Sunday, 26 February 2012

The Tree of Life

Synopsis: The impressionistic story of a Texas family in the 1950s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Jack (played as an adult by Sean Penn) finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith.

Design: Mark Carroll

There are at least three different versions of posters for this film depending on regions so I will focus on the version used for the US theatre release (as above) which from interviews that I have read with Mark Carrol this was the nearest to his original vision for the poster. Personally I love this poster, its well structured layout, clean typography and unusual layout. This poster breaks all the rules for a major Hollywood movie poster, no 3-D effects, airbrushed portraits of the main stars and no centering of text within the usual three zones, instead we have what a movie poster should be; a representation of the film. The poster has  neat grid of 70 images which look like snapshots or memories from a life, it's only when you look closer that you see not only everyday scenes but images of the immensely large to the cellular. Hands also feature a lot, gestures, touch, contact, as do elements of water, fire earth. All is there beautifully arranged, little vignettes which you fall into. The typeface used is Futura complementing the grid structure.

Really I can't fault this at all. the other versions I have seen keep elements of this poster but just feel like diluted versions, but hey you've got to put those quotes and accolades somewhere!

The other variants I have seen pull out single images and use a centered typographic structure, but they are still reserved, uncluttered and a joy to look at.

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