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British Film Posters

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British Film Posters Empty British Film Posters

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:57 pm

Thursday, 4 March 2010

I have recently looked at 2 British film posters; Fish Tank and This Is England. Both films are low-budget, social realism films, made in Britain, by British directors starring predominantly British actors.

Fish Tank used two promotional posters, but the one shown above is the better of the two. The first thing to note is the image. There is only one image, which we can assume is the main character, a teenage girl. She is looking out of what seems to be a window. We can gather a lot by her setting and costume. The wallpaper in the background is torn, and has a scrawled love heart on it. We can tell from this that she lives in a more deprived neighbourhood; middle class families wouldn't let their walls be in such a state. Also, the scrawling signifies that her parents or guardians don't care about where they live. It also signifies that the heart may have been there a while. Wall drawings are a child's pursuit, so we could assume she's been yearning for love in some form for a few years. This is rein-forced by the torn wallpaper; no one cares. Furthermore, her clothing is simple and cheap, along with her necklace. We can tell that her outfit and jewellery is imitation gold, and the top she's wearing is not exactly designer. This further adds to the fact she is probably from a poor neighbourhood; maybe an estate or an ugly block of flats in suburbia. The tagline, 'Live, love, and give as good as you get' tells us a lot about her character. We can only assume the tagline refers to the girl in the poster. It suggests that, particularly the second half, that she doesn't suffer fool's gladly; she'll give you everything you give to her. This makes her character seem strong and free-willed.

The use of colour on the poster is quite intriguing. The use of pink and blue suggests a couple of things. For one, pink is stereotypically a girl's colour, and blue a boys colour. By mixing them, maybe it is illustrating she is a tomboy, or has strong male characteristics. It also surreptitiously appeals to both males and females. Not one of either colour is dominant, they blend quite harmoniously, so it's not some Barbie pink fest, without being a lads film. It splits the difference nicely. The film title itself is in big, bold letters. The film reviewers comments are also large on the poster. 'Powerful and poignant' is good alliteration, and for each review, the most provocative words are larger than the others. Again, this is a low budget film with little known actors; their names won't make people see it but the positive comments will. This is highlighted by putting Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender and Kierston Waering in smaller font than the comments. Only the film buffs will know who they are, but a distributor can't rely on that alone. Andrea Arnolds name is also featured just above the film title; generally in British cinema, the directors name is featured as often their names are sometimes more recognisable than the actors they're directing.

Like most other film posters, it makes use of prestigious awards it has one. Films that have won awards; Oscars, BAFTA's and so on. In this case it won Best British Actress at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 2009. It also won the Jury Prize at Cannes, one of the largest film festivals in the world. Many people know of Cannes, so they can recognize that it takes a good film to win the Jury Prize. The target audience for this film would be anyone from late teens to middle age. Although the focus on the film is on Katie Jarvis character, it's not primarily aimed at just teens. It might focus on teens, but it has adult situations, and older actors like Michael Fassbender. So while initially it may seem like the main character influences the target audience, it's never that simple. Looking at IMDb, Fish Tank has a total of 2,834 votes. They're not all from teens and twenty-somethings. In fact most of them are from 18-45+ year olds. The average ratings are around the 7-8 area, so even people over 45, who you wouldn't think would enjoy a film like this, actually do. While this is just a small cross section of the audience, it does offer an interesting glimpse into who watches films and what they think of them.

The second film poster I analysed was This Is England, a film by Shane Meadows. Shane Meadows is a big name in British cinema, after his 2004 film dead Man's Shoes was received well. He has since made his name by making socially realistic gritty dramas. This Is England is no exception. The image on the poster says a lot about the film. The most evident thing is the 11 characters that are all lined up by the corrugated iron fence. Some of these characters are skinheads, there are 5 women, and 5 men including a black man, and a young boy. The skinheads draw the attention first. The film is obviously going to be about them. Their costumes; doc martins, bomber jackets and short jeans all fit the era the film is set in; Summer 1983.

Colour is important in the poster. The title is written in the three colours of the British flag; red, white and blue.

Posted by Michael McGroarty
Posted by thomas brown at 05:55

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