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

#1526 Post by bdsweeney » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:16 pm

With the When We Were Kings cover, does anyone know if the photo of Ali with the crowd behind him is an original/real image or a composite of two photos? Just curious, as it's a powerful, stunning image.

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

#1527 Post by FrauBlucher » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:23 pm

That image is vaguely familiar to me. This is what it says on the page...New cover featuring a photograph by Howard L. Bingham, designed by F. Ron Miller

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mfunk9786
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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol. 7

#1528 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:26 pm

It's real:

Image

I always liked this one even more, though:

Image

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colinr0380
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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol. 7

#1529 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:37 am

I quite like all the covers, though the one for Häxan reminded me that the same image was previously used for the FAB Press monograph on the film:
Image

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domino harvey
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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol. 7

#1530 Post by domino harvey » Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:55 am

Yeah, I'm a little surprised at the positive reaction to it, since it's just a filter applied to a still. Perhaps better than the original's Legends of the Haxan Temple cover, but still

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

#1531 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:28 am

I was just thinking, do we have a dedicated thread at all for archiving the original covers of reissued discs, just for posterity? Maybe separated through imgur links or something like that because otherwise they will just get overwritten when the Criterion site updates their link.
Last edited by colinr0380 on Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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kcota17
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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol. 7

#1532 Post by kcota17 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:30 am

And original covers that were changed to be better (or more often worse)

Like Tree of Life, Cries and Whispers, Cluny Brown etc

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

#1533 Post by dustybooks » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:32 am

For original covers of later reissued titles, Chris’ archive of packaging photos is helpful and as far as I can tell is nearly complete.

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

#1534 Post by mfunk9786 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:47 am


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domino harvey
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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol. 7

#1535 Post by domino harvey » Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:52 pm

colinr0380 wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:28 am
I was just thinking, do we have a dedicated thread at all for archiving the original covers of reissued discs, just for posterity? Maybe separated through imgur links or something like that because otherwise they will just get overwritten when the Criterion site updates their link.
The Criterion Dungeon used to do that for us, but I’m not sure if that site still exists? There’s a bunch of older ones no one ever mentions that were preserved there

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

#1536 Post by dustybooks » Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:39 am

Incidentally, when did Criterion’s reputation for unusually good or well thought-out cover art take hold? I became aware of them in 2002 at which point a cult of fake Criterion cover art and intense discussion about the aesthetics of new releases was already happening... but looking back at their early DVD covers, a lot of them (thinking specifically of those with the 1998-99 logo) are pretty hideous, though maybe I’m just seeing them through different eyes now. And going even earlier, almost all their laserdiscs I’ve seen have strictly utilitarian covers.

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Brian C
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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol. 7

#1537 Post by Brian C » Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:26 pm

I remember their covers being a topic of controversy/discussion going back almost the entirety of the DVD era. But if I had to pinpoint one relatively early one in particular that really put focus on their covers, it would be their illustrated cover for RUSHMORE.

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

#1538 Post by cdnchris » Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:12 pm

Same. Rushmore seemed to grab a lot of attention, though I recall some making fun of the "minimalist" Armageddon cover, and fawning over Brazil's once the whole thing was revealed.

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

#1539 Post by DRW.mov » Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:57 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:55 am
Yeah, I'm a little surprised at the positive reaction to it, since it's just a filter applied to a still.
That’s highly reductive to the efforts of the artist. This is not “just a filter applied to a still” its an original illustration executed in a very specific style to the period thats not commonly practiced anymore.

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

#1540 Post by Minkin » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:27 am

dustybooks wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:39 am
Incidentally, when did Criterion’s reputation for unusually good or well thought-out cover art take hold? I became aware of them in 2002 at which point a cult of fake Criterion cover art and intense discussion about the aesthetics of new releases was already happening... but looking back at their early DVD covers, a lot of them (thinking specifically of those with the 1998-99 logo) are pretty hideous, though maybe I’m just seeing them through different eyes now. And going even earlier, almost all their laserdiscs I’ve seen have strictly utilitarian covers.
Its thanks to their wacky covers that I discovered Criterion in the first place!

Back in High School, I was going through the IMDB 250, picking up films at the library - and the Le Corbeau DVD was on the recommended shelf, and I was just astounded by that cover! I then started specifically looking out for these Criterion things, cause they seemed to do a fantastic job on packaging and extras! I soon abandoned the IMDB project and focused on whatever Criterions I could find at the library. Then ended up going over to Borders and using a gift card to buy a full MSRP of either the Seven Samurai redux or Battle of Algiers (I can never remember which one was my 1st or 2nd). I recall wanting every Criterion to be a 3disc digipack!

