Monday, 5 April 2010

The Polish poster revival

Above: poster by Jerzy Flisak for Anne of the Thousand Days.

BAFTA have an exhibition of Polish and British posters for British films at their headquarters in London. There's a book to accompany the show, available here.

From an article by Michael Brooke in this month's Sight & Sound:

"By displaying Polish and British posters side by side, the new book and exhibition make a particularly strong case for the Polish approach, at least artistically. It's not that the British posters are invariably inferior (there are some excellent examples), but it's impossible to ignore the fact that most of them are hamstrung by clear commercial imperatives, often combined with contractual stipulations regarding source images, type sizes, credit positioning and critical eulogies. As British posters for British films were aimed at typically conservative British audiences, they also had to meet cultural expectations, especially if there was a familiar literary or historical source."


Recent purchase: Western Amerykański: Polish Poster Art and the Western. Below: poster by Jan Mlodozeniec for The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean.

There's a worthwhile documentary on Polish Posters, Freedom on the Fence, which you can order or dowload here. It's pessimistic about the future prospects of the tradition, although the current ubiquity of the Homework duo suggests there may be some hope for it.

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