“Poster art,” says editor Matthew Chojnacki in Alternative Movie Posters: Film Art From the Underground, “is clearly back with a vengeance.” Showcasing the pictorial renaissance in upwards of 200 posters from over 100 artists, his glossy, gifty book is packed with deep affection for—and great examples of—the art of the one-sheet.
For those of us who like to get elbow-deep in the details, Chojnacki includes more. Quick segments explain concepts behind individual posters in the artists’ own words, as well as influences, film favs and preferred mediums. Much of the commentary provides real, if brief, insight into the creative process. Mike Langlie, whose Donnie Darko and Mulholland Drive pieces are included, remarks that directors “Richard Kelly and David Lynch are experts at crafting self-contained universes run by believable—if not always comprehensible—dream logic.” Not a bad point, and Langlie’s gritty, suggestive posters exude a similar sense of sovereign realities.
Luckily, you’ll probably love Chojnacki’s aesthetic. The man does know cool. And, it’s fair to say, the collection still has plenty of range, from the street style of James Rheem Davis’ They Live to the hyperdetailed, comics-influenced Tommy by Jesse Philips (who’s graced multiple Alibi covers). So, bottom line, Alternative Movie Posters is a drool-worthy visual volume—and while it would make a really swanky gift for several people on your list, you should probably start with a copy for yourself.