Wednesday, March 21, 2007

any pr is good pr

i have been thinking about the latest controversy caused by the film posters for captivity over the past few hours. i know i tend to pick on h'wood posters but come on, they are an easy target. just look at the kerning for the poster for the abandoned if you need a good cry this evening [ ABAN DON E D ]. but really living in a major city you are so bombarded by movie posters and you have to pass your commuting time doing something and so critiquing the visuals are much more interesting than critiquing what the people around you are doing.

so by now you've probably read an article or two about how the captivity posters were deemed too offensive to be seen in public, and no doubt you've read the standard studio response that they didn't approve the artwork and they don't know how it got out there. right, someone decided to send the artwork to be produced in runs into the thousands in several cities without the studio knowing. anyways, i don't know where to side with it. though i find it is interesting that all of these horror films are now adopting some sort of bastard child of vaughan oliver's typography manipulation of the 90s, otherwise there is nothing else visually compelling about the posters in general. pretty formulaic – a feature shot, preferably made to look dirty with added bonus points for being disturbing, grunge type and credits on the bottom, and voila. but here is a little article on the posters in question and the offensive materials as well.

Captivity Billboard Banned

by Peter Sciretta

Tuesday our Google traffic was through the roof. What caused the big stir? The Captivity Poster. It turns out that Lionsgate and the MPAA received a lot of phone calls objecting to the gratuitous depiction of torture and murder.

The billboard, pictured above, shows four pictures with captions. “Abduction” features Elisha Cuthbert with a gloved hand over her face; “Confinement” features Cuthbert behind a chain link fence with a bloody finger; “Torture” shows Cuthbert, covered in white gauze, with tubes shoved up her nose; and “Termination” shows the actress with her head thrown back.

The producers claim the billboards went up by mistake, and are paying for the removal of the ads. After Dark CEO Courtney Solomon says the wrong files were sent to the printer, who then passed them on to the billboard company without approval from any executives.

The billboards, which were first posted March 13, appeared on 30 LA-area billboards and 1,400 New York taxi tops. The movie studios had no idea that advertisements went up until they returned from the ShoWest convention in Las Vegas.

I don’t think the images are that much scarier than some of the images used in The Hills Have Eyes billboards last year. But I’m probably in the minority. So what do you guys think? Are these ads going too far?

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