Anatomy of a Ripoff
Our next installment of the art of movie poster design “inspiration” comes courtesy of Mr. Spike Lee and his 1995 film Clockers, which for what it’s worth, is a pretty good movie. But the resemblance of the original artwork to the brilliant Saul Bass design for Anatomy of a Murder set off more than one whiff of impostery and sent a few movie historians howling. To his credit, Spike (or the studio) had the artwork changed to something less… impressionistic. The bullet holes were left as they were.
The Wrong Identity
It’s nice to see movie poster mooching open to A-listers as well as the smaller, independent fare. Here’s an example of the designer basically phoning it in. The Bourne Identity, is a fantastic film, so if you’re going to copy the artwork this blatantly, the least you could do is try harder on the script. Unless this is the symptom of abysmal filmmaking: tricking the viewer into renting it. “For some reason, this image reminds me of other great action films I’ve seen. Let’s rent it!” But who’s to say, I’m just picking at the poster. Maybe 88 Minutes is a work of original genius… though I highly doubt it.
Nicht So Gut
I’d like to think the poster for Soderbergh’s film is more of a tribute to the great Casablanca, than a cheeky ripoff intended to skate under the noses of people who have never seen the Bogey film, much less its movie poster. Since there is a very fine line between homage and theft (the poster for American Teen was brilliant for example) I’ll go ahead and give it points for fun creativity. The film on the other hand… ehhh… It looked good.