No, no, I’m not talking about posters for foreign movies, though I’m sure those are equally lovely and intriguing. I’m referencing foreign versions of American movies–posters that always put the film in a new light, sometimes with comical results. It’s true that American movie posters just seem to be more literal and formulaic: the lead actor/actress (cue: unrealistic, forced and gag-worthy pose), maybe some backdrop, blah blah.
The more artistic creations really belong to Czech graphic designers who created posters in the 60s, 70s and 80s. I suppose there’s a formula there, too—only it’s wildly unpredictable. You truly never know what you’re going to get: terrifying surrealism, confounding minimalism..or just crazy colors run amok. But you know it will be interesting.
While living in Prague, I frequently stopped in the wonderful Terry’s Posters shop, nestled in Kino Svetezor, for a look at these fantastical creations. I love this collage-like take on Barefoot in the Park (far more interesting than this, right?) And how cool–and sort of subversive–is this poster for The Seven Year Itch?
When I flew back to the US after a year of amassing all kinds of stuff–worst packing job ever–I had room for only a handful of Czech movie poster souvenirs. These are two of my favorites. Would you know the first one was The Great Gatsby if you didn’t see the word Gatsby? The second is even more abstract. See if you can guess…