Film Posters as Book Covers

I’ve recently realised that I seem to find a lot more film posters nowadays than I did before. Young creators are treating film posters like book covers, re-inventing them in their own styles. When I look up the “Pulp Fiction” poster, I now get not only the original commercial poster but also tens of re-interpretations.

If posters are to films what covers are to books, and knowing that many films are inspired by novels, I thought it would be worth it to do a brief research and analysis of some film posters, much like what I’ve done with book covers in previous blog posts.

In a way, I thought these film posters captured the narratives even better than most book covers I’ve seen. In the eight examples above only, some posters depict scenes (e.g. Donnie Darko; La La Land), others depict references (e.g. The Grand Budapest Hotel; The Help; Inglorious Basterds), and others even depict feelings (e.g. Pulp Fiction; Black Swan).

The Black Swan poster, for instance, is quite successful. It does communicate a feeling that is very present within the film and the overall style of the poster seems to relate to the noir side of the narrative.

The poster for the film The Help is one that left me undecisive. Although it plays very successfuly on a key reference from the narrative, the overall style of the poster (the use of icons and colours) doesn’t fit at all with the style of the film.

Finally, even though I quite like the poster for Donnie Darko, I feel it doesn’t tell me much about what kind of narrative it is. The scene depicted is an interesting one but not really significant, and the colour scheme doesn’t relate much with the overall feeling of the film (it should be, in my opinion, black, white and red). Update: I’ve changed my mind. I’ve rewatched the film and I now think the colour scheme actually fits quite well.


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