Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol. 7

The scuttlebutt on Criterion, Eclipse, and Janus Films. Lists and polls are STRONGLY discouraged.
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mfunk9786
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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#301 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:05 pm

I'm fine with Straw Dogs, but the standout is that amazing text on the title of They Live By Night, wow. What a stunning month for covers overall.

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#302 Post by zedz » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:18 pm

The Marseilles Trilogy is the standout for me, and the individual covers for the films are gorgeous too.
ImageImageImage

I think The Lodger misses the period mark it was aiming for by not being polished enough.

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#303 Post by movielocke » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:29 pm

a pretty flawless month of covers. I didn't even notice the Straw Dogs change, but then I looked at it on my phone.

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#304 Post by jbeall » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:35 pm

The Lodger's cover reminds me too much of the Rififi cover, so... just, no.

I'm "meh" on the Straw Dogs cover--I guess I'd prefer the photo to the painting--but the They Live by Night and Marseille Trilogy (both the set and the individual titles) are fantastic, the best in quite some time.

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#305 Post by FrauBlucher » Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:21 pm

I was in B&N and stopped by the Criterion section. I took one look at the 45 Years cover and thought that is the worst. It's god awful. What is the reason for that cover?

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#306 Post by cdnchris » Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:27 pm

It's a reference to the cause of the central conflict that opens the film. I think it's an idea better as an idea. It's not a good cover, not even in person.

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#307 Post by tenia » Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:43 pm

It's thematically extremely well suited, but in practice, it's indeed awful.

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#308 Post by Ribs » Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:38 pm

Counterpoint: It's actually the best packaging Criterion's done in forever, but it's a shame it looks like it was topped two weeks later by Being There (and Blow-Up no slouch either). I love the abstract simplicity of it though, yes, I guess it does no favors in convincing the unconverted the film's worth checking out.

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#309 Post by domino harvey » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:11 pm

Ribs wrote:Counterpoint: It's actually the best packaging Criterion's done in forever, but it's a shame it looks like it was topped two weeks later by Being There
Image

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#310 Post by Minkin » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:40 pm

FrauBlucher wrote:I was in B&N and stopped by the Criterion section. I took one look at the 45 Years cover and thought that is the worst. It's god awful. What is the reason for that cover?
I'd suggest reading dwk's posted link on the previous page. The background did quite a bit more for my appreciation of the cover (I couldn't exactly tell what I was looking at when I first saw it). The shadow sort of makes the outline of a human figure, which helps with the thematic connection (I haven't seen the film, but I've read enough on it).

They could've just slapped the theatrical poster on there, or a still of the two leads or whatever TT does - but instead they send someone to go hike around Switzerland looking for crevasses (which are absolutely terrifying btw - people really love glaciers, but I hate them - as they're full of these death traps where you can really have no idea if your next step might be your last, just putting your life into the quick ability of whoever you're tied into to self-arrest otherwise they're going in as well ... So you trust other people's footprints, or a guide or avoid certain areas and hope for the best. Still a great hobby, mountaineering).

At least if you still think its awful, its probably the most amount of work spent on producing a cover - at least the first time somebody put their life at risk for a home video cover.

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#311 Post by domino harvey » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:43 pm

A cover should attract new viewers-- virtually no one who comes across this unawares in say Barnes and Noble is going to have any idea what's going on, and that it needed a Cliff's Notes explanation even here is probably hint number one that something went horribly wrong on a conception level here

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#312 Post by Minkin » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:00 pm

domino harvey wrote:A cover should attract new viewers-- virtually no one who comes across this unawares in say Barnes and Noble is going to have any idea what's going on, and that it needed a Cliff's Notes explanation even here is probably hint number one that something went horribly wrong on a conception level here
I can appreciate the amount of effort put into the final cover - which goes further than the aesthetic qualities. I just thinks it only works for those who know of the central concept of the film - and for the casual viewer, they're going to be terribly confused ("I thought this was the sad movie with the old people?"). I'd say the real problem with it is that its focused too close on the crevasse - as you have a difficult time deciphering whats going on /what you're even seeing. Perhaps a more panoramic shot might help the viewer make the connection to mountain dangers better (like the interior cover does - only have the footprints trail off at a crevasse.... although perhaps they're saving this for their Touching the Void cover ... Criterion is on a streak with crevasse films).

Usually Criterion always involve the director in the cover decision - so I wonder if Haigh suggested they go this route.

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#313 Post by FrauBlucher » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:34 pm

Domino beat me to a response...But here it goes anyway...
Ribs wrote:Counterpoint: It's actually the best packaging Criterion's done in forever, but it's a shame it looks like it was topped two weeks later
This takes the contrarian cake
Image
I wrote:What is the reason for that cover?
I saw the film and get the context but it doesn't look like anything. In person, it looks worse. My question was more for wondering why Criterion let that go through. A rhetorical question. I'm sure there were alternatives they could have used that conveyed the same conceptual feeling. Hopefully we'll see them one day.

