Yes Poster No Poster

I like posters. I like posters that work. Nowadays movies and TV create a multitude of posters for different territories and many varieties within that territory, depending on use (billboard, bus shelter, magazine, online etc).

Here are a few that I’ve spotted recently. From a Media perspective, they are all worthy of decoding.


Two versions. I know which one I prefer. Which do you prefer? And more importantly, why? Explain why using specific detailed observations of the language of that poster.

On the subject of alternate posters:


Again, I know which one I prefer. Which do you prefer, and why?

One is clearly intended to sell the A list star. Fair enough. But is his nervous look enough of a narrative enigma to keep us interested?

The second version is my preferred. It also goes down the mystery route, with the imagery demanding you try to figure it out.

Neither really tell you anything about the film. Try the trailer for that:


Do I need to talk about this? The colour scheme and connotations are interesting, but I can’t get over the assassin/contortionist portrayed! Is she facing us? Looking over her shoulder? Her right hand is huge!


Why? How does it impact the composition? How does it impact the characters? How does it make you feel? Any narrative enigmas?

Also. The title BIG LITTLE LIES is in pink and partly obscures their faces. Any ideas why? Wait – it obscures all of their mouths. Except one…


Why so close? Too close for comfort? Why?

Look at the detail – the facial expression, the flower crown, the tears, the vivid colour. Why? Is there a narrative suggested?

What do the words tell you about the director? How does that appeal to the audience? What genre could this film be?

And how does the tagline impact you? “LET THE FESTIVITIES BEGIN”?


Colour of costume and background similar – connotations? Impact on lone figure? Hair colour?

Front and centre. Back to us. Looking left. Eyes down? Narrative clues?

Tagline: “Hamlet Through Her Eyes“. Neatly refocuses the narrative point of view.

Audience with existing knowledge of Hamlet will immediately tune in.

Cast names prominent to attract fans of stars from their other movies?

And then there’s this fantastic poster:

Consider the striking front and centre pose. The lighting. The background lights. Use of black and white and red.

Stylised sparkly red font. Cultural reference to Judy’s most famous film?

Tagline simply describes the film.

Stars name above the film title (and Academy Award Winner is above that!)

This is a strong candidate for the next framed poster on my classroom wall (the existing three are below. I never did get a framed copy of La Vie En Rose though. (Hmm. Seems to be a common theme in those posters!)


This poster really caught my eye. It ticks a lot of boxes and is great for decoding many of the key aspects of media.

  • Discuss categories – genre, tone. Era/costumes?
  • Discuss target audience. Who would seek this out? Cast names? What genre is Bloom best known for? What genre has Delevingne been in recently?
  • Narrative? Era? Costumes? Fantasy/fairies? Also, what’s in her hand?
  • Language. Composition, colour, image, background, don’t type.amd colour connotations.
  • Institutions – who produces this? How can you see it? How is it paid for?
  • Society – an escapist fantasy? A gritty take on Victorian style carnivals? Why is this being produced now?
  • Representation: male and female. Strict Victorian? Stereotypes? Non-stereotypes? The mob? Society? The ‘creature’? The danger?

This was going to be a short post. But these posters are just asking to be spoken about!

PS. This just in from Empire Magazine:

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