Prince of the city

Posted by · 4:17 pm · August 25th, 2009

I have Chad to thank for pointing me to this Criterion DVD cover (pictured left) for Matteo Garrone’s “Gomorrah,” a film you may remember we kind of liked here at In Contention. Chad is no fan of the cover art (which of course riffs on one of the film’s most widely publicized images), and a number of readers at The Auteurs seem to be with him.

Criterion cover for GomorrahUK DVD cover for Gomorrah

Dare I say I rather like it? The symbolism may be a tad obvious, but it captures the misjudged sense of invicibility that infects many of the film’s characters, and the layout is clean yet eccentric. When you look at the drab design for the film’s regular UK DVD release (above right), you have to once more appreciate Criterion’s design initiative.

Still, no artwork I’ve seen for the film has yet matched this (regrettably unused) UKĀ  poster design below.

Rejected UK poster for Gomorrah

→ 18 Comments Tags: , | Filed in: Daily

18 responses so far

  • 1 8-25-2009 at 4:19 pm

    Zan said...

    When does it come out? I am having a fit trying to find out the release dates for it, Hunger, Che, and Ballast.

  • 2 8-25-2009 at 4:23 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Zan: It’s out on 24 November. Says so on the Criterion site.

  • 3 8-25-2009 at 5:22 pm

    Zan said...

    Thanks, Guy. Anyone know the U.S. dates of any of the other three?

  • 4 8-25-2009 at 5:22 pm

    McGuff said...

    Can’t wait for this DVD, easily one of my favorite movies of 2008. And I’m with you, Guy, I like the poster.

  • 5 8-25-2009 at 5:23 pm

    BurmaShave said...

    Anyone know when IL DIVO drops in the US?

  • 6 8-25-2009 at 5:42 pm

    El Rocho said...

    ‘Prince of the City’ was a good movie. Just caught it on TV. Damn Lumet’s good. And I’ve never seen Treat Williams so good. I always hated him from ‘Everwood’, but I never knew he was that intense….or that good.

  • 7 8-25-2009 at 6:59 pm

    James D. said...

    Il Divo should come out soon. In my saved list of my DVDs, it has no release date yet, but it is sandwiched between the September and October releases instead of in alphabetical order, which is where it is put before given an official date. Hunger and Ballast are still a mystery, but a Criterion official said Che within the year.

  • 8 8-25-2009 at 7:02 pm

    James D. said...

    I just went to the Criterion site, and they have A Christmas Tale listed! Finally! Maybe my Top Ten of 2008 will be out before people are making their Top Ten of 2009 (I have to be thorough).

    I don’t mind the art. I am just glad a copy of Gomorra is finally coming out. I thought it would never come out so I watched a torrent, because the need was too strong to wait for a release that seemed like it would never happen.

  • 9 8-25-2009 at 7:04 pm

    James D. said...

    To clarify: my saved list refers to Netflix. They have the films Il Divo and Medicine for Melancholy sandwiched between two confirmed October releases, while everything with an unknown date (movies still in theaters and films that don’t come out for months) is in alphabetical order after that.

  • 10 8-25-2009 at 7:07 pm

    James D. said...

    Sorry to continually post, but Il Divo is slated for October 27.

  • 11 8-25-2009 at 7:57 pm

    Marvin said...

    It didn’t open here til early this year but I consider it to be among last year’s top 10 movies. Very excited to hear Criterion will be releasing Gomorrah, it ensures us a great and well deserved release for an already great movie!

  • 12 8-25-2009 at 9:17 pm

    Chase Kahn said...

    This cover is disappointing to me, as well. I like the font and the stacking of the letters, but that stock photo and then the superimposing over Naples — meh.

    Hopefully “Che” gets better treatment.

    Zan: I know that “Hunger” is being released on DVD by IFC on September 1st in Blockbuster stores only through their exclusive deal. “Che” has been out for awhile (probably three months), that too at Blockbuster.

    Check out the new IFC website.

  • 13 8-25-2009 at 9:20 pm

    Chase Kahn said...

    For “Gomorrah”: this is by far the best poster that I saw:

    Wish they would have just gone with that.

  • 14 8-25-2009 at 9:49 pm

    BurmaShave said...

    Thanks James D. I’ve been hankering for that film for a year.

  • 15 8-26-2009 at 12:43 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Chase: I like that poster too, but high-contrast monochrome aside, it’s the same stock photo, also superimposed over Naples. Why is the idea “meh” in one case and not the other?

  • 16 8-26-2009 at 6:52 am

    Chase Kahn said...

    Yeah, I didn’t really explain myself very well. What I meant was, if they are going to use the same stock photo and conceptual design, they may as well have just gone the rout of the original IFC domestic poster (I think that’s what that is).

    With the high-contrast monochrome, the illusion is far more subtle. Criterion took the original poster and just made it uglier and far more obvious.

  • 17 8-26-2009 at 7:30 am

    Mike_M said...

    IFC has a deal with Criterion, Blockbuster has some exclusives on some IFC releases, so there are bare-bones releases coming out for Blockbuster but I think something like 10-12 IFC films will get the Criterion treatment (Christmas Tale is one and and Hunger will probably be there and Che too).

    The Playlist did a article after an interview with Criterion:

  • 18 8-26-2009 at 10:08 am

    brentg said...

    great link Mike! Kinda wish they could’ve tackled Antichrist though.