20 October, 2015

Design in Force

By all accounts The Force Awakens looks like it will be a good film. The new trailer seems to be one more exhibit proving that it will be a good film. Time will tell, yet, like most of the world, I am hopeful. The Force Awakens has every reason to be a good movie.

This, however, is a godawful.

What in God's holy name is that?  Star Wars: Laser Fuck? Are they at war with symmetry? With graphic design? Will this Star Wars finally complete the promise of the second Matrix movie by having a rave in every movies? Is the Galactic Empire centered around you not knowing exactly where to look? What the fuck is this shit?

Of course, it's a modern movie poster. This is what they look like now. You plop down enough money for a special effects franchise, you're going to get a poster full of people's heads looking mildly concerned.

Just go look up any of the Marvel movies that have come out in the past ever and tell me that I'm imagining it. I know one of you will and I'm here to say that you're a naysaying asshole.



You know what had good posters?

This movie.

And this one.

And this one.

I bring it up, because it's an ongoing problem. Not so much a trend as the shape of our world. For whatever reason, at some point, movie posters have become terrible.

I also bring this up because I can't help it. I just care too much.

This has been spoke of by smarter people with a deeper understanding of graphic design and art history (and don't forget this link, either). But if someone as dumb and poorly educated as myself can see this, I don't see why somebody with 300 million dollars in their pocket can't. Or maybe they can and they just don't give a shit. I mean, it makes sense.

There are plenty of bad movies with good posters and there's plenty of good movies with bad posters. The Force Awakens will probably fall in the latter camp, but that doesn't mean that it isn't worth talking about, if only for a few minutes. The art our culture produces is a direct result of who we are. If we're producing bad art, it's because we like bad art. If bad art, is ugly art, hell, if racist or sexist art sells, then that is a direct reflection of where we are. A bad poster or a series of bad posters isn't as bad as, oh say, the career of DW Griffith, but it still means something. It all means something. It's art. That's what it's supposed to do.

I'm not sure what the solution is. It isn't as though I'm going to "punish" Disney by not seeing their new Star Wars movie. I know you aren't, either. But as a culture, we should be better about what we look at and what we consume. Maybe it's a stretch, but I think that we can have an appreciation of the finer points of art and still enjoy laser fights. The Force Awakens will easily make a billion dollars. We know that. Most of this country is going to see this movie in one form or another. If we're going to see this movie, then why can't we also have a better understanding of aesthetics, of art history, and the knowledge that a bunch of floating heads over a bunch of colors is bad design? It's not like we have to choose.

Also, am I really expected to believe that Drew Struzan was so booked that he couldn't crank one out for us?