I think there are a lot more alternative type movie posters going around last year, which actually make me so happy. I noticed some countries have make adapt their own take of the poster as well. South Korean versions of some films are quite beautiful, just take an example from Xavier Dolan’s Mommy after the cut. See how it use stills that have wonderful nuanced and seemed to be capturing the mood of the film (which i sadly have not seen yet). (Be warned, some NSFW image inside)
Now without further ado, here’s KaramelKinema’s official Top 25 BEST MOVIE POSTER of 2014 are:
25. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY by BLT Communications
Why? Just because how many snobbish franchise would put a ‘You’re Welcome’ tag below their release date?!
This is why i love Marvel.
24. FOXCATCHER by N/A
Although there’s that Foxcatcher silhouette cut out over a house movie poster by In-Sync+Bemisbalkind that everyone simply like. My choice went to this South Korean take for the movie theatrical release.
I felt that Foxcatcher really relies on relationship between the three male characters of the film (Ruffalo, Tatum, and Carell). So this simple take on the three standing together with their faces scrunched up or halfway hidden in shadows or facing away from the camera felt like it plays with their ever-changing and somewhat ambiguous relationship dynamics. (Though as my sister eloquently put it: ‘it looks gay’, believe me it’s not despite some brotherhood/bromance-ness going on. Though i assume can still be misleading to some people, huh?)
Or maybe it’s just because Channing Tatum nipple. Ha!
23. BOYHOOD by N/A
Some people hating on the poster because it seemed like it’s thrown together in 12 minutes. For me this simplistic poster (let’s ignore the heavy texts above there) is quite brilliant. Instead of going to the route of having collage of moments as Mason growing up in a predictable collage, the poster simply feature 5 year-old Mason lying down on a grass fields, with eyes looking up to the skies.
I can not imagine what his thoughts are, i can only smile thinking this is what i did as kids when i play with friends or alone and i have that one quite moment when i just lay down on a fields (getting our clothes dirty, messy and fully expecting for our elders to yell at us later) imagining random things that popped out into my little head. Little me, just like little Mason, have absolutely zero idea of what the future hold at that time. We were still in our little childhood bubble. So isn’t it really successful in capturing that in a sense?
22. GODZILLA by Art Machine
There are a bunch of wonderful posters for Godzilla, mostly in a japanese-esque, black-white-red color scheme.
But this one in particular is my absolute favorite. The poster features a gigantic Godzilla’s tail surrounded by choppers amongst smoke/fog that appears almost vanishing to the horizon where we can see a glimpse of the sun. It just putting emphasis on how large scale the film really is, and how epic the story is. There’s obvious nod to japan and its culture, not only through the ‘go-ji-ra’ (ゴジラ) katakana written vertically behind the simplistic main title ‘Godzilla’.
It did exactly what it need to do, tickled your interest.
Art Machine is also the creative behind this poster equally awesome poster that i also like, similarly playing with the epic scale of the film.
21. LIFE ITSELF by: N/A
The documentary about world’s-famous film critic Roger Ebert, based on his personal memoir, was easily on every movie buff (and that includes movie bloggers like yours truly) to-watch list. Not only to honor the memory of the subject himself and his passion for films. But to know deeper about the man behind the words that we, cinephiles, read and became inspired by (it did not really matter if we agree or disagree on his point of views, did it?).
How appropriate it is the designer decided to use an older photography of Ebert sitting in a movie theater, with a projector running at the back, and him reacting gleefully at something on the screen. It just felt genuine, like a stolen moment when he was wrapped in the things he loved, movies.
(Ebert also inspired me to start writing my thoughts about films, RIP good man.)
20. ALFRED & JAKOBINE by N/A
The poster of this documentary feature really is one of the posters that truly capture the film spirit. Alfred & Jakobine follows 84 year-olds Alfred Hobbs who’s driving an old London Taxi across America, looking for the woman who were once the love of his life, whom he travelled the world with with the same old London Taxi .
