Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Judging movie posters as ads

Back in 2001, Premiere Magazine ran their choices for "The 50 Greatest Movie Posters Of All Time."  As you might expect, much praise was heaped upon the one-sheets of Saul Bass (including the one above), for their graphic simplicity and bold, abstract imagery.  For my money, though, while his posters were aestethically pleasing, as come-ons for the movies they were advertising, they're a little...sterile.  You can appreciate it more as art than as as something that's going to make someone want to plunk down their cash for a ticket.  For a poster that's both graphic and intriguing, take a look at this one for "Rosemary's Baby."

It's as minimalist (in its own way) as a Saul Bass poster, but the silhouetted baby carriage, with its dual suggestions of innocence and mystery, backed by the ethereal image of a vulnerable Mia Farrow -- is she mid-conception or giving birth? -- makes for an eerie, disconcerting and hard-to-resist advertisement.

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