Chinatown Poster by Genzo
Recently, our pal J. Kingston Pierce of The Rap Sheet posted Digging the Art of Chinatown, a mind-blowing array of alternative posters for the 1974 classic, Chinatown, and I have to confess: I was gobsmacked. The variety was startling, and the audacity of some of the twelve posters displayed was staggering.
Of course we all know the classic poster by Pennsylvania-born artist Jim Pearsall. It’s about as iconic as the film itself, with some picking it out of the lineup as “arguably the greatest movie poster of all-time.”
But the one above, by Romanian graphic designer, digital Illustrator and image manipulator Genzo Zoltan Kovacs, ain’t too shabby itself. I wasn’t quite sure who Genzo is, whether he was a professional artist, or simply a very enthusiastic hobbyist, but he seemed to have an awful lot of movie posters scattered all over the web, none of which I’d seen before, so I did some digging.
At first I thought all these great posters were possibly for foreign DVD or Blu-Ray releases I hadn’t yet come across, but the lack of any but the most rudimentary text on some of the posters should have clued me in — they’re fan posters, not actual official posters!
Yep, the trippy, cynical poster above, capturing as it does so much of what feels elemental about the film (Nicholson and Dunaway, the water as both threat and metaphor, and the sense of inevitable, inescapable doom, pitted against the use of deliberately inappropriate colour palette (those WTF blues!) that somehow captures the utter moral wrongness of this bleak and nasty film… it was done just for fun.
Or, as Genzo puts it, “These are created for portfolio purpose only, no purchase opportunities available, and no profit involved in any of these works. (Chinatown is) one of my favorite 70s movies, and also one of my favorite Jack Nicholson movies. I just wanted to make a poster for it.”
- Digging the Art of Chinatown
J. Kinston Pierce looks at various alternative covers of the classic film. (June 2019, The Rap Sheet)
- Genzo Creations
The official Facebook page of Genzo Zoltan Kovacs.
- My Scrapbook: The Greatest Movie Poster of All Time?
The iconic Chinatown poster itself.