Friday One Sheet: A Tale Of Two Tableaux - LUCKY GRANDMA and SHIRLEY
Two women, of different ages, cultural backgrounds, and different time periods, in New York, form a tidy lesson in tableau poster design.
The first, coming at you with bold yellow typesetting, is Lucky Grandma, where "an ornery, chain-smoking Chinese grandma goes all in at the casino, landing herself on the wrong side of luck - and in the middle of a gang war in New York City's Chinatown." Key lighting on Tsai Chin, in a cramped kitchen sitting on the floor with a lot of band-wrapped stacks of cash. That's an easy sell in the 'would you like to know more?' department. Even though 'old lady with a huge windfall of cash' is a great hook. The red shopping bag, which curiously dominates the frame, the colour usually signalling danger, is a nice touch.
The second is a writer's "psycho-drama" in progress, Shirley. We see a frumpy Elizabeth Moss at her cluttered desk in a designer blouse and librarian spectacles. Ink bottles, letters, a terrarium, and antique lamps, abound. Curiously, the plants that surround her echo the contained eco-system in a bottle on her desk. Whereas, in Lucky Grandma, our hero seems to be caught in the act, here, the writer seems to be captured in her natural place, her comfortable situation. Which is, of course, the plot of the film, based on a Susan Scarf Merrell story of two academic literary types (The Haunting of Hill House writer Shirley Jackson and her husband) in the 1960s who take on a pair of volatile young house guests, married graduate students, at their upstate New York college residence, who become the fodder for a new novel.
Both designs achieve the perfect blend of focus and clutter. The lead is dead centre of the frame, with their 'world' forming a melange of objects and signifiers around them.
Please key art designers, less Photoshop collage, and more photographic tableau!