Friday, February 13, 2009

Lost In (Visual) Translation

hey everyone

well, i found a rather interesting and quality article on the interwebnet about odd film posters from around the world. i've decided to pilfer some of the images to post here and, for good measure, include the better know USA / UK posters for the same films. there are some odd ones, happy looking!

first up is Star Wars. this has to be as an iconic poster as you could wish to find, and everyone remembers it well.

the Russians, however, appeared none too happy with this poster to promote the film (was it even shown in the USSR?) and thus came up with some of their own for it. the first one is rather curious - behold, if you will, "Darth Lion" with some sort of pretty birthday lights in his head....

i would hope that the plan for this was some sort of avant garde, post-modernist combination of Darth Vader and Chewbacca, but i doubt it was as intelligent as that.

Russia understanding Star Wars seems to be a bit of a problem going on this next one. now, a wise and dear friend once described science-fiction films as being "westerns in space". someone in Russia clearly saw this whole Star Wars business as being a western with some sort of abstract technology used to make cowboys and horses.

Okay, moving right along, who doesn't know and love the Ghostbusters poster? easily one of the strongest images to remain in memory for those of us who were there in the 80's, and a brilliant form of simplistic yet effective imagery.

those who spent the 80's in what is now the Czech Republic, however, were not quite so lucky in what they got to represent this fine film....

what the artist actually intended with the poster above is a bit of a mystery, really. even if you were polite enough to see it as some sort of "absract Picasso tribute work", well, what exactly is it an abstract of in relation to the film?

now then, Chinatown is on the list of most serious film fanatics' top 10 or 20 films of all time, and certainly the elegant, film noir inspired poster for it is one of the all time great movie posters.

there are many memorable moments in the film. for the Polish artist commissioned to create a poster for the release of the film in, well, Poland i guess, it seems that the whole film revolved around the bit where Jack Nicholson gets his nose cut by Roman Polanski....

now this could have been much worse. if the artist had taken a shine to the dark, devastating twist ending to the film, well, you really don't want to wonder what the poster would have been! i do like the "film Amerykanski" at the top of the poster, though, that's ace that is!

since we are in the world of Jack Nicholson, how about One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest? this is not an easy film to promote by any means, but the image of Jack on the poster does a fair enough job.

the distributors of the film in Turkey hit upon a novel approach to the difficult task of promoting this film, it has to be said. going on the poster, it seems that they decided to just splice the film with The Shining and take it as a given that no one would notice the curious plot discrepancies in the cut...

Shelley Duvall cropping up on the poster is a rather odd decision, is it not? oh well, perhaps the poster for The Shining in Turkey features Louise Fletcher dispensing medicine! meanwhile, as for in the other corner, well, what's going on there? for those of us who have seen this fine film i suppose the interpretation could be the memorable scene of Chief at the end of the film, but then again he did that alone. it looks like in Turkey the film One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest either ended with or at least features some sort of wild zombie assault!

ladies and gentlemen, i give you Bullitt...

what a poster - Steve McQueen at his coolest, with the only flaw in the design and appearance of the poster being the lack of the car.

i don't think anyone in Germany actually saw Bullitt before creating a poster for this magnificent film. have a look at it, but i really do not want to say anything at all about it....

finally, Ridley Scott's masterpiece of suspense cinema, Alien we all remember this dark, brooding poster for the film...

but this poster was not good enough for cinemagoers in Poland. oh no, instead they got a rather curious looking thing which, at the least, does not reveal the look of the alien!

if you think the above one is strange, have a look at how our friends the Czechs got this film promoted to them!

i confess, i have no idea at all what's going on in the above poster - if anything is indeed going on in it! well honestly, if you went to go and buy a ticket for a film on the basis of that poster, just what sort of film would you be expecting to see?

well, i hope you have found these as entertaining as i have!!! i think, overall, whereas Hollywood doesn't always get the films right, i think we can say that they at least do the posters better!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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