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Movie Poster of the Week: "Gummo"

Adrian Curry

Say what you will about Harmony Korine's films, but his posters are something else. If his cinematic output can be criticized as formless, arbitrary, crudely provocative and often intentionally repulsive (and I'm not saying these aren't virtues), his posters are almost the opposite: simple, elegant, refined, albeit in their own pleasingly low-fi way. The poster for Gummo (1997) is one of my favorite movie posters of all time. Some might find it odd that I have a poster for that film in my bedroom, but it’s not really there as a celebration of the film (though I liked it quite a bit) but as a burst of graphic sunshine and creative typography whose idiosyncracies I often drowsily contemplate (the knocked-out handwritten title; the gothic "of" in "from the creator of KIDS"; the black band at the top that looks like it was meant for a pull-quote that never came; and, of course, that face...).

As far as I know this wasn’t the theatrical release poster for Gummo, I purloined this from a CMJ preview screening before the film came out. The release poster—with the boy with pink rabbit ears playing accordion in a lurid green bathroom stall—is OK, but I feel like it’s trying too hard. I prefer the French poster with the same frame and type as this one, and the bunny-eared boy stranded on a suburban street. (The original design was later resurrected for the laserdisc and the DVD.)

I have yet to see a poster for Trash Humpers, Korine's newest which just premiered at Toronto (if a poster exists please let me know) but the posters for the other two films maudit in his canon, Julien Donkey-Boy (1999) and Mister Lonely (2007) are also pleasingly restrained and quite lovely.


Movie Poster of the WeekKorine
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