For my Final Project, the movie I chose to do a poster of was “Moscow on the Hudson”.
Moscow on the Hudson is set during the Cold War and tells the story of Russian circus musician, Vladimir Ivanoff (played by Robin Williams). His friend, a circus clown, tells Vladmir about his dream to defect from the USSR and become an American citizen. When him and the rest of his circus troupe take a trip to New York, Vladimir’s friend fails to defect when given the opportunity. Vladimir however, defects from the USSR in the middle of a trip to a Bloomingdales. Upon defecting, he befriends a black security guard named Lionel (played by Cleavant Derricks) and a perfume saleswoman namd Lucia (played by Maria Conchita Alonso). The movie follows Vladimir’s life in New York City as he works low end jobs for money, finds love, becomes an American citizen and eventually discover his idea of the American dream.
While there were a couple of posters made for this movie, I wanted to focus on this 1984 poster for the American theatrical release of the movie. This poster is illustrated in a similar way to the New Yorker time front cover piece “View of the World from 9th Avenue” by Saul Steinberg. However, it puts its own spin on the piece by not only featuring different locations from the original piece but also featuring the main and supporting characters of the film. I believe this poster does a great job at being a tribute to Steinberg’s original work while using elements from the film to enhance its themes of immigration and finding the American dream.
I believe the target audience for this film is undoubtedly American immigrants. Throughout the film, we focus heavily on Vladimir Ivanoff’s struggle to adjust to his new life in America. We see him struggle with hardships that immigrants coming to the U.S. face including working low-paying jobs to make ends meet, adjusting to American culture, language barriers, trying to become an American citizen and the pain that comes with not being able to see your family from back home. We see the highs and lows of Vladimir’s new life in America and see him through the good and bad moments in his life (finding love with Lucia vs. recieving a letter letting him know that his grandfather in Moscow is dead, becoming an American citizen vs. getting his wallet and ID stolen by 2 thieves).
For the word web, I found myself going back to the word “immigration” more than a few times. I believe this word is the most important when making a poster for this movie because the entire movie is themed around immigrating from a foreign country to America and fulfilling your idea of the American dream.
For the thumbnail sketches, I decided to use imagery found in the film’s posters and the film itself.