• For Janus Films’ new print of Jean-Luc Godard’s Weekend, which starts showing today, designer Steve Chow created an eye-catching poster that vividly captures that New Wave battering ram’s apocalyptic, sideways vision. This is the third Godard design that Chow has done for the company, following his striking compositions for Vivre sa vie and Pierrot le fou. On the occasion of Weekend’s theatrical rerelease, we asked the Vancouver-based graphic designer a few questions about his work.

    What was your inspiration for the new poster for Weekend?

    That particular image really only works with all the elements intact—cropping was not doing us any favors—so we figured, Why not use it whole? It’s just that in order to do that, we had to turn it sideways. It was a natural choice—and it seemed to fit the film’s unpredictable, violent, and humorous tenor. It’s like, “WTF just happened? Is that a plane? A body? How did that car end up like that?” It’s kind of like the visual punch line to a joke that starts with “two materialistic bourgeois jerks go on a road trip . . .”

    Where does your interest in Godard films come from?

    Godard’s influence is everywhere—in contemporary advertising, commercials, music videos. You could be watching something that is “Godard” and not even realize it. (Just the other night, I saw a new Mexican film that riffed on Anna Karina’s back-of-the-head introduction in Vivre sa vie.) His 1960s works, in particular, still resonate with so much life and excitement. So daring, and so very, very cool, even decades later.

    Do you have a particular approach to designing for them?

    With all of these Godard posters, I pretty much tried to just get out of the way and let the image speak for itself, and in the end, the most intuitive options were successful. With Pierrot le fou and Vivre sa vie, the resonance of those particular images is strong; title treatments that are too heavy or that get too much attention wouldn’t help tell their stories. Similarly, for Weekend, we’d have a hard time creating an image or a collage that captured the crazy, chaotic energy and direction of the film as well as the one we ended up using. So, with regards to these three posters, if I never hear “Wow, that’s a killer title treatment!” I’ll consider that a success.

     

9 comments

  • By Charlie Wagers
    October 07, 2011
    06:27 PM

    For Steve Chow: Wow, that’s a killer title treatment! I have the Pierrot Le Fou poster hanging in my living room. As a graphic designer, with love for Godard's films, it's one of my favorite wall-adornments. Best. www.charliewagers.com
    Reply
  • By Shaun
    October 08, 2011
    09:19 PM

    This poster is incredible. Nice work Steve. When will it be available to purchase in the Criterion shop?
    Reply
  • By Jessica B.
    October 12, 2011
    12:27 PM

    I want this poster so much! It must be displayed above my fireplace.
    Reply
  • By Craig
    October 12, 2011
    09:17 PM

    Yes, I second it, when will it be available to purchase in the Criterion shop?
    Reply
    • By Richard G Phillips
      October 15, 2011
      08:54 PM

      Wonderfull...now when can I obtain a copy of WEEKEND>
  • By Matt M
    October 12, 2011
    10:04 PM

    Can't wait for it to be available! When when when??? I have Pierrot Le Fou on one side of my tv, I want this one for the other.
    Reply
  • By Criterion
    October 19, 2011
    07:49 AM

    WEEKEND poster now available to purchase in the SHOP! http://www.criterion.com/shop_products/94
    Reply
  • By Filmy
    October 21, 2011
    01:29 PM

    Does poster release mean a DVD/blu-ray release will follow from Criterion?
    Reply
  • By SinDronian
    December 29, 2011
    10:21 PM

    This poster is a great visual agitator. It is amazing how framing and orientation alone effect the interpretation of a particular image.
    Reply