One of Antonioni’s best films – I remember images, all kind of images, but not the one someone picked for the cover of this release… One of the weakest covers I’ve seen from Criterion. What a shame..:(
I find it funny that people are actually concerned about the cover. I have yet to see the film but from the way people talk about it really should not be a problem. People should not be happy that it is being realesed, not how the cover looks.
Yes but one of the perks of owning Criterion DVD’s is the wonderful artwork applied to each release. Yes it’s the films that matters overall, but I always look forward to the art designs.
How about this one:
It isn’t a good cover. But I hardly think it’s something people should be complaining about.
Maybe its temporary. I remember the one for A Christmas Tale being changed before its release.
The blurry cover reproduces an important POV shot in the film (which is an Absolute Masterpiece.)
I like the Criterion Red Desert cover.
But I hate Red Desert. The only great Antonioni films (in my not-at-all humble opinion) were The Passenger and L’Eclisse.
Too much haute-bourgeois ennui (even w/ great cinematography) gives me a tension headache.
I think its a great cover. It contains an element of quiet, or mystery, of anonymity, and expansiveness that I feel from watching his films. Its lack of design is appropriate in engendering those kinds of feelings. It also feels quite intimate somehow, through the use of a muted palate. In the end its really all just a matter of preference. I think that the cover should be reflective of, but not competing with the content of the film. Allow the cover to be subtle, to be an obscured taste , and allow the film to be the force and the context behind it (even though his films themselves are also quite subtle).
Agreed. So many beautiful shots in this film. Take a look at these, for instance (pardon the crappy quality):
nothing particularly ‘great’ about any of those shots.
It’s the very fact that one of my favourite films finally gets a release AND they give it one of the worst covers in the history of Criterion that makes me sad – and here we’re talking about one of the most visual director ever, in one of his most visual films:(. AARON: I respect your view – but how can a picture on a plastic box ever compete with a film? All it shouldn’t do is give you false expectations, which this one almost do.
This movie is a masterpiece of visual design, and was years ahead of its time. I’ve never met one serious fan of cinema that didn’t at least rate the look of this movie. it was quite influential too. Directors like Angelopoulos took a lot of ideas from this one and i’d argue even a few of the sci-fi films of the 70’s too.
I personally like the cover, it translates the film’s eerie and ambient qualities… Can’t wait for this one!
I like the cover. I have that BFI version and like that too.
Indeed the cover could be better, but the real excitement comes from a Blu-ray release of this title by Criterion.
I am going to reply with the possibility that this cover is not the official and only a temporary. With that said it is absolutely absurd for anyone to say that such covers are of no significance. The one set forth of yet is positively an atrocious front to the film. Filmmakers of today would be well advised to consider their credits and covers as coatings of their works. Laziness should never be written off. There are quite a many artists who would kill to spill their blood out to do such a cover. Criterion is the only resource of dvds which gives any such justice to these coatings, not to mention transfers. So never give lenience to any area. Plenty of us would spill our blood to do it for free.
I want to defend Clint Holloway’s choice of frames from RED DESERT. Although not necessarily the MOST aesthetically pleasing images from the film, Antonioni’s visuals are not only beautiful for their own sake, they are also MEANINGFUL — and that is part of their beauty.
The juxtaposition of the industrial sites and the human figures in that desiccated landscape is the thematic and aesthetic point of many of the shots in RED DESERT. The merger of theme and style is what Antonioni was all about.
By the way, when I interviewed him, he said that he CUT the more beautiful shots from his films. Imagine what was left on the cutting-room floor!
Finally, I don’t care that much about DVD cover art. The Criterion cover seems to epitomize the Theme, rather than the actress, and I have no quarrel with that idea.
After the awful Image Entertainment Red Desert disk of a decade ago, and the years of having to sit in theaters watching Kino’s print with truncated opening of the film, the Criterion Red Desert is something to celebrate. The cover, by the way, is brilliant.
I like the cover. People bitch a lot.
Josh, I admit, I’m a bitch. An aesthetic bitch….
I think the understated cover bothers a lot of peeps for some bizarre reason. To me, the out-of-focus shot and the drab gray factory go some way in defining what the film’s doing, but to me, that only makes sense put against the use of primary colors throughout the film. To really get at that dynamic in a cover would be nearly impossible (take, for example, the complicated dispute between “cool” and “hot” colors in Ugo/Riccardo’s rooms, etc.). As it is though, I prefer it to the BFI cover.
But I prefer this one by So Lighty Here on the Fake Covers thread to all of them. It would’ve been absolutely perfect, and I think it “gets” the film more than any of them I’ve seen:
This is a fantastic cover.
If you get Antonioni, that cover works. His imagery is of such remarkable precision, born of an exacting eye. In sequence they often subsume plot and character, providing for the pleasurable experience of drift. The imagery isn’t merely the handmaiden to the story. Raul Ruiz has written about imagery which is resistant to these rules of narrative. If you dig that sort of thing, and I do. His cinema is about seeing and interpreting what we’ve seen. It’s one reason why Antonioni will forever remain a most formidable artist.
god do I hate comments like “If you get Antonioni…” like it’s some kind of secret society that only allows in the select aficionados. What pretentious elitist crap.
-What pretentious elitist crap-
Not really. Is all art 100% intuitive so that everyone immediately “gets” it? Of course not. In this case, the cover image is a relatively unusual one by the standards of typical DVD covers, where you usually get an image of one or more of the characters, some cool graphic design, or something similar, but if you think of the cover image in terms of what the film is actually doing, it makes sense.
I think it is wonderful that people feel so strongly about Criterion covers the dvd is really the last gasp. The vinyl record is now a novelty which alowed an outlet for imagery and creativity to mesh and how many of us can recall covers we just didn’t get or like. Today the paperbacks future is also in question and i notice several novelty type Criterion covers which seem to emulate that aesthetic , Stagecoach, The Fugitive Kind and Night Train To Munich. The Red Desert cover seems to carry what I would call The Criterion collection style if there is one, the cool contemporary look of our times. My Opinon and you know what they say about opinions, is that the Red Desert cover choices reflect our times; very little nostalgia or human presence we are not present. Remember however that yesterday we turned to the right and today we turn to the left and as we age the cool contemporary of today will fill us with a romance and yearning for yesterday one day soon.
They’re going against the grain by not featuring Monica on the cover.
I can admire that.
The image is nauseating but it serves its purpose. As far as cover art goes, I don’t really care for it, but I’ll buy Red Desert anyway—it’s a masterpiece. (Tarkovsky was wrong.)