Minkins, thanks for the heads up. It sounds more interesting then the final outcome shows.
Last edited by FrauBlucher on Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#314 Post by Ribs » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:43 pm

I seriously just do not understand how it seems to be spurring such intense dislike. In person, it looks phenomenal - as a whole, the package is among the most beautiful Criterion or anyone's ever put out. Everything from the interior art to the fantastic fold-out to the spine and the menu to the cover all connote this same great style that I feel totally communicates everything about this film. It has an abstract cover- this doesn't really seem like it's worth accusing Criterion's QA department of having screwed up and its release some kind of failure on Criterion's part, which I think is just generally insulting to the artist behind it in a very mean-spirited fashion.

Most Criterion covers completely fail the "does it actually communicate any information about the film" test and that never gets bandied around here, so it seems a little unfair to suddenly have that be the dominant criticism.

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#315 Post by domino harvey » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:46 pm

Ribs wrote:Most Criterion covers completely fail the "does it actually communicate any information about the film" test and that never gets bandied around here, so it seems a little unfair to suddenly have that be the dominant criticism.
A cover that is aesthetically appealing can be its own draw, which is irrelevant here seeing as how this looks like some Sub Pop band's generic gig poster circa 2002

Spare us the crying for the poor designers. Criterion is a business that provides products in exchange for money, and paid someone to provide artwork for their release. All behind the scenes responsible for the final product are fair game for criticism from consumers

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#316 Post by bakofalltrades » Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:54 pm

I actually find myself quite drawn to the cover of 45 Years. I think it's beautiful and alluring; it's got an abstract quality to it that intrigues me, much in the same way the Red Desert cover intrigues me. (I had never seen an Antonioni film at that point, and that box art alone convinced me to rent it. And I am not ashamed of that.)

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#317 Post by Morbii » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:19 am

I agree with the dissenters, I like the 45 Years cover. It's a "blind buy" cover for me (I've never seen the film).

It tend to dislike all the cartoony covers that seem to be more and more in vogue with criterion lately.

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#318 Post by tenia » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:36 am

domino harvey wrote:A cover should attract new viewers-- virtually no one who comes across this unawares in say Barnes and Noble is going to have any idea what's going on, and that it needed a Cliff's Notes explanation even here is probably hint number one that something went horribly wrong on a conception level here
I was thinking exactly the same yesterday about The Before Trilogy, also because my GF, who discovered the movies this week end, told me "with such a bland cover, who can guess what these movies are if you dont know them already ?"

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#319 Post by TMDaines » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:35 am

They sent someone to Switzerland for the 45 Years cover? Wow.

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#320 Post by FrauBlucher » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:45 am

There are some beautiful shots here. A fair number I'd rather see than what they chose.

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#321 Post by teddyleevin » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:14 pm

I looked through a stack of Criterion blind-buys that I've been de-kevyipping and I can't deny that the general aesthetic appeal of the cover has a direct influence on my willingness to give it a whirl. Sometimes, it bites me (The Night Porter, which doesn't live up to either artwork), but generally, with corroboration from my knowledge of the director and friends' recommendations, I've been generally led to trust a good cover.

If I found myself with an extra $20 in my pocket ready to burn during a B&N sale, I would definitely give a film like 45 Years (which I don't really know anything about) a pass. For the Before Trilogy, which I did blindbuy when Amazon had it for a $40 pre-order, was enjoyable and didn't meet the blandness of the cover, but I think if it had been any more than $40, I wouldn't have rushed to get it.

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#322 Post by Ribs » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:18 pm

I'm less upset about the actual design of the cover for the Before set and more how the cover art for the individual films seems to be a totally different idea that don't really go together, but I've not seen the actual set in person so maybe it all comes together

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#323 Post by teddyleevin » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:30 pm

Accurate observation. I can't say the concept comes together. Something about the lack of blue on the outer design. The individual covers are pretty awful, too. In contrast, the booklet is elegant and straightforward.

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#324 Post by djali999 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:34 pm

Totally confounded by the Straw Dogs change. Of the various home video releases of Straw Dogs, Criterion's was by far the best looking - it used the classic poster image, the text surrounding the image was clean and minimal, and did nothing to detract from the central image. Without resorting to a black background and garish text overlays, that disc cover really set you up for a bleak watch. The new one has bafflingly ugly text and the "painted" cover is a total loss. It's almost as if they wanted to use the original poster image and put nothing on the front, but weren't able to.

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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol.

#325 Post by teddyleevin » Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:47 pm

It's such a downgrade that I might do something I've never done and make a custom cover for it.

... or maybe just put the Blu in the DVD box.

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