The film poster has a unique place in the poster genre because unlike posters for shows or books or destinations which generally had one poster plastered in the near geography of an event, films traveled and got new posters for each region and language they were shown in. Also, film posters were not collected like other posters because they were controlled by the distributors and loaned exclusively to theatres. After a showing, the posters were either destroyed or returned to the distributor for recirculation. Today, however, film posters are highly sought after by collectors and luckily for them, many distributors held on to the posters rather than destroy them.
After WWII, Polish designers were some of the most prolific and innovative in the genre. Their western European and American counterparts had rigid views of film poster design–views which usually involed bombastic taglines and over-the-top dramatic poses of celebrities themselves. In Poland, however, there were no Hollywood pundits directing the poster design. Rather, Polish artists rejected state-imposed social realism and enjoyed free artistic license under the communist regime so long as their work was not politically objectionable.. They drew influence from soviet constructivism and photomontage. The artists employed the skills they perfected as realists to create stunning designs that were far more conceptual than the celebrity-portraits of American posters. Polish posters often seem cryptic to any viewer not familiar with the film itself.
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