More than just possessing the best in international, avant-garde, rare, and classic cinema, the Criterion Collection provides us with an artifact. We get to enjoy a beautiful mastering of a film, bonus materials and critical analysis of the work, with the actual casing of the film a treasure in itself. The covers for Criterion films are a unique art, visually stunning, small-scale works of graphic design intended to entice and highlight the visual and thematic aspects of the film. And designer Midnight Marauder has used his own creative muscle to give us another look at Criterions films from his unique perspective—covers that could have been and those that may never be.
With a sharp vision that encapsulates the essence of the films, Midnight Marauder has a deep love for cinema, and calls his imagined Criterion Collection covers an "artistic exercise" that allows him to work through different aesthetics and have fun in the process. When I asked Midnight Marauder to describe what fuels his work, he replied, "I get my kicks from truly great filmmakers and their enduring legacy on us all—directors who curse at a studio head to get their final cut." We’ve put together some of our favorites from his series. Click through and enjoy.
McCabe & Mrs. Miller
"Hands down one of my favorite films of all time. It’s so beautiful, so pure and so poetic."
"It’s as much a Walter Murch film as a Coppola film. The music is divine!
"I was blown away the second I saw the trailer. What shocked me the most was not the blood and the fights; it was the idea of mental disorder and how you can reinvent yourself in the chaos of it all."
Wild at Heart
"I love the energy of the film, the music is magical, and Dafoe is grotesque."
"Decaprio’s finest hour."
All the President’s Men
"I love journalism and the power of the press. They can bring down the most powerful of crooks."
"The first student film from a big studio. I think it’s even more powerful today then when it first was projected in New York."
"A pretty bold move from Robert Rodrigez and Quentin Tarantino. They took a massive gamble on the entire Grindhouse film. Planet Terror is a fun ride for all of us who grew up on cheap VHS Horror Films."
"Sidney Lumet gave us a satirical look into television programming. The first five minutes of the film leave you speechless."
"Roman Polanski at his most devilish, and he paid the ultimate price for making it."
"The ultimate romantic experimental comedy. When I hear Diane Keaton singing at the end…I cry."
No Country for Old Men
"The Coens gave us a modern Western masterpiece. Those brothers can do no wrong."
"It’s Quentin Tarantino’s most complete film to date: an adaption of Elmore Leonard’s famed Rum Punch. The characters are whole and seem to sing Tarantino’s dialogue."
"It’s a modern-day Jean-Pierre Melville picture, with Gosling reminiscent of Alain Delon’s Samurai."
"Friedkin in my opinion is the most misunderstood director of the ’70s."
Dressed to Kill
"Pure Brian De Palma. I wonder if he’s over his obsession with Hitchcock?"
The Long Goodbye
"I am convinced that the Coen brothers watched this while writing The Big Lebowski."