Movie Posters and Post-Modernism

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MOVIE POSTERS AND POST MODERNISM

The post modern movement took place between 1978 and the current day

Movie posters of the 1970’s mostly continued in the style of the 1960s. Posters were simple with illustrated images, full length shots of the main actors (in an action film it would be images of the main actors escaping a dangerous situation), a title and a short tag line. The major change in movies between the 1970’s and the 1960’s was the introduction of black films into traditionally white cinema.

The Big Sleep: 1978 poster by Richard Amsel.
The Big Sleep: 1978 poster by Richard Amsel.
Although illustrated posters were dominant, by the late 70’s they had become less common. Images and stills from the film were being used on the posters instead.

Conan the Barbarian: 1982 poster by Frank Franzetta.
Conan the Barbarian: 1982 poster by Frank Franzetta.
The film stills did look more modern, but some of the defining artists such as Richard Amsel, Bob Peak, Frank Frazetta and Drew Struzan continued to paint and airbrush film posters.

Due to this airbrushing and painting of the posters, the skintones were often very warm and orange and were never perfect. On the airbrushed posters, textures were always very smooth and lighting was often very dramatic.

In the late 1970’s posters began to be printed on clay-coated paper, which gave a glossy, high-class feel. The printers previously had only been able to print on the classic ultra-matte poster paper. The clay coating gave the posters much more sleek look and more durability. Therefore they have lasted a longer time than many older posters and have even survived long enough to become collection pieces.

The popularity of films in the 70’s such as Star Wars and Star Trek brought movie posters into the limelight and a certain number of enthusiasts began collecting the old posters.

In the modern day, almost every poster made is either photographic, still from the movie or a digitally designed...
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