Studio Vertov

Of Times and Tyrants

This entry documents my exciting and remarkably fruitful collaboration with the award winning and prolific Russian documentary filmmaker Vitaly Mansky. Alltogether so far I've made posters for 3 of his films (working on the 4th) and each occasion has been very special to say the least, in terms of inspiration, the process and pace of work, as Vitaly is truly an auteur who regards the poster as an integral part of his projects.
Putin's Witnesses 2018
The film is basically an archive footage from the election night Putin became president of Russia for the first time. Vitaly at the time was working for the Russian state TV and had unparalleled access to both Putin's election camp and the family of late ex-president Boris Yeltsin. In the light of the events of last 20 years, the film seems dreadfully prescient and ominous.
Promotional folder next to Karlovy Vary DFF trophy for the Best Documentary. The folder featured a cutout DIY mask on the inside of the front flap.
The poster at various festivals. As is common with my posters in Czech Republic, they were poached so much that the organizers had to permanently glue them to the wall.
And finally yours truly (camo pants) with the film's crew at the special screening.
Close Relations 2016
This poster was selected by Haapsalu Graphic Design Festival for the exhibition of Contemporary Latvian Poster Design in Haapsalu, Estonia and the National Library of Latvia, Riga in 2018.
Close Relations is a film about Vitaly's relatives stranded on both sides of Russia / Ukraine conflict, including some in the contested region of the Crimea. An observation of human condition in general and how ordinary people's lives and views reflect the big world politics. Hence the colors of the Ukrainian flag and the downed civilian airliner, which at the time in Russia were (and still are) extremely controversial and polarizing symbols / subjects.
I did the poster as a coloured paper cutout, then photographed it and added the layout details.
Under the Sun 2015
This poster was selected by Haapsalu Graphic Design Festival for the exhibition of Contemporary Latvian Poster Design in Haapsalu, Estonia and the National Library of Latvia, Riga in 2018.
This is probably Vitaly's most famous film, an almost accidental documentary about life in North Korea, the literal religious devotion and rituals that surround the totalitarian cult of the Great Leader. The most shocking is the realization how the system in the former Eastern Block was just one step away from this kind of madness.
Clockwise from top left: Korean, Russian, Latvian, Czech, English.
My main graphic device for this poster was the lettering of the title, stylized after Korean Hangul alphabet to create an impression of Juche propaganda slogan, which I had to do in 4 different languages.