Criterion Goes All-Out for Another Wes Anderson Blu-ray
Director Wes Anderson is known for his meticulous visual style, hyper-aware of every last detail in his fictional worlds. That fastidious approach either endears fans to dig into every frame, or sends detractors screaming away that they don’t want to look at luxurious Natural History Museum miniature dioramas. Whatever your opinion of Anderson, his methodical work takes great effort to achieve. Same goes for the Criterion Collection versions of his filmography.
The Criterion Collection produces cinephile catnip in the form of Blu-ray and DVDs stuffed with encyclopedias’ worth of extra features and housed in gorgeous packaging. For over 30 years, Criterion has been putting out stellar editions of its own cinematic canon, with some directors being better represented than others—Anderson chief among his contemporaries. With today’s Criterion release of 2012’s Moonrise Kingdom, all but one of Anderson’s films (his most recent, The Grand Budapest Hotel) is a part of the collection. Because the releases are painstakingly designed especially for Criterion, we wanted to put some of that hard work on display. So we’ve put together a gallery of each Blu-ray edition, highlighting some of the box and booklet design work, as well as the ephemera that comes along with some of the films. Rushmore has a map of its titular academy, for example; the inner sleeve of The Life Aquatic features a cross-section of Steve Zissou’s vessel The Belafonte, and the booklet included with Bottle Rocket is modeled after Dignan’s 75-Year Plan spiral notebook.
Unlike the cases for Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic, and The Darjeeling Limited—which all feature illustrations by the director’s brother, Eric Chase Anderson—the Moonrise Kingdom digipak features a cover painting by Michael Gaskell. And for ephemera, it’s probably the most intense/annoying Anderson release yet. There’s a postcard of the cast, a flyer for the St. Jack’s Church Summer Pageant where Sam and Suzy first meet, a booklet styled to look like an issue of Khaki Scout magazine Indian Corn (with reviews from kids who are the same age as the two young leads in the film), and a map of the film’s location on the fictional New Penzance Island and the surrounding area. Now there’s nothing left for Anderson fans to look forward to, except maybe a Criterion edition of Budapest Hotel housed in a Mendl’s pastry box.
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