It seems film companies are keeping track of poster trends, as the imagery for “Buried” evokes Hitchcock at his retro best. The new poster skips in on the heels of the minimalist poster trend that has seen graphic artists paying homage to cult favorites with reimaginings of their own.
Remember the poster advertisement for “Vertigo?” Graphic designer Saul Bass showed exactly what the film title intended: a sense of dizziness, and that was about it. The jagged font implies erratic behavior – which is representative of how Jimmy Stewart acts in the movie. The minimalist approach Bass took with this poster works, I think, since the eyes are drawn to the center of the downward spiral, creating a sense of, yes, vertigo. Any more details would have distracted the viewer from that feeling.
The poster for the upcoming “Buried” seems inspired by the one for “Vertigo,” the folks at FEARnet point out. Can you blame them? You have the same dizzying inward spiral that ends with a sprawled-out man. The boxy spiral feels less like a freefall and more like a trap, which makes sense, since “Buried” stars Ryan Reynolds as a man who’s been buried alive and doesn’t know how he got there or how to escape. The man does look boxed in, and the minimalist, black-and-white approach to the poster evokes a stark solitariness.
I first caught on to the minimalist movie-poster trend when designer Justin Van Genderen took a simple approach to the various worlds that make up the “Star Wars” series. Anyone familiar with “Star Wars” – so, pretty much anyone with a pulse in the 1970s and ’80s – will recognize Cloud City and will nod their heads at the dual moons of Tatooine. I appreciate Van Genderen’s take on fan-made art because it’s different from simply copying the movie poster and precisely drawing Yoda’s features. Rather, the artist has used simple, sans serif fonts and earth tones to create what looks like a series of vintage travel posters. In other words, these are movie posters I could hang in my home and appear more sophisticated and less fangirl.
Not long after I came across Van Genderen’s designs, I found designer Ibraheem Youssef’s minimalist take on Quentin Tarantino’s movies. These are different from Van Genderen’s in that they use a symbol from each film – it helps to have actually seen the movies to understand the posters. But at the same time, the minimalism could serve as an advertisement for the films – do the images of a samurai sword and a baseball bat pique the interest of a weapons fanatic to view “Pulp Fiction” for his or her first time?