Simple things really. The poster have an appearance of a map that have been ripped apart in two, reflecting the separation of the two lovers. The map itself felt like it represents the journey that this documentary follows (as well as Alfred’s, and Alfred’s & Jacobine’s). The grids of the buildings in the maps made up the two lovers vintage drawn up images that reflects the era of their meeting and separation (1950s). I personally think it’s an amazing story that captured perfectly in the poster.
19. HOJE EU QUERO VOLTAR SOZINHO (THE WAY HE LOOKS) by N/A
A personal favorite is the poster film for Brazilian coming of age film by Daniel Ribiero, Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho. There are several poster version out there, but my favorite is this youthful, colorful version.
This is such a charming piece, with a folded old, browning paper kind of effect. Like the film, the poster felt easy, filled with lightness, and down to earth. The poster captures an iconic and central part of the film, which is the organic relationship between the two boys. The colored part of the poster made me think of those coloring books, which is only filled halfway. It seems innocent and as if it signify the two lead on going journey to adulthood (a coming of age) that is far from completed.
This is one of those poster that made me smile and grins like a loon :)
18. BAY MAX (okay… BIG HERO 6) by Kaz Oomori
All i can remember from the film is adorable Bay Max (and him doing the fa-la-la-la fist bump thingy) and i almost forget the actual title of the film. I enjoyed it a lot too, though i had a bit of issue with the setting of the film (San Fransokyo?) that is not really well established in the film.
Maybe that’s why i feel this awesome poster by Oomori is an awesome alternate piece that capture the film spirit (as well as its obvious japanese influence but without being too japanese-y either. In Oomori’s design you can see that the movie is about a bunch of heroes facing a villain, in a city similar to San Francisco but it obviously has a Tokyo fusion element in it.
But i can not help not to adore these teaser posters created by Art Machine and BLT Communications. (and this japanese version of the poster ‘i will protect your heart and body’ and it really is called BayMax!).
17. LE SEMEUR by Karine Savard
Another poster for documentary feature is captivating at its very first glimpse. Julie Perron’s documentary, appropriately named Le Semeur (means the sower) follows the life of a Québecois farmer, Patrice Fortier.
Althought it might look like a paler, lighter alternate from the usual teals/blues-oranges visual combos, the poster is dominated by hay-colored pale yellow against a backdrop of light turquoise sky.
The main image is a man in the foreground with somekind of head wear made out of plants (i really can not be sure of what it was, since it’s quite blurred due to the motion). Savard added some seedlings (like dandelion’s seeds, etc) flying away from the head wear into the sky. I feel like this is capturing the film main subject beautifully.
Such a strong, poetic image. It could belong to an artistic photoshoot rather than a film.
16. WILD by N/A
Reese Witherspoon is walking among the wilderness in Jean-Marc Vallée‘s Wild. She’s in the mid-ground of the poster, the foreground is a blurred out greeneries that dominated the landscape (as well as the 2/3rd of the poster frame) that disappear to the horizon in the far background, lost in the base of the mountain that stood againts the blue sky.
Yes, like Le Semeur, it is the same alternatives of the popular blues-oranges visual combos. The main color of the poster is the yellow-green (of the plants) against the azure mountains and sky. The fact that it seems like is just a (deceptively) simple photographic shot made this poster felt powerful for me. Especially since it communicates what the film is really about (which is about a woman’s singular journey) Although i am undecided about the scribbled font for the main title, which felt too literal for this case.
I still think it’s quite a powerful poster, agree?
15. TRACKS by Jeremy Saunders
I love how minimalistic this poster is!
Similar themed film about a woman solo journey with Wild. Tracks follows Mia Wasikowska, as a young woman goes on a 1,700-mile trek across the deserts of West Australia with four camels and her faithful dog.
The poster showed the solitude of the her lone journey shown literally as tracks on the sand filling only a fourth of the frame so the overall effects can be seen against the vastness of the dessert.
