Cover Story

Feb 22, 2011

This week, Time is all too happy to judge a movie by its cover. Gilbert Cruz, an editor at the magazine, has compiled a list called “Top 10 Cool Criterion Collection Covers.” Cruz’s taste in design tends toward illustration over photography, though the films he’s chosen make for an eclectic bunch themselves. At number one is Sam Smith’s fanged feline for Nobuhiko Obayashi’s horror show House (above; “There’s just something about this that says, ‘Watch me or I will eat you.’”). The rest of the lineup includes the brand-new artwork by Dave Plunkert of Spur Design for Diabolique (below); the graphic artist Seth’s representation of Make Way for Tomorrow (“Just looking at this art—everything about the posture of those two indicates that they know they’ll never see each other again—makes one want to start sobbing”); Olly Moss’s eye-catchingly minimal cover for The Great Dictator; Neil Kellerhouse’s “simple, stark” update of the Seventh Seal cover; Daniel Clowes’s cartoon mindscape for Shock Corridor; Lucien S. Y. Yang’s Wyeth-esque realism for Days of Heaven; the “clean and cool and stylish” look Steve Chow delivered for Pierrot le fou; Eric Chase Anderson’s delicate Royal Tenenbaums drawings; and Modern Times, also by Sam Smith and featuring Charlie Chaplin as the ultimate gearhead. What are your favorites?