Fresh off the recent release of his poster for Shudder’s debut of George Romero’s “lost” film The Amusement Park, graphic designer Aleksander Walijewski has another new title utilizing a unique style that marries an old school Polish aesthetic with mainstream Hollywood gloss. It’s surely not going to be the last.
Our Father director Bradley Grant Smith hits the nail on the head when he tells us that, “Aleksander’s poster work appeals to me in general because he sees so deeply into each film’s psychology and then creates these revelatory, visual expansions of the film’s inner life—going way beyond a simple representation of the plot. One of the things I love about [his Our Father design] is how at a first, casual glance it almost looks like a Rorschach test, but then the faces start to come into focus [along with] the negative space between them. The more I look, the more I see. I like to think the movie is the same way.”
This one-sheet does exactly that thanks to its ability to turn a compelling double portrait into an optical illusion that shifts our focus. Pair the title with the figure created by the negative space Smith talks about and you get a sense of the power this character holds over his broken and cracked children. Once they discover the news about their father’s suicide, everything comes crumbling down as they decide to join forces to find an uncle who vanished thirty years ago. They might just be able to put Humpty Dumpty back together again in the process.
Much like Walijewski’s other work (check out his portfolio here) and many of the classic Polish posters created by his predecessors over the past few decades, there’s a sense of dark humor that rises above the visuals themselves to cultivate a mood that transcends the content. His skill at making that happen despite also having to hew closer to American advertising sensibilities overall is a testament to his craft and hopefully a precursor to Hollywood taking more chances on outside-the-box illustrative and abstract alternatives in lieu of the usual glossy photo collages.
Smith’s directorial debut stars Baize Buzan, Allison Torem, Austin Pendleton, Corey Hendrix, and Tim Hopper. The synopsis is below:
Beta (Baize Buzan) and Zelda (Allison Torem) don’t have much in common, but after their father’s suicide, the one thing holding them together is a shared desire to find their uncle Jerry (Austin Pendleton), a “religious nut” who vanished thirty years ago. A comedic odyssey in an intimate package, OUR FATHER is an occasionally mournful look at how, in our desire to be taken care of, we sometimes forget to take care of each other.
Our Father will world premiere as part of the Narrative Feature Competition at SXSW.