Deconstructing the Black Swan Posters

Before the release of Darren Aronofsky’s newest movie ‘Black Swan’, a number of creative posters were released to great acclaim. I remember the first time I heard about Black Swan when my friends began linking to the posters and saying how beautiful they were. They looked more like theatre posters than movie posters, which are generally not illustrated. Though perhaps because of their success and critical acclaim, more creative posters like these will be created.

The posters were clearly inspired by Russian Constructivist and  done colours associated with era- red, black and cream.

El Lissitzky was one of the pioneers of the Constructivist movement in Russia. The shapes of one of his most iconic pieces ‘Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge’ are used in this first piece. The shadows give it the style of sprayed paint. The haunting face is very theatrical.

The repetition of the dancer’s arms is reminiscent of the repetition used in photo montage. The side profile, and hands in silhouette are important symbols of Constructivism.

The final poster uses typography influenced by the era. There are now digital typefaces available in that style such as P22 Constructivist Square

I found this poster from the 1932 movie Red-Headed women which uses a very similar aesthetic. She certainly looks fiery.

The Constructivist era is one of the most referenced art periods. In 2005, Franz Ferdinand released ‘You Could Have It So Much Better’ and spurned conversations about whether the cover was a homage to the era or a direct rip-off.

What do you think?


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