One Bad Appal: The Parasite Cover and Spoilers in Criterion Cover Art

The scuttlebutt on Criterion, Eclipse, and Janus Films. Lists and polls are STRONGLY discouraged.
User avatar
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:08 pm

Re: One Bad Appal: The Parasite Cover and Spoilers in Criterion Cover Art

#26 Post by Boosmahn » Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:31 pm

The covers for The Wages of Fear and Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence also use shots close to the endings. (And I think the booklet art for The Naked Kiss portrays a scene late in the film? I haven't seen it yet. Edit: nope, it's from the opening scene!)

User avatar
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:01 pm
Location: Stretford, Manchester

Re: One Bad Appal: The Parasite Cover and Spoilers in Criterion Cover Art

#27 Post by TMDaines » Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:13 am

People telling you certain images are spoilers are far bigger criminals than otherwise innocuous images being spoilers in hindsight. We've had this discussion before about another poster or cover, where people screamed "IT'S A SPOILER" and those of those who hadn't seen the film were only spoiled by the accuser.

Nobody is having Parasite spoiled by the CC cover. People may well be able to get a spoiler from this thread title and the opening post though.

Joined: Sat May 25, 2019 11:58 am

Re: One Bad Appal: The Parasite Cover and Spoilers in Criterion Cover Art

#28 Post by Nasir007 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:25 am

It ain’t a spoiler but it’s a bad cover.

Posters aren’t the worst offenders today. It is the trailers. They basically summarize the movie in 2 mins for you.

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Spelling Bee Champeen
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England

Re: One Bad Appal: The Parasite Cover and Spoilers in Criterion Cover Art

#29 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:41 am

TMD -- Great point. One has to know quite a bit about a film before a stray picture can be seen as a spoiler. ;-)

User avatar
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: One Bad Appal: The Parasite Cover and Spoilers in Criterion Cover Art

#30 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:06 pm

These things are always fraught - I personally think showing the titular Wicker Man on the cover of The Wicker Man was a bit too much, but its on almost every poster and cover of every home video release, so I guess it seemingly does not matter!

The worst example I can remember was an early 1990s trailer for a television screening of Working Girl:
Which lingered on the final shot of Melanie Griffiths on the phone whilst reclining in a big chair in her swanky corner office. Which I guess is not particularly a big spoiler that her character eventually succeeds and reaches the top of her chosen profession, but if you then watched the film about the character struggling throughout the film whilst having the memory of that trailer in mind it kind of undercut all of the dramatic tension a bit! I'm pretty sure whoever made that trailer did so under the "nobody is going to notice we've shown the final shot of the film here" belief as well!
But that is another example of a situation where telling you that the seemingly innocuous at first glance image is the final shot of the film might actually lead to the person pointing that out themselves getting a furious backlash from it, instead of the more deserving of punishment people who put that shot in there in the first place! :)

But its not a completely one way or the other situation. It is nice to have imagery used that then deepens and enriches an experience of a piece of work when you return to the title screen of the DVD or walk past the poster in the lobby of the cinema, or pull out a disc from your library, even if it can be a fine line between being smart and subtle and overly arch about it. And I suppose that you can only really be spoiled the once (unless you forget the events of the film!), and that the best films still have a lot to offer to a viewer even after their nominally crucial 'plot events' have been revealed (i.e. the reason why it is so enjoyable to re-watch films multiple times. For example I know the events that occur in Jagged Edge but am also looking forward to revisiting it again to see the way everything plays out). It is just that it can be annoying to be unavoidably subjected to such things when you do not wish to be (I am still glad I saw the original Planet of the Apes on television rather than seeing any of the spoilery home video covers! The same with seeing Psycho underage for maximum impact). But at the same time there can be a lot of enjoyment to get from a package like that which has a little extra subtle twist in its cover design to make those in the know smile.
Last edited by colinr0380 on Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:34 pm, edited 8 times in total.

User avatar
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:46 am

Re: One Bad Appal: The Parasite Cover and Spoilers in Criterion Cover Art

#31 Post by criterionoop » Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:18 pm

I have to agree with the people who are saying that the Morse code isn't a spoiler.

If the Morse code was translated into a lengthy description of the ending, then it would be a major spoiler. But since it's only translated into "Parasite," it's akin to translating "The Miracle Worker" into American Sign Language, or translating "The Whistlers" into the whistling language you hear in the trailer. It's benign because you know it exists, but you don't know the context in which it exists. I'm hoping that it will be a slip case because the poster art was great already (and I would say that the poster is more of a spoiler than the Morse code - the poster gives you context of location and characters, while the Morse code is stripped of all that).

Going back to my point about 45 YEARS and the individuals who are saying that the cover of the film is a spoiler/we shouldn't have spoilers of any level: this is confusing because the implication is that in order to avoid knowing beforehand that (and I'm only putting a spoiler because I don't really feel like dealing with the blow back of not putting a spoiler)
Geoff's girlfriend froze to death and they find her body on the eve of his and Kate's 45th anniversary,
that means you have not read festival reviews, actual reviews, watched the trailer, read social media posts, read forum posts, read anything really because most everything makes mention of the "spoiler" (which again I contend is not a spoiler because it isn't a plot twist, it isn't an ending, it's really a narrative impetus that is revealed early on in order to set up the framework of the film).

It really is the shock vs suspense debate about a theoretical bomb under the table (no, the spoiler of 45 YEARS isn't a bomb under the table): Is the filmmaker withholding information of the bomb in order to surprise you when it explodes, or does the filmmaker openly tell you the bomb exists in order to elicit an emotional and psychological response.

Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:23 pm

Re: One Bad Appal: The Parasite Cover and Spoilers in Criterion Cover Art

#32 Post by kidc » Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:07 pm

therewillbeblus wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:56 pm
I was waiting for that moment to happen and when it failed to present itself, became hung up on the false advertising. I eventually got over it.
The baby pacifier poster for Man Bites Dog is probably the most notorious example I can think of that does something like this, but there the false advertising is exactly the point.

Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 5:07 pm
Location: Bracara Augusta, Portugal

Re: One Bad Appal: The Parasite Cover and Spoilers in Criterion Cover Art

#33 Post by Paupau » Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:45 pm

I'm not too bothered by spoilers as a rule. However, one instance a picture in Shindo's Naked Island booklet in MOC dvd (don't own the blu) ruined the movie for me. Usually, i'd read the booklet before watching the movie, but upon seeing the true extent of the damage a major spoiler could do to a movie, i started reading the booklets after watching. To this day.

Post Reply