I'm beginning to really hate movie posters. There was a time when they could elicit excitement. Even something as simple as a few words and a vague image could tease at what's to come. Of course, the rise of movie blogging has made such mysterious anticipation a thing of the past, but there's another thing that's killed the world of poster anticipation -- airbrushing. It's not just a technique to remove a pimple or errant wrinkle, or a way to make an actor look a little more polished. These days, the poster world is obsessed with making the most inhuman visages possible.

Sick of plastic-looking skin and people awkwardly and terribly edited together from different pictures -- and antsy for some artistry like the good ol' days -- I'm completely enamored with the Spanish poster for Woody Allen's latest, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.

It's not a trippy image a la Vertigo, or the more recent font-wild Burn After Reading poster that took a similar approach, but this new poster (see it bigger in the gallery below) does have a wonderful mix of classic and modern elements. The black figure is juxtaposed with a woman's white hands and red nail polish -- all of which is matched with a modern and crisp san serif font and a mixture of all lower-case and all capital letters. It's much like Allen himself -- classic and still trudging through the woes of romance, but updated and still lively. Moreover, it's a whole lot more dynamic and attention-grabbing than the English-language poster to the left, though even that is a vast improvement over much of the recent poster campaigns.

I'm delight to say that this one bit of art has finally got me eager to see the film. I'm of the on-off Allen camp, where the must-see is intermingled with the must-avoid. (I didn't care for Cassandra's Dream; I adored Vicky Cristina Barcelona; and I really hated Whatever Works.) The fact that one image could make me think that this will follow the up-down trend and bring us back to great cinema, and pull in a skeptic, is something to applaud.

Now if only more films could follow suit...


[IMP Awards, via The Playlist]