Fabrizio del Wrongo writes:
As in France, the appearance of New Wave films in Italy coincided with the advent of new techniques for the creation of movie posters. Designs became hipper, more au courant, and gradually the use of photographic images began to supplant the painterly tradition of Anselmo Ballester and Luigi Martinati. (If in France poster making was closely allied with the tradition of printmaking, in Italy it was always aspiring to the splashier effects of painting.)
One thing remained constant: The Italians’ love of sex, heat, and drama. It’s a predilection that caused even the grim films of Ingmar Bergman to be marketed in Italy as colorful, hot-house extravaganzas. (You expected the sun-loving Italians to cotton to all that Scandinavian brooding and angst?) This resulted in some rather incongruous New Wave posters, such as Angelo Cesselon’s hysterical take on Rivette’s rather staid “La Religieuse,” or Piovano’s dual interpretations of “Week End,” both of which emphasize sex over Godard’s analytical brand of doomsaying. On the other hand, the unsigned cartoon-style image used to represent the lunatic “Zazie in the Metro” is very appropriate, and Giuliano Nistri’s image of Bardot on his “Contempt” poster gets the smoldering side of the star in a way French posters often don’t. And Enrico DeSeta’s large poster for “The 400 Blows” is simply one of the loveliest designs of the era: it’s less a representative image of the film than an advertisement for an emerging continental style — one characterized by tousled hair, Vespa scooters, and jaunty modernist typefaces.
As I did in the first entry in this series, I’ve included posters for some films that don’t qualify as New Wave in the strict sense, but which derive from the same period and set of attitudes. I’ve also included some posters for films that can be considered part of Italy’s own new wave — movies made by men like Bernardo Bertolucci and Marco Bellocchio. Because . . . well, why not?
I apologize for the variable quality of the photos. Some of these posters are over six feet in length, making them hard to photograph.