Welcome back to another month of movie posters, where we sift through the hundreds—or dozens, or whatever—of new posters out there and pick out our favorites to talk about them as if we had any idea about the intentions behind the designs. This month, we take a look at an interesting spectrum of films, from the big Hollywood blockbuster to the indie documentary. The one thing that each of these movies have in common is that their posters totally rock.
Like many big budget action movies, Rampage has been graced with a variety of different poster designs. To be honest though, they mostly seem pretty milquetoast. But this one blew us away. The neon greens remind us of the risky (and fantastic) color palette used for Thor: Ragnarok. The movie’s King Kong-inspired antagonist dominates the center of the design, dwarfing the usually larger-than-life Dwayne Johnson. But our favorite detail (besides the spinning double helices) is the film’s two other monsters, leaping out from behind the ape, maws wide, ready to eat whole the comparatively tiny helicopter and airplane. It’s an image too closely resembling Sharknado to be coincidence.
This stark and beautiful poster took us by surprise. Its desaturated look implies the heat and dryness of the movie's setting. The woman’s hat and face are in high contrast, but quickly (and literally) begin to dissolve, calling to mind the constant presence of death and the ephemeral nature of the photograph—a motif that, by the trailer, looms large in the narrative of the film. That idea of impermanence is further reinforced—and you’ll have to look closely—by the texture of the paper that serves as the background, which gives the whole image a feeling of being handmade.
Sometimes, to make a striking poster, you want a beautiful or striking image, but sometimes what you actually need is a really good quote and a really bold font. The layering of this poster tells you all you need to know about what the designers felt was more important: the text or the image of the broken glasses. Bold sans-serif lettering, the deep red color, and the gleeful repetition of the word “stupid” do a lot to catch the eye. The glasses in the background are a bit of an afterthought, but the fact that they are broken, mixed with the slanderous quote from Godard, communicate that, for better or worse, the filmmaker’s image will be put through the ringer in this new biopic. Feeling curious about the film? Check out our Trailer Park Thursday on Godard, Mon Amour.
A24 is known for their biting, original, and stylish films, and that same artistry tends to extend to their poster designs as well. Ethan Hawke, or "The Hawke" as he’s known around the office, fades into the black background thanks to his equally black vestments. It’s hard to tell whether he’s emerging from the darkness or being consumed by it. The trail of fire, which stands in stark relief to the muted colors used in the rest of poster, bifurcates his image, below the eyes, symbolizing the torn nature of his character. And if you look closely to the far left in the trail of fire, you might be able to make out the steeple of a church. What this says about the nature of the priest’s faith, we’ll have to watch the movie to find out.
This is certainly the most irreverent of the posters we chose for this month. It’s bright and energetic and a definite nod to how moving forward sometimes requires destroying the past. This poster accomplishes that sentiment literally, depicting Adam Driver’s modern character crashing through Jonathan Pryce’s staid profile. The bronze coloring and the bright center also evoke the idea of an ember or fire—perhaps a depiction of Quixote’s legendarily vivid imagination.
We loved these posters so much that we had to include them both. And they are certainly playing on the same motif. Welcome to the upside down! We don’t know which is scarier, the modern times of Church & State or the horrific world of Hereditary. In Church & State, the Salt Lake Temple is depicted in contrast to the Utah House of Representatives. If there is any question of what the two sides are fighting over, it’s made explicit by the rainbow flag, separating the two buildings. The simple yet effective image demonstrably shows the fight over Prop 3 in Utah. Hereditary’s poster draws on the same motif to elicit a different reaction. There is certainly an eeriness to the multi-sided dollhouse. That the house seems suspended in a sea of night sky adds to that feeling—and what is it about that single square of light in the attic that draws our attention so effectively? Whatever it is, not all is right in this house.