Monday, August 20, 2007

Polish Poster Pop Quiz

The latest issue of Film Comment magazine carries a brief article by Otto Buj on the postwar school of Polish film-poster design. The golden age of Polish movie-poster design, from the 1950s through the mid-1970s, produced a body of work that was astonishingly rich and varied. Buj says the school was revolutionary in its rejection of state-imposed social realism while at the same time developing an approach to selling cinema that was antithetical to the free-market model. Reconciling the fundamental objectives of advertising with the sophistication and influence of the fine arts, Polish designers produced work that was based in an allegorical tradition that could be traced back to Constructivism, Surrealism, Dada, and Abstract Expressionism. They explored concepts that incorporated the dark and obsessive features of Polish romanticism, extracted from the country's unique experience during World War II, to portray their subjects in a cryptic, conceptual, and highly subjective way.

The article is accompanied by Bronislaw Zelek's poster for Hitchcock's The Birds and Waldemar Swierzy's poster for Schlesinger's Midnight Cowboy. See if you can tell which is which.

No comments: