Posted on Tuesday, February 8th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
How do you sell a strange, very art-oriented movie that primarily appeals to a small, if dedicated audience? A great poster doesn’t hurt.
Back in the ’90s it seemed like Chris Ware was everywhere. As his comic The Acme Novelty Library gained huge, unexpected popularity, you could see Chris Ware work all over the place. He did book jackets, magazine work and posters. (His 1997 Chicago Underground Film Festival poster gets comments from everyone who enters my home.) He hasn’t been as ubiquitous in the past decade as he seemed to be in the ’90s, but he still does great work. I think the last one-sheet Mr. Ware produced was a few years back, for Savages. But now he’s done a really wonderful image for last year’s Palme d’Or winner, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. (aka Joe.)
Vulture has the poster, and Chris Ware told the site,
I wanted to get at both the transcendent solemnity of the film while keeping some sense of its loose, very unpretentious accessibility. This being a poster, however — and even worse, me not really being a designer — I realized it also had to be somewhat punchy and strange, so as to draw viewers in and pique their curiosity without, hopefully, insulting their intelligence.
Last year, the director explained the film like so:
The Northeast [of Thailand, where the film takes place] is arid and dry. It’s the most hard part of our country in terms of agriculture, so the people are pretty poor. They migrate a lot to work in the big cities like Bangkok. We have a very big cultural influence from Laos and Cambodia, so there are a lot of animist beliefs and tales that I grew up with but that I had never really explored before. In this film, I give an impression of the landscape and the tales.
I’m really not sure what the audience will get because normally I don’t like to have a message of my work. I think film is more than that. It should be more open to many different interpretations because we approach it from so many different backgrounds. Especially for this film, which has six reels, each one different in location and style. With me, there’s a lot of talk about life as nonsense. It just goes on. So it is with cinema, too.
Strand Releasing opens the film limited on March 2. Here’s the trailer.