visual analysis

Why the Burlesque Movie Poster Looks Familiar

The poster for Burlesque is here, and between the gold, the sequins, and the one-word names (to topline with Cher, Christina Aguilera has been forced to drop the Aguilera), it continues to look like a movie that knows what camp is! Also, it looks like a movie that knows what other movie posters look like, as many previously seen visual elements — mostly on those of musicals — are on display here. After the jump, a dissection of what Burlesque has taken from everything from Bob Fosse to Stomp the Yard.

Compare the Burlesque poster to the ones below, and note the following:

Title in Lights
This is an old Broadway trope, used in everything from A Chorus Line to Gypsy to the current Memphis. It was also memorably, and regularly, used by Bob Fosse in the posters for All That Jazz and Cabaret — the last of which Burlesque could do worse than try to remind people of. (Hence, also, Aguilera’s flapper gear. Sadly, though, no bowler hat.)

Bold Open-Legged Stance.
Though the Chicago image uses neon lights, as opposed to flashbulbs, both it and the Burlesque poster feature actors in the spread-leg stance: one that communicates power and a readiness to dance.

Caught Mid-Sing
Aguilera, just like Bette Midler in The Rose, needs to sing so urgently she will even do it on a movie poster.

Vagina As Source of Light
The Real L World led the way with this one, which intimates one’s lady parts are the source of power, revelation.

Silhouetted Break-dancers
Lest all of the above homages make you think Burlesque is just some glittery musical, there are some “edgy” break-dancers cavorting in the background, reminiscent of Stomp the Yard.

We also spot a hint of Princess Leia in the gold-clad dancers at Aguilera’s feet. What else?

Update: Our commenters point out that this is actually a (very good looking) fan made poster. To which we say, hooray!, at least someone is looking forward to this movie more than us. Hopefully the real poster– which will allegedly feature Cher– will be nearly as campy, and include as much gold.

Why the Burlesque Movie Poster Looks Familiar