14. CAMP X-RAY by Gravillis Inc.
Everyone who know me know that i despise Kristen Stewart and his moody, flat, expresionless, face that the Twilight franchise seemed to be relying on (next after Pattinson’s face & Lautner’s abs). And i am being kind with my words choices here..
But funny as it is, two of her films are some of my favorites films this year and Camp X-Ray probably one of the two. Why this particular Gravillis work is so interesting? It’s all in that almost hidden, singular eye of Stewart paired with her slightly downturned lips (maybe she’s biting the inside of her lips at the time).
That was powerful image on it’s own. That impact doubled when its overlaid with the image of Maadi standing behind barbed wire with its color washed out into a cold sepia that is almost black and white.
13. THE DOUBLE by Empire Design.
There’s something startling about Ayoade’s The Double. With some similarly themed (doppelganger) films like Enemy and The One I Love (The Double was probably my favorite film out of the three, FYI).
Empire did a series of poster including the one of Jesse Eisenberg face half-hidden in shadows that made you felt the suspense and the mystery of it all. This particular one shows a lone character under a spotlight standing before darkened cityscape. It’s reminds me of an old school Hitchcock thriller posters not only because of its sepia coloring, but also by the atmosphere it created. Alluring suspense isn’t it?
12. THE IMITATION GAME by N/A
Type over face is one of the most used technique in film posters in the last decade. It might look simple but it actually took a careful consideration of the right image and the right type to make it look successful (and i personally think no one can do it better than Kellerhouse).
But this particular work by whichever agency created this is pretty successful. Since Cumberbatch face is already quite strong, this type of approach is okay. Even under the semi transparent layers of the mustard yellow circle that represent design of the machine, Christopher. I really love the color scheme of the poster as well, a warm red-brownish hue, which made the yellow circles and type for the title stood out even more.
This poster reminds me a lot to Kellerhouse design for The Social Network. Similarly putting emphasis on the film tagline without forgetting its title.
12. SAINT LAURENT by RYSK
I wonder why people tend to produce similarly films around the same time? Just like Coco Avant Chanel (2009) which came out around the same time with Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (2009), this times two biopic of another consequential figure in Fashion came out.
Following Yves Saint Laurent (2014) release comes another biopic called Saint Laurent. Funnily enough it made me think of the brand current revamp including in renaming it into just Saint Laurent instead of YSL.
The minimalist and simple design of the poster feature an image of the man’s face from behind. We can only see small part of his face highlighted by the neon lime light against the rest of the poster which remain in radiant shade of ultraviolet. If you see this from afar, you’ll definitely recognize this color straightaway don’t you think?
10. STILL THE WATER (二つ目の窓) by N/A
Kawase Naomi’s Still The Water is moody and have a kind of poetic beauty. For me it’s a very typical melancholic, japanese type coming of age story (either in form of films or manga).
The minimalist poster, shown the two teenage lead actors suspended in motion as they swam in the still, cerulean blue water of Amami Island seas. The end result is almost startling seeing the two naked bodies in blues with a stark white in the bottom third of the poster as the only identification of the film title.
It’s a such a good poster made out of a great still.
09. MEDEAS by Julie Luke
No i haven’t seen this one, YET. But i know, just from this poster that i need too.
This is the type of movie poster that made me want to watch it no matter what the critics/reviewer are saying. It’s emotional and intense, even with minimalistic appearance. The frame is filled with a shot of skins. Maybe it’s a shot of two bodies hugging, i’m not even sure. But you see that hand, although it’s partially hidden, grasping, almost clawing, at the skin there, it speaks tension that represents emotion for me.
Such an emotional piece.
08. FRANK by N/A
It’s always smart to use an iconic item of your film as a representation in a posters. Because that’s what the artists who created those amazing alternates posters that you want on your walls do.
With Frank, it’s almost a non-brainer what are the signature items. That paper-mache’d head that Fassbender wore in the film is it. Combine it with a simple background and a stood out type for the title and it become so good.
