Once upon a time, movie posters often turned out to be iconic works of art – fascinating and striking visual representations of great cinematic efforts. They were filled with passion and reverence for the project they were depicting and, as promotional material, they heightened anticipation for the film.
It was, in days gone by, a veritable rite of passage for the young enthusiast to attempt to snag one from the multiplex, once they had removed them from display. As film fans, who among us has not, at some point in their life, proudly displayed the poster of a favourite film – perhaps even in a frame – either to announce the depth of meaning it holds for the viewer, or to simply enjoy the artistry required to create it.
Nowadays, however, most film posters look like this:
They have become as predictable and formulaic as the majority of films they are designed to promote. Just as originality has become a rarity in cinema, it has become a rarity in poster artwork, too – striking a heavy blow at the heart of a beloved cultural tradition.
The demise of the carefully thought out, well-crafted film poster has been gradual, but steady. As technology has evolved, so have these pictures – changing from hand-drawn artwork to photographic images. Unfortunately, rather than embrace these advances and exploit the endless possibilities they bring, the film promotion industry has taken the opportunity to homogenise the art form and create a perpetual re-hashing of the same handful of images.