The Robing of The Birds


Yet another of those curious Eastern European film posters which, to our Hollywood-colonised eyes, seem to violate all the conventions of cinema marketing. This example is a painting by Josef Vyletal for a 1970 Czech release of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. Surrealist art enthusiasts will immediately identify the floating figures as being cut loose from Max Ernst’s The Robing of the Bride (1940). Compared to some Czech and Polish posters, the associations here aren’t so surprising; Ernst identified his alter-ego as a bird-headed individual named Loplop. Birds and bird-headed humans recur throughout his work. Hitchcock, meanwhile, famously commissioned Salvador Dalí to design the dream sequences in Spellbound (1945). One of Ernst’s few appearances as an actor is in Hans Richter’s Dreams That Money Can Buy (1947) a very Surrealist film which also features scenes informed by Ernst’s work. It’s a shame more directors didn’t take the opportunity to employ these talents while they were still alive.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Ballard and the painters
Franciszek Starowieyski, 1930–2009
Czech film posters
Hitchcock on film
Judex, from Feuillade to Franju
Impressions de la Haute Mongolie revisited
Dalí and Film