Don’t Look Back

The Life Aquatic poster… Milton Glaser‘s Bob Dylan poster.
Gothamist is running a contest to promote Wes Anderson’s cruelly under-hyped film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou this week.
What caught my eye immediately was the excellent poster for the film (above left), an obvious homage to Milton Glaser’s iconic Bob Dylan poster from 1966 (above, right). Since the Zissou image didn’t link, I don’t know its provenance, but I was surprised that there was no mention of Dylan or Glaser, since just last week, Gothamist was singing Glaser’s praises in a piece about the new New York Magazine logo.
I guess Glaser‘s just one of those artists whose work is so ubiquitous, it’s become wallpaper for the culture. It’s like “Happy Birthday to You”: Everyone knows that song, but can anyone name its composer? It’s a shame, too, since Glaser created so many excellent, memorable designs, like the beloved logo for Grand Union.
Related: “When I went upstairs, my bedroom felt like an overwarm sickroom. The clearest remaining vestige of Tom was the ‘Don’t Look Back’ poster that he’d taped to a flank of his dresser where Bob Dylan’s psychedelic hair style wouldn’t always be catching my mother’s censorious eye.” The Comfort Zone, by Jonathan Franzen, The New Yorker, Nov. 29, 2004.

4 replies on “Don’t Look Back”

Nice catch, Matt. Thanks for reminding me that Milton designed the Dylan poster.
The Touchstone publicity people sent us two posters for The Life Aquatic: The one in the main poster of all the cast members in an underwater device, and this one, which I think is supposed to be for a bus shelter. I think this one is better and should be used more, because it’s much more visually arresting. This is also why I’ll never be able to work in Hollywood.

Actually I think it’s an homage to Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527-1593)-(Four of the portraits he did are in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.) He did a series of composite portraits of heads made up of a variety of objects, both natural and man-made. The water one looks just like this poster.

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