27. October 2014 – 30. January 2015
Today, we are constantly surrounded by massages from all side and in all possible shapes and forms, and a poster, especially one that provides cultural and artistic content, represents a dying species. It does not move, it does not sing, it does not scream, it is not shining, it is not interactive and we can no click on it. In the past, a poster was the most important and prestigious means of visual communication, even though it appeared as a result of the development of print – the earliest mass production technique. It was admired, and it was an object of desire for many collectors and a showpiece of many designers. A poster was suitable for communicating various contents, and so it soon led to the establishment of thematic posters: theatre, tourist, advertising, and of course film. Its main task was to lure and attract viewers to the cinema to watch films.
Film and poster have always been companions. They were provided by technological development and social conditions. At first, a poster had a very limited duration, much like newspapers today: when it performed its main mission – to inform and address viewers – it was no longer necessary and interesting. The connection with film additionally harm it, because the film was known as fun and entertaining media from the beginning, and thus the film poster did not seem worthy of more attention let alone of systematic collecting and preserving.
Nevertheless, film poster was developed and established as one of important types of visual communication. Thus, many film posters represent the best and the most exciting works in the history of visual communication design. But even other posters, those that are incomplete, unsuccessful, genre-labelled, naïve or clumsy, have their followers who are collecting them with passion. They are also valuable and interesting for those who are thoroughly and comprehensively engaged in film. They are an important document and a source of information, bus also product of differently skilled graphic designers, printing workers and printers.
Slovenian Cinematheque as a film museum is interested in everything that is related to film and forms film heritage, thus it diligently collects and preserves a wide variety of film posters. The selection presented at the exhibition is from the period of the fifties and sixties of the previous century. It includes rarely seen posters of the Slovenian distribution company – Vesna film and distributors from the former Yugoslavia, which also took care of the production of these posters. These posters were mainly designed for the entire Yugoslavian film market; some of them were printed in the Slovenian version. These are mostly products of unknown or poorly known authors, products that were prepared in graphic departments of printers, often derived from suggestions of original versions of posters or photos from the film. When distributors got the rights to show the film as well as graphical templates for posters, graphic departments of printers only took care of the captions in the respective language version.
The exhibition shows film posters of lighter genres, as well as of director’s films that encourage viewer to think. Interesting are common features of posters from both groups, regardless of whether the film is Italian, American or Soviet. In the group of director’s films it is worth mentioning the visual language of the film poster design, which is completely different from the frequently typical and nowadays the most famous American commercial film poster.
Head of the museum department of the Slovenian Cinematheque