Monday, July 2, 2012

Call me crazy

Click for full size.
Take a look at the above poster for Savages, which I've been seeing on buses and benches all over for what seems like forever now.  Tell me if you think I'm reading too much into this, but here's what I see when my eyes scan from left to right:
  • Blake Lively in Dia de los Muertos makeup - you'd only know it was her if you'd seen other advertising for the movie.
  • Aaron Taylor-Johnson looking grown up and scruffy and intense.
  • Taylor Kitsch, willing you with the power of his stare to forget basically his entire film career but especially his last two movies.
  • Salma Hayek almost completely obscured in shadow.
  • John Travolta
  • Benicio del Toro's face half-covered by what looks like a motorcycle face mask with a skull print.
I knew something about this ad was bugging me, but it took me seeing it a few times before I sorted out the problem.  The three white men in the ad are clearly distinguishable and identifiable in how they are framed and lit.  The women and Latin-Americans in the poster are obscured, their identities not really critical to the selling of the movie.


In this one-sheet, you can see all of the starring actors well except for, I presume, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, whose baby blues are peering from behind a calavera-patterned helmet.  The existence of this poster makes me feel that I could have been making something out of nothing when I look at the other one, but I feel like there are many contractual and social reasons behind imagery and billing in film advertisement.  Taylor-Johnson is probably the least famous of all the faces on the poster, but the trailer leads me to believe that he has a bigger role than Lively - these things all come into play when the actors deals are made.

So what do you think?  Am I making this up?

1 comment:

Bryan said...

I noticed this too the other day. The problem is, except for John Travolta, the obscured faces are the only marketable actors in it. (I didn't even know that was Aaron Johnson until I read your post, even with his face prominently displayed.)

Snow White & The Huntsman did this too, almost as if they were ashamed to have Kristen Stewart in it. Which maybe made sense in LA where people love to hate Twilight and everything associated with it, but didn't anywhere else where people still pay a lot to see those movies multiple times.