Adam White curates a collection of posters so beautiful and provocative, they practically become art.
Artist: Art Sims
In 1991, Jungle Fever’s exploration of an affair between a high-powered black architect and his white co-worker was beguiling in its controversy, its poster almost deceptively romantic and sensual. Until you notice the woman’s blood-red nails and the scratchy, erratic lettering chosen for the film’s title, hinting at a sexy, underlying kinkiness that is characteristically Spike Lee.
Artist: Reynold Brown
The ultimate B-movie poster, both kitsch and outrageous, with meticulous attention to detail (check out the men about to jump off the bridge). Its unusual, winning blend of ‘I am woman, hear me roar’ empowerment and exploitative ‘wink-wink, nudge-nudge’ tackiness makes it a pop culture staple to this day.
Artist: Roger Kastel
Instantly recognisable, endlessly parodied; artwork that practically re-invented the movie poster form. There are certainly elements here familiar to B-movie posters of the past, but enhanced with a clean, sophisticated polish. Notice the relaxed placidity of the girl in unknown peril and the bubbles of the fast-moving shark right beneath her. Terrifying.
Artist: Waldemar Swierzy
Bored by floating heads and stock photography in your film posters? Look no further than Poland’s stunning art scene, which has been delivering movie posters of abstract, surreal, and sometimes completely baffling visual oddness for decades. Waldemar Swierzy’s Sunset Boulevard artwork is eerie, camp and mesmerising… just like the film itself.
Artist: Saul Bass
Saul Bass was arguably the godfather of poster art, responsible for some of the most iconic, influential images and main title sequences in cinematic history. His ghoulish artwork for The Shining is classic Bass: the condensing of a film down to a single, striking image, working primarily in bold primary colours, typography impactful and immaculately designed.
Artist: Raquel Riera
And it comes full circle, with superimposed folds and a grubby, worn aesthetic that brings to mind forgotten exploitation pictures of yesteryear. This is an alluring, heated visual, the film’s title placed exactly where you shouldn’t be looking, an image that is dirty, dangerous and nakedly degrading… until you notice the twisty tagline (“Assume the position”) that asks who’s really in control.