Movie Posters with Optical Illusions
“The Silence of the Lambs” (1991) is a film that inspired me to launch Scene 360 online magazine in 2000. The goal of the site was to analyze movies by showing artistic influences and more. This motion picture is full of real life connections from art (linking to Salvador Dali) to criminology (case studies of Ed Gein, Ted Bundy, Albert Fish, and Gary Heidnick), and entomology (inspiration from Greek mythology and Gothic literature). And as for the poster design, it is also a fine use of a visual illusion, one that is well-known and has become timeless.
Warning: This post contains images with nudity. Viewer discretion is advised.
Left: The original skull painting by/© Salvador Dali. Right: “In Voluptate Mors” (1951), a photo shoot by/© Dali and Halsan.
The moth is an important element that connects to serial killer Buffalo Bill in “The Silence of the Lambs.” Looking at the poster at far, it resembles the Death’s Head Hawk Moth, a species characteristic for a human-skull-like formation on its head. But here, the skull is formed by seven nude women—an image replicated from Salvador Dali’s gouache art, “In Voluptate Mors.” A painting that was later adapted to a live photo session with Dali and photographer Philippe Halsan in 1951.
Designed by Bemis Balkind.
“The World is Not Enough” (1999). I like Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, but I thought this film lacked seriousness. The villain (Robert Carlyle) was a good choice. However, in general the movie had too many punches, explosions, and special effects—and the story didn’t have substance like older films with Sean Connery and Roger Moore.
This “Coming Soon” campaign poster is influenced from silhouette art from the opening credits of movies such as “Dr. No” (1962) and “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969). The design is simple, straightforward with the 007 trademark characters.
Designed by Crew Creative Advertising.
“Le Divorce” (2003), another one I have not seen. It takes place in Paris with Kate Hudson and Naomi Watts. This is an alternative movie poster which was also adapted to a DVD cover. The cleavage is difficult to miss! The illusion lies right there, you will see the Eiffel tower.
Designed by Bemis Balkind.
“Identity” (2003). I haven’t watched this movie, maybe because John Cusack stars in it. But I should give it a chance since Ray Liotta and Alfred Molina are in the cast, and I also like thrillers. As for the “visual trickery” of the poster, it is pretty obvious, nonetheless it is well-designed and translates some mystery.
Designed by XL.
“127 Hours” (2010) is actually on my list of favorite movies from that year. I didn’t have high hopes for it, but director Danny Boyle did a great job at making a 94-minute picture interesting with a mountain climber trapped under a boulder. As for the poster, if you look closely you will also see an hourglass, which is directly connected with the film title and plot. “Every second counts!”
Film stills © respective owners