Jassim Al Saddah : FILIM : Remixed Arabia


There is a booming market for film posters today. These posters are famed for their dramatic use of iconic imagery and typologies created specifically for them, pulling reference from the film itself that made it popular.

Film memorabilia began with such things as scrap-books, autographs, photographs, and industry magazines, but quickly expanded in the post-World War II era and collectors began seeking out original advertising material, and the classic “one sheet” [27 inches by 40 inches (686x1020mm), portrait format film poster] became the pinnacle object to own for any given film.* With time, what was originally intended for the sole purpose of boosting movie ticket sales became an object of interest in and of themselves. In other words, the means by which one art was promoted gradually became an art in its own right.

Recently, a newer generation of re-imagined movie posters have surfaced. They are referred to as “remixed” posters where the content of the original is altered to convey political or comedic messages. As these posters represent imagery and references that have been ingrained in the public psyche, artists have found an outlet by which to reach both the art connoisseur and members of the general public for which the original film poster was intended. As a result, the artist gains a much louder voice and delivers a message easily digested by a very wide audience utilizing the standard dimension of the classic “one sheet.”.

This adaptation of past and present pop culture icons within the Arab World has taken on many forms. Icons of Arabia such as Om Kulthoum, Feyrouz, and Abdel Haleem Hafeth have been repeatedly used as the icon celebrity or the motif in this new art trend. Furthermore, as comparisons between Arab pop icons and their international Western counterparts have always existed, merging the two was a natural extension of remixing iconic movie posters. For instance Arabian screen vixen Hind Rostom can easily be seen  in a classic Marilyn Monroe pose. In other instances it is a visual interpretation of some conspiracy theories behind famed rumors or distinct similarities between the movie actor’s names, features, attributes and title of the movie.

Whatever form these remixed posters take, whether the message is political, social commentary, or simply comedic in nature, there is no denying its far reach and great appeal for artist and viewer alike.

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