If you Google the words "Fake Criterion Covers" you'll get a whole passel of wonderful projects from people well versed in Photoshop who have taken the time to design their own covers for prospective Criterion releases they hope one day to see come down the pipe. Most of these are sincere efforts in wishful thinking designed for the fun of it, sure, but one also suspects there's a undercurrent of hope in them that the good will of the dedicated fan designing great fake covers will somehow, by the company's noticing or simply by the Power of Positive Thinking, prompt Criterion into considering that title for the royal DVD/Blu-ray treatment.
But there's another vein of Criterion covers and these (one hopes) really are just for the fun of it. If you've ever dreamed of what that Truffaut-ized Criterion box for Gigli might look like, or what the company might do for Hudson Hawk or Bio Dome, dream no further. Just click here for a whole gallery of Fake Criterions that will tickle your funny bone and maybe even make a chill run down your spine-- after all, if Armageddon can get the Criterion treatment... I also get a kick out of imagining the filmmakers of some of these movies getting the opportunity to see what a DVD of their movie, which may well have been made with an outpouring of talent and love, might have looked like were it released by a company who cares as much about the work as the dollars it might bring in. (There's even one in there that good friend Jim Emerson might especially enjoy!)
The main joke, and it's a good one, is the disparity between the artsy, often spare aesthetic of the Criterion design, which often has nothing to do with the original marketing campaign of the film, and the films themselves, none of which seems to actually exist outside of that crass opening weekend marketing mentality. Thus The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift gets a colorful retro-Japanese cover that resembles one that might have been designed for a Seijun Suzuki spectacular, while Ernest Goes to Jail suddenly looks as though it could share a bill with Bresson's A Man Escaped.
Click through and discover for yourself your own favorites. I like The Golden Age of Television Volume II and the Melville-esque rendering of Cop and a Half, amongst the newest of the site's offerings which hopefully will get updated with frequency. Enjoy, and imagine what could be if only "high" and "low" art ever could really meet!
(Many thanks to Robert Fiore for pointing out this site over the weekend!)