Rene Wanner's Poster Page


book cover Konfrontace
(Czechoslovak and polish film posters)

by Pavel Rajcan, with texts by Pavel Rajcan and Michal Poniz, published by Terry Posters, Prague (CZ) (2010); 248 pages, 24 x 16 cm, about 150 full page color reproductions ; softcover; ISBN 978-80-254-8641-2; in czech, polish and english; EUR 17 (about 23 US$)

Catalogue of a movie poster exhibition in 2010 in Lodz (PL) that compared 42 pairs of czech and polish posters for the same movie, the catalogue adds another 32 pairs. The posters are from 1955 to 1988, and often include cult films like Wajda's Ashes and Diamonds, Foreman's Loves of a blonde, or Fellini's Amarcord, or Polanski's Chinatown. An index of the 67 designers gives short biographies of them. .

"Konfrontace", the title of the catalogue, refers to the title of many poster exhibitions in the socialist countries before 1990, that were held more in the spirit of comparison or meeting, and less in the literally translated "confrontation".

Pavel Rajcan, the author of the catalogue and initiator of the exhibition at the Museum of Cinematography in Poland's movie capital Lodz, has a huge collection of more than 10'000 czechoslovak movie posters, runs a poster shop "Terry Posters" in the lobby of the cinema Svetozor in the center of Prague, has an excellent web site with lots of information and pictures about czechoslovak posters, and has organized a number of exhibitions of his treasures.

When he met polish collectors, among them Michal Poniz, his collecting horizon expanded to polish posters and so it was only natural to compare posters from the two countries for the same movie. The next step would of course be to do this on an international scale: Imagine to compare polish, czech, french, italian, cuban, mexican and chinese posters on exactly the same subject!

I find the result of this exercise very instructive: For the connoisseur of both the czech and polish poster world, it gives new insights on the similarities and differences in the character of the two poster schools. It also shows that the czech movie poster, allthough less well known than it's big brother in Poland, stands up quite well in a direct "confrontation". Finally, the movie fan can now decide which artist comes closer to his own image of the movie.

Sample pages:

Title page

p. 98 - 99, The Fireman's ball, movie by Milosz Foreman, left poster by Vladimir Bidlo (1967), right poster by Jerzy Flisak (1968)

p. 212 - 213, left text by Pavel Rajcan, right portrait of well known czech movie poster designer Olga Polackova-Vyletalova

Some posters:

1970, Olga Polackova-Vyletalova (CZ)
A gentle creature, movie by Robert Bresson

1970, Franciszek Starowieyski (PL)

1975, Karel Teissig (CZ)
I killed, movie by Stanislaw Lenartowicz

1974, Waldemar Swierzy (PL)

1969, Josef Vyletal (CZ)
Matthew's days, movie by Witold Leszczynski

1967, Marek Freudenreich (PL)

1971, Zdenek Ziegler (CZ)
Without apparent motive, movie by Philippe Labro

1972, Andrzej Krajewski (PL)

1963, Milan Grygar (CZ)
Men and beasts, movie by Sergei Gerasimov

1963, Wiktor Gorka (PL)

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