Creating a Poster: Tetsuo for President!

By Jason Haggstrom, December 9, 2011

This week, Akira logothe Large Association of Movie Blogs (The LAMB) is running a contest around the concept of "If A Movie Character Ran For President." The idea is for members to create and submit a poster (or modify an existing one) to match the theme. I don't typically participate in such contests because my busy schedule prohibits it. But this time, I just couldn't resist creating a submission. You see, I'm a big fan of Akira, both the 1988 film and Katsuhiro Otomo's comic series (or manga, as comics are referred to in Otomo's native Japan). I quickly realized that Akira's film's power-mad protagonist, Tetsuo Shima, would be a great subject for this theme. Below, I'll walk through the concepts that influenced my design, and then reveal the final poster that I submitted.

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My A Serious Man Fan Art

By Jason Haggstrom, August 21, 2010

The Coen Brother's A Serious Man wasn't just my favorite film of 2009, it also arrived with my favorite poster from the year as well. The poster features a beautiful color palette—a faded away blue sky and Larry Gopnick's washed out skins tones—that makes the photograph appear as though it were a forty-year old document held on to from the time in which the film takes place. The image shows Larry staring off the poster's edge—looking for God or maybe looking for the Coens; for Larry, they might just be one and the same. Unfortunately for Larry, the photo he calls home has been encased by a thick, yellowed matting that holds him as a prisoner in the Coen's constructed world. This poster is a phenomenal achievement in design that replicates the film's era by way of the nostalgic photographs that often define it. At the same time, the image conveys the film's theme of looking for answers where there are none to be found. Fantastic.

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A Night at the Starz Film Center

By Jason Haggstrom, July 24, 2010

I originally wrote this essay back in 2008 as an assignment for a college English class. The task was to write a first person narrative from a personal experience similar to what you might hear in one of those fantastic ten-minute long journalistic pieces on NPR. I was inspired to revisit and publish this piece by the splendid series of short essays the experience of seeing a film at a movie theater at Salon.com, "Slide show: The movie experience I can't forget". In particular, Kartina Richardson's remembrance of watching Pickup on South Street with a crowd for the first time resonated deeply with me. I had a similar experience when I saw my beloved Out of the Past with a crowd for the first time when it played at The Starz Film Center in downtown Denver.

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Daddy, What is Stop Motion?

By Jason Haggstrom, July 18, 2010

My kids love Chicken Run, the masterpiece of stop motion animation by Aardman, the studio responsible for the equally brilliant Wallace & Gromit series. But, being that Samantha and Kristen are six and four years old respectively, it's hard to convey to them how such films are created. For weeks, the girls have prompted me with such questions as "How do they make the chickens move if they aren't real?" and "Do they have batteries?" They've seen the documentaries and marveled at miniaturized sets, characters, and the dozens of interchangeable heads that allow each character to possess a myriad of facial expressions. Still, they don't really understand exactly what the process behind stop motion is.

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Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan

By Jason Haggstrom, May 21, 2010

In recognition of the 30th anniversary of the release of The Empire Strikes Back, I present my ode to Obi-Wan Kenobi, supreme badass of the Jedi Order:

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