Back in November, after having written Movie Poster of the Week for almost three years, I decided to start a Tumblr as a place to display all those orphan posters I loved: the ones I couldn’t find all that much to say about, that didn’t fit any current trend or personal train of thought but which needed to be seen. It seemed natural to call it Movie Poster of the Day and so I decided I would try to post just one single poster a day, ideally something unfamiliar yet worthy of attention. In February, Flavorpill declared Movie Poster of the Day one of the “Essential Tumblrs for film fans” which persuaded me it was worth continuing and over the past eight months I have somehow managed to post something every single day. In the process I seem to have amassed over 15,000 followers on Tumblr.
I have a few rules apart from the single post a day: I don’t reblog from other Tumblrs (not that other Tumblrs aren’t full of amazing posters); I try to always use good quality, large digital files; I try to find out the date of the poster and the name of the designer; and I always credit and link to the source of the image. I try not to add any more text than that, though occasionally some obscure posters cry out for some extra context, and recently I’ve been linking less well known titles to YouTube trailers and designers to their websites or to other posters on MPOTD by the same artist.
Since I have now posted more than 200 posters I thought it would be a good idea to collect the most popular of them here (or actually my editor thought it would be a good idea since he was sick of seeing all these great designs being posted somewhere other than on the Notebook, even though I’ve always thought of the Tumblr as an adjunct to this blog). There isn’t much in the way of feedback on Tumblr so one of the only ways you can gauge the popularity of individual posts is the “note” count: the number of times a poster is “liked” or reblogged. I take those with a grain of salt since often—and surprisingly— it can be the most well known posters, or at least posters for the best known films, that get reblogged the most. I’ve posted stunning posters for less famous films that don’t seem to get much love, though with those I just hope that at least a few thousand people are simply admiring them quietly. Also, though anyone can look at my posts via my Twitter links or otherwise, only fellow Tumblees—like-minded wannabe curators or fellow ephemera-hoarding magpies—can actually “like” or reblog.
The one post that went through the roof, with 844 notes and counting (the next highest was just over 300), was the Spanish poster for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg at the top of the page. Somehow that combination of an unfamiliar and unusual poster for a much-loved film made that one by far the most popular poster on the blog.
I have assembled a Movie Poster of the Day Top 20 of the most “noted” posters to date. Though it’s an unreliable indicator of brilliance, it nonetheless has created a rather stunning scroll of posters, some very well known, like Christian Broutin’s Jules and Jim (I am very pleased to see two Broutin posters in the top 4 after having got to know him this year)... and some less so, like the superb Swedish poster for the little known Buster Keaton comedy The Passionate Plumber, one of my favorite finds of the year.
There are posters from 11 different countries in the top 20, but more than half of the films represented come from France (including all the top 4). And though there are posters from nearly every decade, 8 of them come from the 1960s.
There are also some lovely coincidences as you scroll through this collection: nice similarities between paired posters like the lonely figures (and eccentric hands) of Les enfants du paradis and Pickpocket directly below; between the tight concentric circles of Kiyoshi Awazu’s Himiko and the parallel lines of Rebecca Leigh’s poster for In the Mood for Love; between the lurching zombies of Don’t Go in the House and the fleeing lovers of Il posto (another of my very favorite discoveries); or between the torrid embraces of Hiroshima, mon amour and that most oddly inappropriate Mexican poster for Masculin féminin.
Enjoy the selection and don’t forget to check in on Movie Poster of the Day every now and then. If you’re not on Tumblr you can follow me on Twitter and get my updates there, or you can simply view the entire archive at a glance here.
Above: 1955 Polish poster for Les enfants du paradis (Marcel Carné, France, 1945); artist: Julian Palka (1923-2002).
Above: French poster for Pickpocket (Robert Bresson, France, 1959); designer: Christian Broutin (b. 1933).
Above: 1962 French grande for Jules et Jim (François Truffaut, France, 1962); designer: Christian Broutin (b. 1933).
Above: Japanese poster for Himiko (Masahiro Shinoda, Japan, 1974); designer: Kiyoshi Awazu.
Above: 2011 fan poster for In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, Hong Kong, 2000); designer: Rebecca Leigh.
Above: 1966 Polish poster for Stage Fright (Alfred Hitchcock, USA, 1950); designer: Marek Freudenreich (b. 1939).
Above: 1984 Japanese poster for Hotel des Ameriques (André Téchiné, France, 1981); artist: Akira Mouri.
Above: Japanese poster for Alphaville (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1966); designer: uncredited.
Above: French grande for Eyes without a Face (Georges Franju, France, 1960); artist: Jean Mascii (1926-2003).
Above: Polish poster for Therese Desqueyroux (Georges Franju, France, 1962); artist: Franciszek Starowieyski (1930-2009).
Above: Swedish poster for The Passionate Plumber (Edward Sedgwick, USA, 1932); designer: Carl Gustav Berglow.
Above: German poster for Don’t Go in the House (Joseph Ellison, USA, 1980); artist: K. Dim.
Above: 1962 Czech poster for Il posto (Ermanno Olmi, Italy, 1961); designer: Jaroslav Zelenka (1921-1973).
Above: French affiche moyenne for To Kill a Mockingbird (Robert Mulligan, USA, 1962); artist: Boris Grinsson (1907-1999).
Above: Poster for Le calvaire (Louis Feuillade, France, 1914); artist: uncredited.
Above: French grande poster for Deconstructing Harry (Woody Allen, USA, 1997); artist: Jean-Claude Floch aka Floc’h (b. 1953).
Above: Argentinian poster for Fantômas (Jean Sacha, France, 1947); artist: uncredited.
Above: Danish poster for Hiroshima, mon amour (Alain Resnais, France, 1959); artist: “Stilling.”
Above: Mexican poster for Masculin Féminin (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1966); artist: uncredited.
Poster sources all credited on Movie Poster of the Day; just click on the titles above for more information.