Monday, 19 April 2010

Vintage Love Film

In August, Vintage UK are doing some repackaging of their own: a number of books which have been made into famous films are being rereleased with unusual, text-only covers that exclude the author names and barely include the book titles. (I'm missing at least two--the covers for Brighton Rock and Cathc-22 haven't leaked out yet.)

I like these, for the most part, though it seems a bit insulting to exclude the author. However, it's hardly the first time a writer would be fucked over in a Hollywood context. A couple of the choices are a bit odd, though. Atonement was hardly a classic film (Keira Knightley in the green dress was a plus, but the maddening way that the the litte girl who grew up to become Vanessa Redgrave had exactly the same haircut for her entire life, so you could tell that the various actresses were playing the same character, was one of many maddening elements), and if this Alice is riding on the back of the Tim Burton version, well...


Derek said...

I'm a big fan of plain, but these are too plain, even for me.

Craig D. said...

Boringer and boringer. As much as I love the "quotes from the text on the cover" idea, these are almost comically lazy and plain. And couldn't they choose a less obvious quote from Fight Club?

Remember when Vintage UK was doing cool covers like this?

Although the bear trap on the Ripley cover is a little strange, since that comes from the movie, not the novel.

P.S. Speaking of bad Fight Club covers, get a load of this:

"By the author of Fight Club."

JRSM said...

That last Fight Club cover is hilarious! Did that 'by the author of' line make it onto the printed cover? Bloody hell!

Anonymous said...

insulting to the author. bleh

Debaser said...

Just too much white space. If they're going to be film editions, why not include a still from the film?

This doesn't have to be like a horrible film tie-in version, it can be done well as some of the recent Penguin Modern Classics have shown, e.g. A Streetcar Named Desire, The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Hustler.

Admittedly some of the films are a bit too recent to have the 'classic' look that you can get in film stills from the 50s/60s/70s.

But what those books/films picked do have is distinctive locations you could depict: e.g. a chessboard, an underground car park, a toilet!

Craig D. said...

I've got a crazy idea for film tie-in covers. Crazy in the sense that I put more than four nanoseconds of thought into it, as was clearly done with these boring "quote" covers. Instead of the book cover using the film poster, a still from the film, or a quote from the film on a white background, how about a hand-drawn or painted cover depicting a scene from both the book and the film? You wouldn't even need to get approval from the film studio, as long as you don't draw the characters in the likenesses of the actors. And, the cherry on top, you could weave a quote from the text into the picture.

For Fight Club: Office workers in a business meeting all paying attention to the presentation being made, except for one with a heavily bruised face, staring straight ahead and emotionless. "After a night in fight club, everything in the real world gets the volume turned down."

Brilliant? Probably not. But better than these lazy piles of shit.

JRSM said...

Debaser and Craig: Those are both great ideas for cover treatments for these books! Penguin, Cassell and Gollancz/Orion have done great-films-that-started-as-books series in the past. They should get in touch with you guys to use these ideas for a reprint series.

Anonymous said...

They tried to mimic Penguin's Great Ideas Collections but kinda failed at it!