I feel just like it’s music, this poster could easily become something of a cult item.
I07. HUNGER GAMES – MOCKING JAY PART 1 by Ignition Print
Hunger Games franchise is getting more and more serious about their viral campaign and that includes their gorgeously shot teaser posters. From the amazing all white teaser of the Capitol Propaganda, the pretty shots of the districts locals, to the all black image shot of Katniss’ back in her Mockingjay’s outfit. It’s a smartly designed viral campaign.
06. NURSE by Ignition Print
Yes people i watched this horror, reverse (?) torture porn. And yes i have to say it was because of the sleek poster. I don’t think the film is good, i think i ended up laughing most of the time because of De La Huerta acting which i just can’t take seriously (is she for real? does she seriously speak and pout all the time like that?)
But the poster really is sick!! They are sleek and cheeky looking, like a modern, 1950s pin-up style shots. Eventhough the girl is not as curvaceous, wears white pleather uniform, bathes in blood, and it definitely show it’s genre.
I especially love the black and white one because of it’s visual pun on the word ‘nurse’ more than anything else (the graphic nature of it makes it even more interesting too).
…And now the Top 5 a.k.a things-i-really-really-want-to-put-on-my-walls a.k.a prove-that-bigger-is-not-always-better are:
05. AMERICAN SNIPPER by The Refinery
At the very first look i really like the creamy low saturated look of the posters for this film, it looked subtle and beautifully melancholic. I really prefer the one on the left just a tad more because it seemed like a photographed that captured a reunion between a soldier and his beloved in the mid-ground of the frame. The image got even stronger with the tattered flag, blown by the wind at the background. It delivers a patriotism message. The one on the left though is just as beautiful though a little on the nose with that flag in the foreground. But both definitely a strong poster that speaks out without being too loud. Refinery always delivers refined, and subtle posters like this.
04. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL by Annie Atkins
Like Frank, Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel uses it’s key iconic items as the main feature of its posters, and what else could they do but use that gorgeous pink and lilac Grand Budapest Hotel façade itself? I do want this on my wall, preferably after photoshopping those credit title out of it first though.
03. GONE GIRL by Kellerhouse Inc.
Brilliant. I’d expect nothing less from another collaboration between Kellerhouse and Fincher (their third feature film after The Social Network (2010) and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011). Kellerhouse uses simple type like he did with Social Network, and chooses to put the tagline as the main feature of the poster by subtly adding newsfeed at the bottom of the posters (muchlike the FB bar on Social Network). The result is attention grabbing image on the teaser poster. On the theatrical release poster he chooses a similar approach although it features the signature ‘Gone Girl’ main title, with our Ben Affleck distorted much like what tv noise would do, with the same newsfeed running on the bottom. Sheer genius.
02. BIRDMAN by BLT Communications
Birdman had a series of Mondo-style poster, along with some cartoon-esque city scape series that people seemed to love. But my favorite goes to this one that is like a still of the movie scene, in grainy black and hite, with a simple, minimalistic type in black, white, and the only splash of color is red for the main title. I never really notice it until i really pay attention to it how cheeky this poster really is, with the billboards showing the other characters as well as crediting Iñárritu. Just like the movie, this is one of the year’s best poster for me.
01. Under The Skin by Kellerhouse Inc.
Glazer’s Under The Skin is known for a lot of people for two reasons. The first is because ScarJo is apparently naked in this one, the second is because it was this year’s most mind-blowing film. Otherworldly and ethereal, an exploration of character with a subtle sci-fi elements. Kellerhouse uses a beautiful headshot of ScarJo, bathe it in blue and red lights, with a scatter of light dots that represents the stars and night skies. It communicates everything this movie is about: alluring beauty, thrilling mystery, the depth of the unknown. Simply a breathtaking poster.
Now tell me, what’s your favorite of 2014? :D
A part of KaramelKinema 2014 Retrospective