in Translation. The montage features three of Peter Strausfeld’s superb woodcut posters for the Academy Cinema (for Kanal, The Crime of Monsieur Lang, and Tonite Let's All Make Love in London) and I’m happy to see two Tarkovsky posters in there. In addition to the ten posters featured below and the ones I've already mentioned, I also spotted Punch-Drunk Love and, barely there, The Men Who Stare at Goats, but I’m sure there are a couple of others in the mix that I’ve missed. I’m not sure for example who the bearded gentleman beneath the London “Gherkin” is. And can anyone recognize the poster with the drawing of a helicopter to the left of The Man Who Knew Too Much below? Or the sunflowers below that? Someone elucidate me please. A larger version to help you out can be perused here.

The bearded man underneath the gherkin building is Benicio del Toro from the quad poster for “Che Parts 1 and 2”. Do a google image search for “che uk quad” and you’ll find it. Did you notice the poster for “Almost Famous” just above “Requiem for a Dream”?
I think the poster at bottom left where the sunflowers look down in shame is the one for LEBANON.
The fact that the most distinctive poster in this collage is Jamon Jamon (of all things, in 2010) pretty much sums up LFF. Dog’s breakfast.
Glenn, you are right! I didn’t recognize Benicio (my guess was Paddy Considine in DEAD MAN’S SHOES) but I should have spotted half of “CHE” above Mickey Rourke. Anyone know then what the fragment of the red poster with half of “FUNNY” is inside the gherkin? Matt, good spotting on LEBANON. In the US poster the sunflowers are standing to attention. Matthew, leaving aside whatever you think about the film, you’re right that JAMON JAMON leaps off the poster too much and should have been distressed a little more. But, image wise, it’s the KANAL poster that stands out most of all, and that’s fine by me. Anyone know what the red “IN CINEMAS JULY 1” just below JAMON JAMON is? Looks like a D in the title.
Zing! Damn Matthew, is it that bad this year?
I spot The Men Who Stare At Goats underneath The Long Good Friday poster.
Have to say, I think this is the most cliched and frankly ugly publicity poster I’ve ever seen (using the London skyline is the last refuge of the scoundrel), and it’s spattered all over London like acne. Please take it away.
This technique is known as Décollage and was pioneered in the 50s by artists like Mimmo Rotella and Jacques Villeglé.
Case, thank you. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t know about Décollage as an art form. Fascinating.
The BFI have posted a fascinating time-lapse video of the making of the London FIlm Festival poster on Vimeo.

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