Movie Poster of the Week: “Khrustalyov, My Car!” and the Posters of Andrzej Klimowski

An exclusive look at the brand new poster for Aleksei German’s 1998 masterpiece.
Adrian Curry
Above: detail from 2018 UK quad for Khrustalyov, My Car! (Aleksei German, Russia, 1998).
One of the most beautiful and confounding of modern masterpieces, Aleksei German’s Khrustalyov, My Car! is getting a 20th anniversary restoration release in both the U.K. and the U.S. on December 14 courtesy of Arrow Films. A potent source for Armando Ianucci’s The Death of Stalin, German’s fever dream of a satire has some the most gorgeous high-contrast black and white cinematography I’ve ever seen (watch the trailer here). It is fitting then that the new poster for the film, by the great Andrzej Klimowski, is in such stark black and white.
A new film poster by Klimowski is an event. Born in London to Polish parents in 1949, the designer emigrated to Poland in 1973 to study under the legendary Henryk Tomaszewski at the Academy of Fine Arts. By 1976 he was designing posters for the state-run Film Distribution Office and for the next few years he produced some of the most indelible Polish posters of the 70s, all in his very recognizable surreal photo-montage style. Returning to the U.K. when martial law was declared in 1981, Klimowski concentrated on book cover design (most notably for Milan Kundera and Harold Pinter) before becoming an author-illustrator himself, penning graphic novels in ink and brush and linocut, often in collaboration with his wife Danusia Schejbal.
His movie posters since 1981 have been few and far between: a series of posters for the films of Jim Jarmusch in 1991-2, a Polish poster for Institute Benjamenta—the first feature film by his longtime friends the Quay Brothers—in 1995, and a 2010 poster for Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev. The Khrustalyov poster continues the striking and inventive use of linocut that has been his trademark for the past two decades: the perfect medium for rendering German’s dramatic chiaroscuro.
Below are some of my favorites of Klimowski’s posters. You can see many more in the book Klimowski Poster Book that was released earlier this year.
Above: 2018 UK quad for Khrustalyov, My Car! (Aleksei German, Russia, 1998).
Above: 1976 Polish poster for The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, USA, 1974).
Above: 1977 Polish poster for The Day of the Dolphin (Mike Nichols, USA, 1973).
Above: Polish poster for Flic Story (Jacques Deray, France, 1975).
Above: 1976 Polish poster for The Flower in his Mouth (Luigi Zampa, Italy, 1975).
Above: 1976 poster for Nashville (Robert Altman, USA, 1975).
Above: 1977 Polish poster for Family Plot (Alfred Hitchcock, USA, 1976).
Above: 1977 Polish poster for The Omen (Richard Donner, USA, 1976).
Above: 1977 Polish poster for The Innocent (Luchino Visconti, Italy, 1976).
Above: 1978 Polish poster for Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, USA, 1976).
Above: 1991-2 posters for Jim Jarmusch’s Down by Law (1986), Stranger than Paradise (1984), Night on Earth (1991), Mystery Train (1989) and Permanent Vacation (1980).
Above: 1995 Polish poster for Institute Benjamenta (The Quay Brothers, UK, 1995).
Above: 2010 poster for Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky, USSR, 1966).
Many thanks to Daniel Bird and Louise Buckler of Arrow Films. Posters courtesy of Arrow Films and Posteritati. Khrustalyov, My Car! opens November 14 at the Metrograph in New York.

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