Monday, March 28, 2016

Alternative Movie Posters II: More Film Art from the Underground

Reminiscing about the seemingly long lost art of movie posters is common among film lovers, and certainly a topic of discussion on this blog in the form of VHS/home video art. Over the years, the beautiful artistry of hand painted posters made way for a mixture of uninspired floating heads and photoshopped designs that look like they were thrown together 10 minutes before hitting the press.

Who’s to blame for the lack of creativity and artistry in modern film posters? Well, I’d say it’s a mixture of marketing departments and studio heads, though a portion of the blame can certainly be placed on the general public, as it is they who are the targeted demographic. Studios are selling what people respond to as well as what they think people will respond to. Keep it simple, keep it safe, and the people will come.

While it’s common to call the art form long lost (I already did in the first paragraph), the art form has started to make a mainstream comeback, which I think can be attributed to both the numerous artists of the world and the film lovers who actually appreciate their work. This is best illustrated in Matthew Chojnacki’s new book, Alternative Movie Posters II: More Film Art from the Underground.

A sequel to Chojnacki’s 2013 book, Alternative Movie Posters: Film Art from the Underground, Alternative Movie Posters II features poster art from nearly 100 artists, and covers all genres and films ranging from the fringe to big budget blockbusters. The book showcases two posters for each featured artist, as well as a few paragraphs dedicated to what went into the posters, the artist's influences, favorite film/genre, and so on and so forth. Needless to say, Alternative Movie Posters II is more than a book of gorgeous, film inspired artwork, it’s a gorgeous, film inspired book of art that allows the reader to get to know the artists behind the work as well as opens a window and shines a light on what inspires them.

While flipping through the book for this review, I had begun to take notes on some of my favorite artists, a list that would quickly grow. At one point, I realized the list would be too long, which is a testament to just how many fantastic artists and posters are featured in this 208 page book. And to be fair, while I certainly had my favorites, every featured poster is spectacular in one way or the other.

To enjoy Alternate Movie Posters II, one does not need to be a film fan (though, it certainly helps), as anyone who enjoys and appreciates art will surely love this book. The diversity on display and creativity that flows throughout is sure to win over anyone who is even remotely interested in such a subject, and Matthew Chojnacki should be commended for the work he put into curating such a wonderful book of poster art, not just once, but twice.


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