Fabrizio del Wrongo writes:
As you might expect, the advent of the French New Wave in the late ’50s helped to usher in a revolution in French movie poster design, a tradition with roots going back to Jules Cheret. Offset printing replaced stone lithography as the main mode of reproduction, and photographic images began to take precedence over traditional hand-rendered designs. The designer most emblelmatic of the period was probably Rene Ferracci, who often employed photographic collages to evoke the modernist bent of the films he was attempting to represent. His designs for Godard’s “2 or 3 Things I Know About Her,” “La Chinoise,” and “Made in USA” seem pulled right out of the popular consciousness.
But vestiges of the old way of doing things remained. The legendary Boris Grinsson delivered an oddly staid, but still quite appealing, image to promote “The 400 Blows”; it captures Leaud just as he’s freezing into an icon (the movie ended with a freeze-frame, after all). And Jean Mascii’s treatments for “Alphaville” and “Lola” are unforgettable even though they largely miss the point.
Georges Allard’s Bardot portrait for “Contempt” misses the point too, but it’s so transcendent that it scarcely matters; it’s the iconic image of ’60s French cinema.
I know it’s possible to dispute the New Wave-ness of some of these movies, but let’s agree not to nitpick.