Eye Sea Posters
Zdrajczyni, designed by Jerzy Flisak, 1978
Eye Sea Posters is a new website that showcases and sells original vintage film posters, with a rather strong leaning towards Polish posters from the 60s and 70s. We spoke to founder James Dyer about the venture...
Dzieje Grzechu (The Story of Sin), designed by Jerzy Flisak
"I got a postcard years ago with a Polish film poster on it designed by Maciej Zbikowski for the film Seksolatki and it really caught my eye," explains Dyer of the beginning of his fascination with vintage Polish film posters. "I used to manage a record label and the designer that created our sleeves and logo, Scot Bendall from La Boca, is also a Polish poster fan so sometimes we'd reference them for sleeve inspiration," he continues.
Godziny Grozy, designed by Krzysztof Nasfeter. 1975
"Polish posters seam to have a style all of their own," says Dyer. "It's the amazing and often bizarre artwork that I love – and the posters produced in the 60's and 70's in particular. During the communist period in Poland the state controlled the film industry and established artists were commissioned to design film posters. Unlike most film posters, the use of photos of film stars or film stills wasn't mandatory, and most of the time even the main actors' names didn't feature prominently in the designs. The artists had to convey the essence of the film in their designs and were given artistic freedom to do so which led to some truly original posters that sometimes feel completely detached from the film itself."
Syn Part II, designer unknown
Wazzzz (SSSSnake), designed by Jakub Erol, 1975
Regarding the sourcing of Eye Sea Posters, Dyer tells us he has a friend in Poland who keeps a look out for such works. "I've only been collecting them for six months or so," he adds. "I used to collect records but now I'm getting obsessed with collecting posters instead."
Prices of the original posters range from around £30 up to about £75. Check out the current stock at eyeseaposters.com
If you compare these posters to modern day movie posters, it demonstrates how much the film industry now relies on having the big name actors to use as promotional tools. As long as there is a picture of an A-list actor on the poster, it will still make money no matter how awful the script and storyline.
I think posters like this could potentially make a come back as the designs are so abstract compared to what were used to seeing, people would be immediatley drawn to them.
Whilst there is a lot to be said for the comment above this is not always the case.
Off the top of my head all of the variants for V for Vendetta are great. And I am routinely impressed with posters I see at my local Picture House.
The Departed has strong typographic elements. I love the photomontage of the Che posters. Moon with Sam Rockwell is one of my all time favourites. Syriana actively obstructs Clooney's face. And whilst these have the lead actor/s they are still intriguing and well designed.
That being said, for every good poster there are 5 formulaic ones. But this the real crux of the money spinning isn't down to the poster alone... did you know Hollywood studios actually have algorithms to work out how much a film is likely to gross? What actor, what plot line, what themes, what soundtrack, etc. etc. it is a truly mechanical process!
You get the occasional good poster from current films that are more niche or independent. The thing about old school Polish film posters is they routinely gave mainstream movies very abstract designs. In some cases the posters were actually better than the films - Crocodile Dundee, for example (seriously!).
Other Polish film posters are just completely off-the-wall - apparently they often had no info about the movie. So you get bizarre illustrations like the one for Back to the Future. I find that quite charming but I bet no modern film studio would!
just to let you know- title of the fourth poster is " Syn partii" what means "the son of the party" (communist, political). :) !
Interesting, but it looks like 2nd league, can't see names like Henryk Tomaszewski, Roman Cieślewicz or Waldemar Świerzy.
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