From Poland With Love

You may be aware that when it comes to film posters, they do things differently in Poland. For whatever reason, they have resisted the hegemony of international marketing, and Polish film posters are often extremely striking works of art only tangentally connected to the films they advertise.

Here are details from four Polish posters – can you name these classic Australian films?

1.

2.

3.

4.

And the bonus question:

Your time starts now. Answers after the jump…

Well, I’m sure you spotted they were Picnic At Hanging Rock, Wake In Fright, Crocodile Dundee 2 (no, “Crocodile Dundee” is not enough), and – of course – Caddie.

Let’s have a look at one of the original Australian posters for Caddie.

Well they’re… quite similar…

The bonus question was Storm Boy – I’m a bit surprised that poster is so innocuous, it doesn’t have the bird chewing his eyes out or anything. Honestly, how depressing must Poland be if these images are meant to entice people into the cinema?

All Polish images were taken from Michael Organ’s website, you can see more there, including a jaunty image for On The Beach. The Australian poster for Caddie is from moviegoods.com.

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10 Responses to From Poland With Love

  1. Tim says:

    Awww, you should’ve held on and revealed the answers next week, after we’d all made fools of ourselves guessing wrongly.

    The only one I got straight away was Storm Boy, and that’s only because I could read the Polish text.

    As I write about Poland for Lonely Planet, I feel honour-bound to point out that it’s now a lovely Central European country with attractive cities and a buoyant economy, and its people are much less depressed nowadays.

    This poster style arose during the communist period where anything subversive had to be cloaked in layers of symbolism and surrealism. Nowadays, unfortunately, most international films are released in Poland with the same posters they use worldwide (the power of branding triumphs).

    When we lived there in the 1990s though, one of the Krakow cinemas ran a Peter Greenaway film festival over several weeks, and commissioned original posters for each film from a local poster artist. You can imagine the inspiration the artist drew from those movies! They were great posters.

    By the way, if your readers are ever in Krakow they should head for the Galeria Plakatu, a shop selling back copies of Polish posters. It’s great fun rummaging through the film posters and trying to spot Western films – I picked up an amazing poster from the Polish release of Blade Runner there. Here’s the shop’s website, with quite a few poster images: http://www.cracowpostergallery.com/

    Czesc!
    Tim
    http://www.aerohaveno.com/

  2. Glenn says:

    I guessed
    1. Picnic at Hanging Rock
    2. Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith
    3. Crocodile Dundee
    4. Thirst (i had NO idea)

    I had actually seen the Picnic one before and the Crocodile Dundee one, but forgot it was for the sequel.

  3. Glenn says:

    Oh, and obviously Storm Boy. That one was easy.

  4. Narrelle says:

    Under communism, Polish cuisine consisted mainly of potato dumplings and pickled cabbage. You’d have been depressed too. At least they had lots of vodka with which to leaven the gloom. Though it may be responsible for the more outre posters.

    Still, as Tim points out, Poland is now free and democratic, and no longer has a diet restricted to cabbage and potato. They still have lots of vodka, but now you can get it infused with ginger and rose and it’s a whole new world of magnificent.

    I have to say, I now really want to see Caddie. I never did, and I’m looking forward to the macabre breakfast scene.

  5. outlandinstitute says:

    I have seen Caddie, and I’m still at a loss… is it a rabbit, perhaps? Or is there a scene in caddie where they eat their pets? Does anyone remember?

    I also discovered (while googling “do they eat their pets in caddie?”) that Caddie was a box-office hit, taking over 3 million dollars on a budget of 400 000. Not bad for 1976.

  6. outlandinstitute says:

    Glenn: It’s funny how many films poster number 2 could be. I thought it was Sunday Too Far Away. Or Caddie.

  7. Dan Cardone says:

    I just realised the ‘crack’ in the crocodile’s back is actually Linda Kozlowski’s face. Was the film a hit in Poland because of her polish last name? Is she from the great Polish Kozlowski acting dynasty? And of course, New York’s skyline crops up in the crocodile’s teeth. Sheer genius. However, my favorite Polish move poster of all time has got to be for The Birds. Look it up at:

    http://www.cinemaposter.com/FSTalltitles.html

    Although for arguments that not all Polish film posters are art, check out the posters for The Omen and particularly for Rodan…

  8. Anne-Marie says:

    For the local experience – there are Polish film posters on the walls at “After the Tears” – the Elsternwick version of “Borscht, Vodka and Tears”. There’s plenty of vodkas to sample, a great cabbage dish and dumplings. It’s just like Poland – but right next to the Elsternwick Train station – or tram stop 44 (Carnegie line). AND the Classic cinema is next door.

    The Birds poster has inspired me to drink more vodka. I want to access that the bit of my brain that can create those type of images.

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