Peace Signs

The U.S. vs. John Lennon movie poster

The U.S. vs. John Lennon movie poster

The U.S. vs. John Lennon movie poster

The US vs. John Lennon is a new documentary film billed as “a compelling and provocative look at John Lennon’s transformation from beloved musical artist to anti-war activist to iconic inspiration for peace that also reveals the true story of why and how the U.S. Government tried to silence him.”

The U.S. vs. John Lennon movie poster seems to be a bit of an “homage” to a famous conceptual movie poster design — the peace V-sign hand for the Robert Altman film M*A*S*H (which is one of AFI’s 100 greatest American films.)

MASH movie poster

MASH movie poster

The original MASH movie poster features a hand flashing the V sign, complete with an attached pair of sexy legs. Flashing the V-sign originally stood for “V for Victory”, but was also adopted as an anti-war peace sign — perhaps in response to it being the political trademark hand sign of President Richard Nixon.)

A somewhat strange image when seen for the first time, the leggy M.A.S.H. artwork does capture the tone of the irreverent anti-war comedy. (It certainly represents the iconoclast director Altman well.) After the success of the R-rated comedy, MASH was re-edited for a PG-rated re-release to theaters, and later movie poster key art addressed this edit as well by putting a gloved version of the hand peace sign in ads. The hand peace sign has made other movie poster appearances, including in the 1971 Johnny Got His Gun movie poster. The US vs. John Lennon takes that anti-war finger symbol and throws in the popular poster device of “glasses as an image container”. The Lennon poster also pushes the nostalgia look further by incorporating paper folds into the poster artwork itself — making the one-sheet appear as a vintage folded movie poster. (Most one-sheets issued prior to the mid 1980s were shipped folded to theaters, as opposed to modern rolled one-sheets.)

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  1. karl sinfieldJune 30, 2006 at 3:37 AMReply

    It also vaguely reminds me of the Discreet Charm of the Bourgeousie poster…

  2. beepbeepitsmeAugust 24, 2006 at 11:00 PMReply

    RE John Lennon

    “Keep You Doped With Religion And Sex And TV”

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