The Art of the Sell — “The Limey” movie poster

These posts celebrate the movie trailers, movie posters, commercials, print ads, and other promotional material that stand as their own works of art. 


Determining the ownership of the vision behind movie advertising is tricky. There are some filmmakers who have clearly tried to take control of promotional materials attached to their art, but few get the full authority Warner Bros. reportedly gave to Stanley Kubrick. So I have no certainty about how firmly Steven Soderbergh could press for a movie poster commensurate with the coolness level of the film he created. It does seem like his works are blessed with strong posters at a rate that’s better than average.

Lending credence to the theory than Soderbergh has a strong say, there’s also a consistency to the use of bygone design trends, as in the way Soderbergh’s 1999 feature, The Limey, is promoted using imagery that recalls the classic Blue Note Records house style. It doesn’t offer much firm information about the film, and yet there’s the unmistakable promise of a bracing attitude and a strident authority. To reuse a term, it’s going to be cool.

Other entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Art of the Sell” tag.