Sunday, February 22, 2009
Poster Plaster: How to Effectively Decorate Your Home with Movie Posters
I was reading a men's magazine recently, and it said to get real conversation starters on your walls, not movie posters. Well I think that's a little narrow-minded. Movie posters can be great conversation starters! And let's face it, if taking down your Friday the 13th poster is the best way to festoon your digs, you'd rather be bland. Here are a few thoughts on how hip you can be with the square.
All (manly) men love Scarface. It's a great movie. But if you want to make your home a little more intriguing, pick stuff a little off the beaten path. You don't have to go too far, either. If you like Scarface, maybe a Goodfellas bill could be up your alley. Instead of The Boondock Saints, maybe you could throw up a History of Violence ad. If you get a little more "out there" with your choices, you can turn what would normally play out as, "That's a great move." "Yeah." Into, "Wow, you like that movie, too?" Which will cause a real back and forth. You might want to stop yourself from being too oddball, though. Keep Saturday Night Fever over Stayin' Alive. Please.
"But I like Scarface," you say. That's fine. You can work with that. Instead of the usual A run poster, look for something a little more obtuse. Some people like to get foreign posters. While you can't read the text (which you don't need to), you can sometimes get some pretty wild art. It's nice to perform this little excercise in cross-culture. And you know, deep down in your heart, that the Japanese posters for Star Wars are cooler than the US releases.
One of the other cool things about not getting the actual theater poster is it can pull something from the movie in a more meaningful way than an advertisement. I once saw a Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas poster, on which was printed a picture of Johnny Depp and his character's "Drug Collection" monologue. I've never seen the movie, but that poster told me more about the story than anything that's ended up on a DVD case for the film. Likewise, my fiance has a The Breakfast Club poster with a cast photo and the letter from the end of the film. If the movie means something to you, it will get you every time.
Generally, when you're trying for posters that wouldn't have been used in theaters, you'll come across older movies, films that have taken time and found a place in our culture. My advice on the olies: go for it! Make sure it's a movie you've actually seen, but always favor put-ups for older films. Pretention aside, there's more to talk about when the movie is older. People generally know more about Raiders of the Lost Ark than Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Everyone knows the story about Harrison Ford being sick as a dog, thus shooting the scimitar-wielding warrior. But if you know any anecdotes for the most recent Indy film, chances are your guest doesn't.
Another good reason to go old is the quality of the posters themselves. I have a Breakfast at Tiffany's poster that is absolutely gorgeous. It features an illustration of Audrey Hepburn, along with a smaller drawing of her and George Peppard kissing in the rain. All this on a white background with a primary colors border. It just looks good, and it always ellicits conversation. Being a man, not all of them have been pleasant conversations, but that's life. It's also an incontrovertible fact these drawn pieces are head and shoulders above the photoshopped, oversaturated collages we have today. If you saw Dirty Work with Norm McDonald, you might remember a scene in which he and his buddy are trashing apartments, and his buddy comes across this old From Russia, With Love poster. He steals it. It's sexy. Keep that in mind.
The other thing about that particular poster, is it was small. Vary size. I have a couple of smaller posters, like my Pan's Labyrinth, V for Vendetta and Halloween pieces. Variations in size will draw in the eye. Mixing it up will also help you fit more pics, which is not to say you should wallpaper, but more to say you can create a sort of texture. You can squeeze in more of you.
Maybe you don't like old movies, though. Maybe you like widely-known blockbusters. Maybe you don't care for art films or foreign films and just want a Stepbrothers poster on your wall. Maybe you hate American movies, but worry your friends won't get your 8 1/2 poster. Put them up, dammit! I proudly display my posters for The Fountain and Spanglish. Those movies mean a lot to me. The whole point is picking things important to you. This is your house, where you live and it will reflect you. Just make sure what you put up there is important to you, and you will be happy with it. If you have good friends, they'll love it, too.