Monday, April 27, 2015

Professionals masquerading as amateurs

If I haven't heard of a movie already, it can be pretty hard to tell whether it's legitimate or not by visiting the Cinema Nova website.

That's because they're working their damnedest to make all their movies look illegitimate.

An organization that is otherwise beyond reproach, and seems to be doing everything right in terms of cultivating an independent moviegoing experience for its audiences, Cinema Nova in Carlton is majorly striking out in one creative decision: the customized version of movie posters that appear on its website.

Which look like they were made by a child on a Windows ME machine.

You've taken one gander from the poster art above, but here's another:

I have no idea why Nova feels like it can't use the perfectly good posters that are already in heavy rotation for these films. It uses the imagery from these posters -- in most cases -- but feels the need to add a couple random words of white text to cover over the image and synopsize the movie. Or, more than a couple:

I didn't ask for your life's story, It Follows.

Perhaps even worse are the ones that are so teasingly brief on the description that it might as well not even exist at all:

If the cheap-looking white text weren't bad enough, the lack of punctuation is even more aesthetically appalling:

This above movie is the perfect example. When I came to the Nova website on Friday, I saw the poster for this movie, which I'd never heard of before -- and immediately dismissed it as something awful. Then I noticed the names Dustin Hoffman and Kathy Bates at the top, and decided that maybe it's a "normal" movie after all.

The strangest thing about this phenomenon is that these posters appear directly next to a thoughtful and well-written synopsis of the film. Take a look:

Redundancy out the wazoo.

The reality of the situation is that there are enough movies I've heard about that I need to see -- especially as of the start of the season described in this post -- that I don't really need to worry about seeking out a bunch of smaller films that need to fight to get on my radar.

But my God, there are basically credibility issues at stake here. You've got a brand to be maintained, Cinema Nova. Maintain it -- and take that old Windows ME computer down to the industrial waste recycling plant.

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