That perhaps doesn't address your question - but even when the cover was "hideous" - which I think only really applies to about 5-10 Criterion covers (I can usually at least appreciate what they're trying to evoke with the covers, even if I think it looks bad); those covers really drew my attention to the company!

As two fun tangential asides:
I'm not exactly invested in the small boutique label world by any means; but I like to see reviews online and see whether the film looks interesting to watch at some point. And for some reason, I can tell exactly what label released the film based on the cover image! For some reason, Shout, Arrow, Kino, etc (not to mention the extremely obvious ones - Criterion /Cohen/MoC) all have distinctive "styles" - even when they mostly just use poster images. Try playing the game yourself! (somebody make a Sporcle quiz) - as they all seem to use a default template (even Arrow with their floating head drawings).

2nd:
I managed to find a list recently that I made of my first 12 Criterions that I owned! So, if you want to know what my partner (yes, we've been together for longer than I've been a member of this forum!) and I owned when I joined this forum, here you go:
SpoilerShow
Postwar Kurosawa
Pierrot le fou
Ugetsu
Life Aquatic
Battle of Algiers
Devil and Daniel Webster
8 1/2
Third man
M
Seventh seal
Amarcord
Seven samurai

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domino harvey
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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol. 7

#1541 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:37 am

dustybooks wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:39 am
Incidentally, when did Criterion’s reputation for unusually good or well thought-out cover art take hold? I became aware of them in 2002 at which point a cult of fake Criterion cover art and intense discussion about the aesthetics of new releases was already happening... but looking back at their early DVD covers, a lot of them (thinking specifically of those with the 1998-99 logo) are pretty hideous, though maybe I’m just seeing them through different eyes now. And going even earlier, almost all their laserdiscs I’ve seen have strictly utilitarian covers.
I think it's due to the turn to design farming to artists/collectives with a flashier yet fashionable approach like Aesthetic Apparatus, who were making a name for themselves in show posters, and the ilk, and since show posters got circulated quite freely among online message boards and other early internet communities, the Criterion covers did too. I'm sure there are other factors, but I'd say the growth of a certain indie music outlet dovetailed nicely with the rise in popularity of the non-mainstream movie label

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

#1542 Post by dustybooks » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:27 am

Minkin wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:27 am
the Le Corbeau DVD was on the recommended shelf, and I was just astounded by that cover!
That's still one of my favorite covers and it's especially interesting because I don't quite know how they would get the same anarchic effect with the new logo.
That perhaps doesn't address your question - but even when the cover was "hideous" - which I think only really applies to about 5-10 Criterion covers (I can usually at least appreciate what they're trying to evoke with the covers, even if I think it looks bad); those covers really drew my attention to the company!
I definitely thought the same at the time. It's only looking back now in the post-swimminghorses world that some of them just look rather amateurish to me. The only ones I remember seeing at the time that stuck out as especially bad were the W.C. Fields titles. I think the issue is that the "house style" (heads in bubbles and the collage-like quality of, say, The Silence of the Lambs) has dated, but that isn't super surprising given that it's now been twenty years since those releases came out.
I managed to find a list recently that I made of my first 12 Criterions that I owned!
That was fun to see. I remember my first two were Rushmore and Tenenbaums (which were both really my girlfriend's) followed by the Wrong Men & Notorious Women box (which I still have after all this time and still looks really striking, though it's now empty!) but I can no longer recall beyond that.

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

#1543 Post by cdnchris » Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:47 am


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swo17
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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol. 7

#1544 Post by swo17 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:59 pm

Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

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

#1545 Post by Glowingwabbit » Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:00 pm

swo17 wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:59 pm
Image
I really thought that was a joke poster

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mfunk9786
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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol. 7

#1546 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:02 pm

Image

It's so fucking pretty. Finally, we're paid back for the cowardly Viridiana change

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

#1547 Post by Godzamera » Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:16 pm

WOW IT'S THE GODZILLA BOX

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mfunk9786
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Re: Criterion & Eclipse Cover Art & Packaging Babble-on Vol. 7

#1548 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:40 pm

I realize this may prove to be an unpopular opinion, but this may be my favorite art for any Criterion release, ever - it's made me want to buy an expensive set full of films I'd typically have minimal interest in just so I can own it

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

#1549 Post by Godzamera » Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:45 pm

The art is the best for me. House used to be my favorite, but this blew that one away.

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

#1550 Post by jwd5275 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:45 pm

Art Adams doing one of the covers is a really nice touch...

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