Book Review: Alternate Movie Posters – Author Matthew Chojnacki

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As an avid movie fan myself, it sure puts a smile on my face when I hear of news book releases that pay homage to the artistry of the craft. I have spent many the years dealing with marketers who have grown accustomed to quick turnaround photoshop poster designs, so much… that the art of the craft itself has become almost extinct.

Though for every “upper quadrant floating heads” poster or movie monster production shot DVD cover there still exists artisans who really believe in the craft of movie poster art.

It is on that note that I introduce the latest read that we have the pleasure of reviewing. Titled: “Alternate Movie Posters” by Matthew Chojnacki, this hard cover volume is indeed one man’s quest to showcase much of the artistry that has in many cases become almost non existent from public showcasing. But as it’s eloquently introduced it does encompass the one thing that is often forgotten in movie art, the spirit.

Author Matthew Chojnacki has spent over a year (sorting thru some 10,000 images) seeking out some of the best art designs in the country that taken on the spirit of illustration, craft, paint, ink and various mediums that properly introduce the experience movie makers are about to embark on.

So much, that in many cases, the posters themselves are probably more worthy than the actual film productions they represent. However, as you’ll find from the various interpretations and illustrations presented here, there are iconic moments that really define a film that many may not immediately make the connection to. It was in viewing these that it was clear that a single image can really capture the heart of film, so much… that afterwards it only makes sense as a mainstay piece of art.

The posters are beautifully captured in this all color high quality book. Each contains some liner notes from the artists them selves detailing influence, name, studios, thoughts behind the posters, preferred mediums and quick thoughts about the pieces. you’ll find an overlap of influences that prove that our mentors of yesterday are not forgotten. Add to that their comments on first films and favorite genre notes.

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If anything, it should serve as a reference hiring-book for new filmmakers who also want a certain eloquence to their visual presentation. Certainly there wasn’t room to include every piece ever created, but none-the-less there are plenty here that stands as a great representation of this genre art style. The torn jacket in “An America Werewolf in London”, the gopher holes of “Caddyshack”, the twinkie of “Zombieland”, or the head trip of “Fight Club”, all just sample of what creative minds can put to paper.

But it doesn’t stop there as each presents its own style and use of typography , manipulation, minimalist, to complex ink drawings, retro, modern, 2 color, 1 color…. all the way to highly detailed illustrative work featuring impactful images from the films.

The variety here is amazing reminding us of our design influences and inspirations from an era that used to hold its poster designs in high demand and respect. It would be hard pressed for me to name favorites as there are so many that provide a richness far removed from the films themselves.

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It goes without saying that this will make for a great coffee table book or lobby prop, but for those who love cinema, you’ll surely want to pick up a copy and tell your friends. Matthew Chojnacki has done the work for you, so seek one out and make it part of your love for all things movie.

Book Review: Alternate Movie Posters – Author Matthew Chojnacki

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