Movie posters are one of my very favorite art forms – they comprise about 99% of my interior decoration – but my love for them goes beyond aesthetics.
In essence, what I love about them is that they establish a reality for a film outside of itself. They stand as proof that a film was not just made, but was sold, possibly to those who had no knowledge of it or its makers, with the fundamental concept of “Come in. Spend your money. Make this film your evening’s entertainment.” And once upon a time, they exhibited a handcraftsmanship which the current era of Photoshopped portrait-salads too often lacks.
Most fascinating of all to me are the posters for foreign films being given American release. While foreign film has been fairly consistently embraced by the intelligentsia, fairly few films have crossed over to become a true popular success in addition to their critical embrace; only six non-Anglophone films have made more than $25 million at the U.S. box-office, and just 27 have made more than $10 million. The world of foreign film promotion is therefore a rather unique one.
I’ve chosen to highlight 50 separate entries (two of which contain two films) covering a spectrum of foreign cinema as advertised for the American market. The majority of these images I found at MoviePosterShop, which has high quality scans of nearly all the posters they sell. Images found elsewhere will be noted as they come up.
I do not own any of these images.