René Ferracci (1927-1982) was like the Ferrari (or Gucci, if you prefer handbags) of French movie poster artists back in the late 1960s — because at the time, nobody had seen anything like him! Similar to Sergei Eisenstein who invented montage on film with The Battleship Potemkin, Ferracci was one of the early pioneers to introduce photo-montage/collage designs into his posters, mixing color illustrations with black-and-white photography (or vice versa) and offset printing.
And it worked out very well for him as Ferracci became a brand name in the movie poster world — as well as a marketing expert in branding — by being one of the first artists to stamp (not sign) his name on each of his posters.
Like Hitchcock, Jacques Tati wasn’t afraid to insert himself into his movies as his Monsieur Hulot character/profile was finely cultivated and featured prominently in many of these alternative versions of posters from various countries.
Here’s a more detailed poster comparison for Trafic (of course, not to be confused with Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic).
Jacques Tati, the French filmmaker known for his playful, experimental films of sound and color, was one of the first directors to make Modernism funny. Although his movies aren’t exactly a barrel of laughs, the wit and style is abundantly clear (even if I did fall asleep in college during a screening of Playtime). The fact that he is often mentioned as one of the greatest directors of all-time even though he only made six feature films is a legacy in itself.
But I’m sure this masterful minimalist would’ve been bored to tears with all the fawning and retrospectives, so let’s not talk and just sit back and enjoy the ride…