Today we are featuring this lovely, high-contrast key art for a repertory screening of The Night of the Hunter in Toronto's iconic century-old Revue Cinema. It is very likely that the cinema played Charles Laughton's film back in 1955 upon its original release.
Designer and visual artist John Godfrey, who has been featured in these pages before, offers a dramatic, almost minimal, take on the film's most revered sequence, where the imperilled child protagonists narrowly escape by commandeering a small boat, and then gently float away in a very dreamlike or fairy tale journey.
In his own words:
"The thing that stood out the most to me was Stanley Cortez's dreamlike cinematography. Every shot was like a perfectly composed painting, painted with light in an intentional way, leading the eye across the frame, all the while heightening the drama through excellent use of contrast.
I couldn't imagine watching The Night of the Hunter in colour, which I believe would lessen the impact of the photography, and for that reason I wanted the poster to be in black and white, and also employ the dramatic lighting that contributed to making the cinematography shine in the film.
The river scene was one of the most visually stunning in the film for me, so I created the poster around those elements, the children adrift, while introducing Harry's iconic tattooed hands, about to be clasped together in the 'right hand left hand' story he demonstrates in the film."
The event poster adds a few logos to the core design, as well as screening details. Note: if you are in Toronto, the film screens on December 14, 2023.
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