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General Film Poster Analysisby Tom Chamberlain
127 Hours – Biographical SurvivalFrom the onset, I particularly like the contrasting skygradient, as the lower portion of ...
The Rite – Supernatural HorrorAt first glance, the film poster uses the shape of a cross tosymbolize that there may be ele...
Identity – Psychological MysteryA minimalistic and interesting film poster that contains stronghidden messages interlinkin...
Flight - DramaThe films texts lead protagonist is framed in the centre of thefilm poster, represented as a flight officer,...
Project X – Teen ComedyThe film poster creatively frames a teen male laying on theground amongst empty drink cups and smal...
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Film Poster’s Analysis - Mixed Genre

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Film Poster’s Analysis - Mixed Genre

  1. 1. General Film Poster Analysisby Tom Chamberlain
  2. 2. 127 Hours – Biographical SurvivalFrom the onset, I particularly like the contrasting skygradient, as the lower portion of the image appears very darkand negative, while the upper third of the poster is positivewith a vibrant blue and cloudless sky. I think this imagereflects the narrative of ‘127 Hours’, as being trapped betweena rock underground is like hell, while being on the surfacegenerates a sense of freedom.Furthermore, if we look at the technical construction of thefilm poster in more detail, I have identified that the rocks andthe sky create an vase-versus-faces optical illusion of an‘hourglass’ to suggest time is an important element in the film.This links to my previous analysis of the sky, as the character isslowly dying as he runs out of time.A character appears to be pushing against two unmovablerocks, showing both his mental and physical struggle In tryingto remain sane. I think the unique selling point of the film textis the narrative, as the poster graphics highlight that it is ‘atriumphant true story’ and from the same acclaimed directorof ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. This convention has been used toentice an audience, as many viewers choose to see films madeby a particular director, producer or cinematographer; inaddition the use of ‘James Franco’s ‘ name above the film titlehas been used to create the same effect.
  3. 3. The Rite – Supernatural HorrorAt first glance, the film poster uses the shape of a cross tosymbolize that there may be elements of Christianity andreligion is the film text. The male framed in the middle of theposter makes the viewer feel intimidated and apprehensive, asthe stern facial expression showing the characters metallicblue eyes makes the male seem very demonic.I like the contrasting of colours between the protagonists greygaze, generating a cold and disconnected feeling, while the thedegrading cross allows the audience to establish that the filmtext may be from the horror genre.The close-up shot and full face lighting on the male lookingdirectly into the lens, makes staring at the film poster slightlyunnerving, as you feel like the character is looking through youand not at you. The darkness behind the characters face alsocreates a sense of mystery, as the lighting combined with thegraphic of the cross suggests that protagonist istrapped, relating to the narrative as he specialises inexorcisms, thus the process of expulsion of evil spirits.Custom Serif typography has been used for the filmtitle, turning the lettering into gothic style text, as thedifferent serifs and flourishing make the text seem medieval.
  4. 4. Identity – Psychological MysteryA minimalistic and interesting film poster that contains stronghidden messages interlinking directly to the narrative andscript. The poster uses the idea of a single person havingnumerous identities, as the fingerprints have been replacedwith different people. From this visual message, the audiencecan establish the film may be from the psychological thriller ordrama genre; as this is a cultural code by using audiencesknowledge about mental illness; specifically multiplepersonality disorder and schizophrenia.The Bottom of the handprint graphic has a splash of the colourred, connoting violence and bloodshed, indicating to theviewer that there may also be elements of murder and horrorthroughout the film text.I think both taglines are used to create a sense of mystery, andthus the audience becomes intrigued to watch the movingimage; as the word ‘secret’ denotes that hidden informationwill be revealed in the film text.I feel this film poster works exceptionally well to capture theaudiences attention, as the unique image forces the viewer tospend a long period of time analysing the differentcomponents that make up it’s design. In addition I personallylike the construction of the film poster, as it combines bothphotographs and graphics effectively.
  5. 5. Flight - DramaThe films texts lead protagonist is framed in the centre of thefilm poster, represented as a flight officer, as the style of hisjacket and badges on his hat are ideological of this profession.I feel this image challenges viewers stereotype of blackmales, as the character must be well educated to of achievedhis aviator status.As the character is not looking directly at the audience, itsuggests he may be hiding something or lying, as the fixedseriousness of his expression makes him appear highlyattentive. The rain in the mise-en-scene may link to thenarrative, as weather is a major external factor involved inpiloting an aircraft. The rain also connotes sadness andnostalgia, possible emotions that the character may be feeling.As the actors name is placed across the top of the filmposter, it is a clear indicator that this is the unique selling pointof the marketing product. There are no other significantconventions that can be analysed, as the design is very simplewith basic sans serif font used for the film title, productioncrew and release date. In collusion, I do not like that thedesigner has solely used ‘Denzel Washington’ to promote thefilm text, as I feel this is an ineffective to communicate toaudience that have no foreknowledge about the quality of hisacting, thus ability to entertain.
  6. 6. Project X – Teen ComedyThe film poster creatively frames a teen male laying on theground amongst empty drink cups and small bluepills, representing youth culture as being unlawful as drugsare illegal and irresponsible, as underage drinking also dilutesinhibitions. The teen is also wearing casual clothing andbaseball shoes to suggest he is only of a young age, used tocapture the teen markets attention; as audiences can relate tothe hung over situation the character finds himself in.The messages are mostly visual and not verbal, as the filmposter has few conventions to communicate to an audience.On the other hand, the design does makes use of audienceforeknowledge by using intertextuality to link directly to aprevious box office sensation ‘The Hangover’. The name of thefilm text and the tagline of ‘witness it’ makes the viewer feellike the film is an unmissable event, and thus the viewer ispersuaded to watch something that will be unforgettable.As the title is coloured white, it connotes purity andvirginity, possibly relating to the characters in the narrative. Atthe same time, it also suggests a sense of innocence as themale may not have taken drugs or been intoxicated before theevents in the film text took place; helped by the technicalconstruction of a high camera angle making the character lookvery vulnerable.

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