Saturday, 5 October 2013

Things A "Movie Lover" Collects: Posters

It’s kind of strange that it wasn’t until I was 17 that movie posters became a huge deal. To be honest, up until that point my room was a barren space populated by a desk, bed, wardrobe and bookshelves. My walls had a number of music and swimming certificates and the odd poster of Keeley Hazell. Frankly the idea of “collecting” hadn’t escaped rocks or random trinkets, meanwhile my general notion of film and cinema was rather woeful. However over the last 5 years, especially and strangely during my time at university, I’ve accrued a wide number of different screen-prints, movie posters, comic-art and bus shelter ads. 

My first official film poster was this: 

My Neighbour Totoro remains an all-time favourite film. But instead of simply acquiring a crappy copy of the original movie poster, I decided to look on eBay, another recent craze of mine. While not an original piece of art (I wish), the poster depicts the original designs of the characters (as found in the Art Book). I don’t believe I’ve actually seen one like this anywhere, so I’m guessing it’s pretty rare. Even though Mei’s name is spelt wrong, it’s still an amazing piece that captures the unique creativity and charm of Miyazaki’s work. I have a similar styled poster for Laputa: Castle in the Sky. 

My second year of University saw my craze with covering walls step up a notch. This time it was screen-prints. With the release of Scott Pilgrim I sank into an embarrassing obsession with the comic and the film, to the point that I start to dress like him; the Parka, Adidas Superstars II, and the Smashing Pumpkins’ T-shirt. In hindsight, Scott Pilgrim kickstarted my voyage into comic books and its associated culture. The result was me managing to scoop up a limited edition print from the highly talented artist Kevin Tong (check his work out). Limited to 600, I absolutely love this print and was quite fortunate in acquiring it. 

Those familiar with film merchandise or film posters will have undoubtably heard of Mondo. Based in Austin, Texas, Mondo has become the epitome of film art and more importantly continues to showcase the revival of film posters being celebrated as a genre of art. Artists like Ken Taylor, Olly Moss and Tyler Stout have introduced their incredible designs, composition and artistic skills to create fascinating and highly sought after pieces that take influence from great artists such as Reynold Brown and Drew Struzan. The sheer success and popularity of Mondo has led to an epic rush at the sight of a new poster. Initially costing customers $40, prints sellout in a matter of seconds. The downside of these ‘limited’ runs is that scumbags start selling them on afterward at extreme prices on eBay. I’ve managed to acquire two; Olly Moss’s Black Widow and Kevin Tong/ Bryan O’Malley’s Battle Royale. Both illustrate different approaches to film posters and the varied nature of the art. I should brag that these are currently worth 6 times their original price tag. A bit of an investment me thinks. 

Recently I collected a number of “Bus Shelter” ads. My male tendencies are at the heart of this. None are particularly based on films, but rather actresses I have a crush on; Scarlett Johansson, Charlize Theron and Jennifer Lawrence. Not much to say, but there’s something quite satisfying (or weird) in having a 160cm tall Scarlett Johansson on your wall.  

So there’s a quick run-through of my obsession with film posters. I have a number of other pieces of memorabilia that I’ll be showcasing/ showing off in the next coming weeks. Apologies for the constantly changing nature of my articles.

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