It’s not easy combining themes of incest, homosexuality in politics, rock n’ roll stardom preceding suicide and the police violence towards political protesters. We wouldn’t have the first clue where to start, but thankfully illustrator Sarah Mazzetti did. We had a an inkling she might, and so we commissioned her to create this wonderful poster. We’re giving away one A1 screen print in a competition with MUBI, the carefully-curated online film service, we found out more about here. The poster, which was screen-printed with four colours by Peckham Print Studio, draws together Dogtooth , Milk , Control and Punishment Park : four very different films exploring very, very weighty subjects. All you have to do to win is retweet here.
— It's Nice That (@itsnicethat) June 3, 2015
“My job as an illustrator is to communicate in the most effective possible way the focus of sometimes very complex articles, to go to the bone as much as possible so to say,” says Sarah. “This was very different – there was no specific message to transmit, but a series of elements I needed to connect.
“The illustration works a bit as a surreal journey in a universe apart for the viewer, he’s not dragged to focus on something in particular, he is rather taken to wander freely among various images and symbol that do not lead to any final message or concept. I don’t happen to work on such structured images that often, but I enjoy it a lot, it’s very challenging from both the thinking and the designing point of view.”
In places, the films are communicated very literally – we see a Milk placard for Gus Van Sant’s documentary of the gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk – but others are shown more subtly. For Dogtooth for instance – the Yorgos Lanthimos-directed film that shows a disturbing household where adult children are cocooned within the home – shows a figure looking mournfully over a fence at the outside world.
So how do you go about drawing together such diverse and difficult content? “ Once I delineated the scenes, characters and elements I found particularly important in each film, I thought about what kind of structure I could give to the poster, and I started to sketch,” Sarah tells us. “The most challenging thing in this case was finding a way to make all these elements dialogue with each other.”
Her approach was to create an image that was “a new story itself,” where elements of the films work together to create a new narrative and discourse. The framing device is a head that of one of the Dogtooth sisters, and within it a four-storey structure houses the other films’ signifiers. “I struggle a lot with the term “inspiration”, I don’t think I’m that conscious of what inspires me, but for sure what I like, and what I tend to consume with a certain amount of passion does influence me,” says Sarah. In this sense I guess that some films have played the role of source of inspiration. It must have been a dream to work with such stunning, thought-provoking films, ones that delight, challenge and make you see the world in a different way. Just don’t watch Dogtooth with your parents. We speak from experience.
All four films are currently available on MUBI in the UK, and we’re giving away one poster via the It’s Nice That Twitter feed. The only way to win is to retweet. A winner will be chosen on 8 June.
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