Here’s some savagely beautiful sauvage (means “wild” in French) things from Boris Grinsson (top), Constantin Belinsky (The Wild One and bottom, middle), Roger Soubie (Hud, middle right), and Clement Hurel (bottom right)!
Before J-Lo and Ray-J, there was Rojac — aka Roger Jacquier, an elegant early 20th Century French movie poster designer whose work no doubt must’ve inspired his contemporaries, René Peron and Hervé Morvan.
Clement Hurel (1927-2008) was unquestionably one of the more witty French movie poster designers to decorate the industry. Mimicking Picasso’s range, he transitioned easily from Realism to a looser, humorous Cubist style. He could do silly. He could do sexy. He could do strong. As well any other feeling to express the themes of the inventive film posters he dreamed up.
And he was also an outspoken critic of the movie business when it did not recognize the intellectual copyrights of the artíste and fought to protect artists’ ownership interests right up until his dying day. (via Dominique Besson and Intemporel)
Like his contemporaries, René Ferraci and Jouineau Bourduge, Michel Landi came into prominence in the French movie poster world in the mid-1960s, just as photography and offset printing was supplanting traditional illustration.
Undoubtedly most known for his iconic poster of the 1968 Steve McQueen classic, Bullitt, Landi also pumped out a fleet of other popular designs for many of the era’s most memorable films.
Every once in a while, I like to do a poster breakdown á la Posteritati where we compare and contrast the different U.S. and International versions of a past film release. And this time up it’s Two Weeks In September (1967), starring Brigitte Bardot.
Personally, my favorite is the Argentinean version (lower left) with the UK one-sheet (lower right) a close runner-up — but you gotta admire the fearlessness of the Polish version (top, far right) for going totally abstract like those Polish beauties tend to do!
Though not as well-known as some of his very well-known contemporaries, Jean-Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut, Chabrol thrilled audiences for years with his cerebral-styled thrillers and kept working right up until the end as his last film, Inspector Bellamy, starring Gérard Depardieu is coming out in October.
The French graphic artist, Raymond Savignac (1907-2002), was already well established in the advertising world for his simple, colorful commercial posters when he started doing movie posters. But lucky for him (and us), the famed director, Robert Bresson, took a shine to his work and the rest is one-sheet history!
You can find a more varied selection of his commercial work here.
Guy Gérard Noël was born Guy Carré — but later changed his name to Noël because he was born on Christmas day (and also because I’m sure he felt the moniker gave him a little more caché as an artisté).
Although he is undoubtedly most remembered for his seriously spooky output on the Hammer Horror series of posters distributed by Universal from 1950-1973, I personally have always found his romantic drama pieces much more appealing. But that’s just me. If you really want to know Noël, then you must check out EatBrie’s scary collection or, of course, just buy the book.
After retiring to the French countryside in the late 60′s to illustrate books and record covers, Noël died of a heart attack in 1994 at the age of 82.
Speaking of history, EMoviePoster has another auction of weird, but wonderful non-U.S. oversized posters that ends today. (And yes, that is a gorilla mask that the lady in the bikini is holding in poster #1. No idea what it means!)
The poster work of French artisté, Roger Soubie, is like a beautiful, unattainable woman. Chic. Sophisticated. And expensive! So it’s no wonder that his style translated well for his many vintage travel posters, too. And recently, Le Intemporel Gallerie in Paris came out with a limited edition book celebrating Mr. Soubie that you can peek at here.
Most cinephiles love Alfred Hitchcock — or at least appreciate the consistent output of “The Master of Suspense”. So now I’d like to combine two things we all can admire — Hitchcock and the French posters of his movies, many of which were done by Boris Grinsson (Vertigo, Rope, The Man Who Knew Too Much, To Catch A Thief) and the super glamorous Roger Soubie (Notorious, North By Northwest).
(Disclaimer: Rear Window is actually the Belgian version, but I couldn’t resist!).
Anybody who’s ever tried to buy an original vintage movie poster on eBay can tell you it’s like finding a needle in a haystack because they’re either insanely overpriced or impossible to find unless you’re searching for a specific title, not to mention risky because of a variety of factors — inaccurate descriptions, condition, fakes, reproductions, etc.
But I’ve found an excellent reputable dealer of French movie posters who calls himself Weatherking and I’ll probably regret broadcasting this because that means his affordable prices will most certainly go up — but the WK’s having another one of his monthly eBay auctions from June 15 to June 22, so don’t miss out!
William Faulkner was a Nobel Prize-winning Southern writer who wrote movies purely for the money — and it showed as Hollywood bastardized most of the film adaptations of his literary masterpieces. But at least a few of the French movie poster artists got it right, including Boris Grinsson, who did the artwork on The Sound and The Fury below.