* This is guest post written by Adam Stevens
Personally, I love self-referential, post modern films that know how to do it well – the first thing that comes to mind is Pixar and their unique way of including such things as the Pizza Planet Truck and their Luxo ball, which is a blue and yellow ball with a red star, making appearances in almost all Pixar films.
I decided to take a look into film posters doing the same as the Pizza Planet Truck, hiding in the background being easy to notice for someone who is watching for the second time or by someone who has a keen eye. However, this was easier said than done. It was hard to find such films which included other film posters, probably due to conflict of interest and the fact that you don’t want to promote a film within a film. That’s why the trailers before a film starts are shown.
Never-the-less, here is a list of five films that include film posters in the background or include cool ways of getting their poster out to the public (see number five).
1. Last Action Hero (1993)
In the action-adventure comedy Last Action Hero, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, there is a rather large poster for Terminator 2 starring Sylvester Stallone. The film is about action hero ‘Jack Slater’, whose biggest fan gets transported into a Jack Slater film and becomes his sidekick. However, when the villain gets his hands on the ticket that transported Jack’s sidekick, the action bursts out into the real world where Jack Slater believes he is an actual person.
2. Toy Story 3 (2010)
Toy Story 3 has some of the most impressive cross references and really is a beautiful post modern film when looked at analytically. On a poster in Andy’s room you can see Finn McMissile, a character from the Pixar film Cars. As you possibly already know, Toy Story 3 is a film about the classic toys of Andy and their struggle as Andy goes to college. They are put into daycare with rowdy toddlers who don’t play nice. After some torture, they decide to team up with the other toys and plan their escape.
3. A Bug’s Life (1998)
In Bug City, in the film A Bug’s Life, you can see a poster for Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ musical, amongst many other posters for such things as jumbo pretzels and donuts. This film is one of my favourites mainly due to the amazing character, Flik. The film is about ants gathering an ‘offering’ to the grasshoppers, when Flik, an unpopular inventor, ruins the crops.
However, the grasshoppers give the ants a second chance to collect food. Flik then sets off to find people to fight the grasshoppers. He comes back with a circus crew, which gives everyone new hope.
4. Play it again, Sam (1972)
This classic rom-com is about a neurotic film critic who tries to get over his wife leaving him by dating again, helped by his alter ego, Humphrey Bogart, and encouraged by two of his married friends. This classic, cleverly written and produced film featured a poster from the film ‘Across the Pacific’, which starred Humphrey Bogart as Rick Leland, an ex-army individual who goes rogue in the Orient.
5. Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
The most recent film in this list has taken a slightly more modern take on featuring film posters in trailers and films. The trailer for Star Trek into Darkness was full of hidden web links that will take you to the film poster for different countries.
Adam Stevens is a film fanatic and a writer for GB Posters, the biggest British poster store. He loves cinema in all its forms: from Woody Allen’s “Play It Again Sam” to Martin Scorsese’s surreal “After Hours”. Adam loves engrossing himself in movies and revisiting his favourites again and again.