Movies simply just aren’t what they used to be. The digital age has given us some kick ass stuff, but it’s also destroyed so much of what made cinema such an art form.
Now, pretty much any old Soderbergh wannabe with a savings account and some mates can pick up a camera and call themselves an auteur. It’s streamlined the process into what closely resembles fast food filmmaking or McMovies. The effects are felt all the way through to the DVD/online rental level where features like main menus and chapter selection have made the experience a soulless and disposable one.
Sure, DVDs are pretty cool. Sure the picture quality is shitloads better than VHS and all the flashy features are very handy, but where did the previews go? What happened to pressing the tracking button when the weird lines fucked up the picture? DVDs don’t even smell the same as VHS did and one thing’s for damn sure, DVD cover art sucks balls. The labour of 32mm love and all that goes with it is becoming a thing of the past.
Back in the day when cover art was actually an ART, it didn’t matter what the film was actually gonna be like, you were lured into picking it off the shelf or heading to the cinema by its ridiculously audacious cover and a tagline that defied all the physics of cheese. In the ‘70s, ‘80s and the early ‘90s, films were defined by their posters and cover art. Now it’s all about a trailer laden with loud music, slam cuts and a complete mis-representation of the story to lure you into watching it. Fuck that, if we’re going to be duped into watching a movie, at least put some effort into it and produce some kick ass cover art. Hollywood owes us many hours of our lives back and it’s the least they can do.
This is first in a nostalgic three part series that takes a look at the forgotten craft of illustrated film art. Each post will focus on a specific genre and to kick things off we’ve gone with Horror/Sci-Fi.