Thursday, December 25, 2008

Polish Movie Posters

Polish movie posters first came to my attention through a series of novelty articles at CHUD. Therein, the editors would take a picture from a Google image search and assign it a movie title, in an attempt to compete with the seeming randomness found in the Polish works. Through excellent reference pages such as this and this, I came to understand that the iconic poster art associated with the Socialist movement bled into their state-sponsored film industry. As noted on Mekatharra, "Polish posters for American films exhibit that rare trait of having absolutely no interest in marketing a film in a conventional way. In other words, a Polish film poster is first and foremost an abstract piece of artwork. This can be both fascinating and sometimes a bit disturbing at the same time." Thanks to Socialism, there were few if any commercial considerations regarding film, providing artists with another avenue of expression, as opposed to our inclination to sell an audience with the same devices to turn a safe profit.

The golden years apparently began in the mid-'50s, through the beginning of a slow, steady decline in the '60s. The movement was effectively dead by 1989, thanks to the fall of the Soviet Union. A Pole who lived during this era noted in a blog, "The posters often revealed the designer's lack of knowledge of cultural movie context which was kind of funny. But a lot of these were based on clever ideas shortly and precisely describing a movie that'd give a poster a life of it's own."

Here is a collection of some favorites I've found while visiting sites like Retrocrush, Polish Poster Gallery, The Art of Poster, Polish Poster Shop and Cinema Poster. At times you can make a game out of trying to determine in what way the images relate to their associated movie, but each is worth a gander for art's sake. I also recommend taking a look at the above links, to see how some of your favorite films came out Polished.

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