With a title like “Movie Poster”, you might be
expecting some form of comprehensive guide to the world of
movie posters or at least a section of it. My advice to you
would be to keep the expectation low and let the book sweep
you to where it wants to.
The introduction of the book and numerous one-liner comments
that pasted on the cover promise that this book will cover
how selected director, iconic actor and country had their
influence in each respective movie posters that they are involved
in but upon a closer look, each write up mainly focus on their
film history and what were they famous of. Their influences
in the final movie posters or even the path of the movie poster’s
creation were pretty much neglected.
For example, there are 3 paragraphs in the Citizen Kane section
but majority of it was not used to describe or explain the
Citizen Kane movie poster itself. Instead it touches on the
controversy behind the film and what some critics thought
of the film. While watching the Citizen Kane Dvd with Robert
Ebert’s commentary, it was mention that almost every
single frame of Citizen Kane had it’s reasons or cinematic
values and yet in a section dedicated to this classic movie,
the only mention of the movie poster was that “some
of the poster carried the line “Everybody’s talking
about it”, which, although true, turned out to be no
It’s just too short and begs for more information.
While this book isn’t entirely without it’s merits.
The write up on Saul Bass who designed the classic poster
for West Side Story and Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo was
an informative one. It touches on his style which basically
strips away layers of complexity and uses a strong graphic
symbol as the key point to the plot of the movie. A style
that distinct Saul Brass from other movie poster designers.
However there are too few sections on the posters designers
and instead, the focus here were mainly spent on the movie
directors and actors.
In fairness sake, this book does try to cover as much variety
and different category of movie posters but by doing that,
it felt that this book tries to bite off more than it can
chew. It might have something new to offer to folks who are
new to movies or someone who is seeking an introduction to
older classic movies but otherwise it’s pretty much
“It’s often said that movie posters communicate
the essence of film. This is not entirely true. In some cases
poster and film are tied closely together and speak with one
voice, the former summarizing the latter. In others, they
are utterly separate, created by unallied bodies and sending
out related but not identical messages”
Movie Poster felt like it was a “Jack of all trades
but master of none” type of book on movie posters. The
direction of the book felt rather whimsical and does not provide
as much information about movie poster as one hope for. But
then, as a Coffee Table Book, this visually oriented with
just enough information will serve it’s purpose to alleviate
boredom or simply entertain anyone with time to kill.
of Selected Artists: Although not every artist received a
special mention in the book, there's a mini biography page
that briefly touches on the selected group who had left a
memorable mark in the field of movie posters.
by Richard Lim Jr