With A-list talent,
it’s difficult to deal with A-list ego across a movie poster. Panels or windows, is an easy to negotiate approach to divvy up precious marketing space with head shots separated by borders. A popular method with comedies, we take a look a more rare use in dramas.
Collateral Beauty (2016) is not well publicized and has the unenviable honor to open on the same day as Rogue One (2016). But it does have an unappreciated film poster. Stocked with well known personalities, Will Smith takes top honor with six tiles. Helen Mirren takes two, whole tiles while Edward Norton and Kate Winslet take one and a partial. The windows’ edges take shape of Will Smith’s body, a symbol of connectivity. However, the windows themselves are separated using the negative space as borders.
There are no text on faces, but text in places there could have been one. The poster exhibits unique, subliminal messages while acknowledging principals avoided.
Have we seen this before?
Both Red Lights (2012) and Facing Windows (2013) use strikingly similar designs. Red Lights lists a number of well known actors in a variety of poses, not all of them looking at the camera. While it uses negative space as window borders, the windows are not in uniform shape. While some panels are larger than others, no single subject is projected across multiple windows. The obscure Italian film, Facing Windows is more unique. With an asymmetrical design, the panels differ in shape, color, and composition. It projects a more complicated story, possibly with multiple plots. Both films use red and black setting an ominous, ever presence tone of danger, drama, and uncertainty. While I will be busy watching Star Wars that weekend, I expect Collateral Beauty to end more upbeat.