Miklós Jancsó: film poster art

Stunning woodcut posters created by London’s Academy cinema for the great films of Hungarian master Miklós Jancsó, who has died aged 92.

Samuel Wigley

The films of Hungarian director Miklós Jancsó (1921-2014) were among the most striking offerings on the independent cinema circuit in the UK in 1960s and 1970s. It was the time of the most sensational releases by Michelangelo Antonioni and Ingmar Bergman, by Fellini and Godard. Even so, Jancsó’s work stood apart. His most famous films, such as The Round-up (1965) and Red Psalm (1972) – the latter winning him the best director prize at the Cannes Film Festival – are visions of Hungary’s turbulent past charted in labyrinthine camera movements which track and encircle the actors, constantly reframing the action as a shifting series of patterns.

Like many of the great auteurs of his day, Jancsó’s films were an inspiration to German woodcut artist Peter Strausfeld, the resident poster artist at the Academy Cinema in London’s Oxford Street. This run of posters – from 1964’s My Way Home to 1974’s Electra – represents some of Strausfeld’s most vivid achievements.

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