The same as the country that produced it, Hollywood has left, and continues to leave, an indelible mark on the world as a whole. From Westerns to Noir to zany hair-brained comedies, Hollywood is the way in which most of the world understands America. It is not about the accuracy of such an understanding, but the power of how such an understanding can be created through collections of images. Before films ever screen, however, they are promoted, and one of the most popular and longstanding ways to promote films is with posters. Translating Hollywood delivers a fresh perspective on movie posters by comparing memorable American versions of them against versions of the same films created for foreign markets. Such an exercise demonstrates how the differences are about much more than language. Take the poster for the movie Tootsie as an example. The American version has an American flag backdrop, in front of which Dustin Hoffman, smiling away, is dressed in drag. The image is light-hearted and comedic. Compare this to the Polish poster for the movie: it is illustrated so that the face from the nose up is blurred; below the nose, a clear five o’clock shadow and lips painted red. This image conjures a more subversive feeling, but it was clearly designed with the Polish market in mind. Such differences speak volumes for how cultural tendencies are reflected in graphic design. Translating Hollywood provides numerous, colorful examples of famous movie posters converted for distribution in countries such as Poland, Japan, China and France.
160 pages. English text. Colored. Hardcover.