A Polish Obsession

13 Apr

So I’m walking down the street in Paris… It’s pretentious day at On Food And Film… so I’m walking down the street in Paris and I see a movie poster shop. I’ve been obsessed with movie posters my entire life and always have some hanging on my walls. I did when I was 10, I still have them all over my house. For me it is less whether I like the movie or not but the art of the poster. There are some incredible artists that have done wonderful work over the years. Anyway, I love them.

So I walk in this shop and on the far wall, huge, 3 or 4 times the size of a regular poster, is this:

 At first I wasn’t even sure at what I was looking. It was so weird and strange and compelling and darkly beautiful. I went to the man who owned the shop and asked him about it. He told me it was the polish movie poster to ‘The Godfather”, which as some of you know is my favorite movie. I still didn’t understand quite where this came from… “polish Movie Poster”?  He told me that in Poland, over the years movie posters have become a great art form. He showed me a few more he had, and I was blown away. Thus began an obsession with the strange, wonderful world of movie posters from Poland.

Today, then, a more visual post. I wanted to share some of these posters with you. They are so creative, so cool. Some you can tell right off what the movie is, some it takes a while. How the artists often integrate the themes or plots into the images is so intelligent, so clever.

If you click on the images, you should be able to see them much larger. And if you fall in love with them the way I have, just google “Polish Movie Posters” and you will find many sites devoted to them, both the images and stores that sell them. I can lose hours looking through these images. But on to some of my favorites:

If you know “Cabaret”, you can see how clever this is, integrating the dancing, the swastika, the overall feel of decadence. It also has a very Bob Fosse feel. And then there’s the way the mouth is positioned to mimic… well, moving on…

I love how this captures the boxing element of “Rocky” but has the emphases on the love story, which in many ways is what makes “Rocky” so moving.

“Jaws” is up next.. and even better is “Jaws 2”:

These artists seem to share my obsession with “Rosemary’s Baby”.. there are lots of choices, here are a few:

And my favorite of these:

“Fatal Attraction” has a similar look, very clever:

And a few of the most popular movies of all time:

Since so many people asked, the snakes and skulls one is ‘Raiders of The Lost Ark’… brilliant! And, yes, the “Star Wars” one is phenomenal. I remain angry with George Lucas, though.

Finally, the movie we’ll dive into next week. I meant to post on this earlier, but a few people asked for time to screen the movie. If you are interested, netflix etc “Klute”. It is one of my favorite movies of all time, and the director, Alan J. Pakula, has had a huge influence on me. We’ll toss around “Klute” and Pakula next week:

Have an excellent week… and let me know what you think of these! Or let us know if you find others you like. (Look for “The Shining”, for instance.  It is pretty cool as well.)

14 Responses to “A Polish Obsession”

  1. Bob Badway April 13, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    Wow, these are surreal! Those ROSEMARY BABY posters are spot on. KLUTE looks like a magazine cover.

    • onfoodandfilm April 13, 2012 at 10:22 am #

      Glad you like! I think they are so cool. If I’d had 500 bucks, that huge Godfather poster would be hanging in my house right now!

  2. Mycie April 13, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    Love these! The Rocky and Fatal Attraction posters are very clever, as is the Lord of The Rings. The first Rosemary’s Baby and Jaws are actually pretty, and Casablanca is so stylish. However the last Rosemary’s Baby is too much of a spoiler. Polish movie posters, who knew?!

    • onfoodandfilm April 13, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

      Glad you like! Quite a few of the ones I’ve seen have big spoilers. I guess they didn’t much care. Do the google search and check out one of the stores, they are so cool!

  3. Andrew Schultz April 13, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

    Excellent blog! Have you been to the super awesome poster shop on Melrose? The owner there explained to me the anti-Hollywood politics that originally fueled the design of “Polish posters” back in the 60s, which have since become works of art unto themselves. Interesting stuff!!

    • onfoodandfilm April 15, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

      I will have to visit this place.. sans wallet! I am curious what all he had to say! Thanks for the info!

  4. Mel April 21, 2012 at 6:33 am #

    I enjoyed this piece, as it introduced me to a form of art that I had never read about before, but will now pay attention to. “Rosemary’s Baby” is one of the scariest books I’ve ever read, and the movie still gives me the creeps. Spoilers, or not, Polish Movie Posters rock! Hope you get the “Godfather” poster one day.

    • onfoodandfilm April 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

      So glad you enjoyed them! And agreed on book and movie of ‘Rosemary’… I always say it’s the best directed movie I think I have ever seen.

  5. Joel Cheek May 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    Cool post! I’m sure I never would have known otherwise.

    • onfoodandfilm May 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

      Thanks, Joel! Glad you enjoyed! They were new to me as well until about 2 years ago.

  6. G January 17, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    The Casablanca poster is my new desktop wallpaper. Fantastic post.

    • onfoodandfilm.com January 17, 2014 at 11:35 am #

      Hey ! I thought you would enjoy them. They are all so incredible. And, yes, I love that one.


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