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This Video Essay Traces Iconic Movie Posters Back To The Scene Each Came From

Amelie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Reservoir Dogs, and more go back to their scenic roots.

This Video Essay Traces Iconic Movie Posters Back To The Scene Each Came From

Too often these days, movie posters are just a collection of big heads and photoshopped stars, reminding potential moviegoers not of the power of the imagery involved in the picture being sold, but simply letting them know that people they’ve heard of are in it. That may make a certain amount of sense from a marketing perspective, but from an “artistry of cinema” viewpoint, the focus on star power over capturing the essence of the film can be pretty disappointing.

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Fortunately there are still posters that document the iconic imagery of the film in question, and in the latest installment of Candice Drouet’s ongoing project, “My Life In 1.000.000 Frames,” the French video essayist highlights the frames that led to the striking, memorable images behind dozens of posters.

What’s fascinating about Drouet’s video is that it’s a reminder that even films that aren’t particularly memorable tend to stand out more simply because they gave us something to remember. Neither Mark Romanek’s thriller One Hour Photo or Spike Lee’s The 25th Hour are classics, but both of them are more likely to linger in the memory of anyone who spent 2002 in video stores than the photoshopped faces poster art of, say, that year’s sixth highest-grossing film.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.

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