Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Selling The Cove

At last the film The Cove is being shown in Japan. The threat from right-wing protests (whose threat of action against cinemas was stronger than their reasoning for the action, which included that the film, "tramples on Japanese culinary culture") meant that for a time no distributor was able to get it easily screened. With the tide finally turned, the film was released in 16 cinemas over the weekend. Kudos to the theatres and distributors. (Though, having not seen it myself, I still can't comment on the quality or stance of the film.)

There was a 30 minute special on the release on NHK here yesterday – on the cinemas screening, the response by cinema-goers, comments from people from the town involved etc – and I noticed the film poster looking quite different to the overseas ones. Its downplayed, almost sepia look, and simple graphic is an improvement – in my view – on the original, very blue posters. The original ones, with the diver heading toward the light of the surface, were quite "Disney" (though probably sell the film well enough). Another version looked like Free Willy with dolphins. Luc Besson has the rights to distribute the film in France, and the poster with his name prominently (bizarre to have the distributor's name rather than the filmmaker's) at last had the surface turning red and upped the drama. 

The film poster appearing on the news report here had a dolphin jumping above a cooking pot. But, searching online to get a more detailed look, it proved hard to find – I could only find the small one at left or the poster appearing in news photos. Instead, more prominently available is one with the dolphin jumping "out" of the world, as above – colour has been re-introduced, and a quieter "eco-" feeling comes with the use of the earth rather than a cooking pot. I'm not 100 percent sure of the design impact of the pot, which is not immediately easy to read, but it was a quite different approach than the comfortable blue of the original. The poster featuring the earth still looks an improvement on the overseas ones, just a little "softer" than the cooking pot. Not sure which is the final choice of the distributors, but an "eco-" earth one will probably win out…

Comfortable blue; the freedom of the sea; Luc Besson introduces blood; a small variation in Japan unfortunately looking like aquarium's flyer

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