The Anatomy of a Film Poster

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  • Connotation
    • Words, Sounds and Visuals on a poster have denotative meanings and infer to the audience what the film is about in an eye-capturing way. For example, the symbol of a rose is often associated with romance, so by prominently placing a rose in the poster, it would suggest the protagonist of the film will have a romantic encounter.
  • Anchorage
    • Words that accompany the pictures on the poster, which establishes or anchors an interpretation by the audience. For example, the poster for Alien (1979), the simplistic poster was paired with the line “In space no one can hear you scream”, which implies that the characters will face a dangerous situation and potentially be killed.
  • Tone and Register
    • Register refers to the vocabulary, style and grammar used by speakers and writers of the film according to a certain situation. For example,
  • Intertexual References
    • Any visual or verbal references to other media in the text. For example, the poster for the British film Shifty (2008) is styled mirroring the poster for Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003), implying that fans of the Kill Bill franchise will also enjoy Shifty. 

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