Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Unfortunate Moments in Blu-Ray Cover Artwork #57: Sleeping Beauty

Consider the artwork here for the UK blu-ray release of Julia Leigh's Sleeping Beauty. It uses the beautifully striking, yet hypnotically creepy, imagery of the Australian key art campaign and looks quite sumptuous as you would expect. Emily Browning and Rachael Blake surprisingly share above-the-title billing and they still wiggle Jane Campion's name on there for extra arthouse cred points. Where it all goes horrible wrong is in the selection of critic quotes that line the right hand side of the cover.

"STUNNING", says Total Film, and it's hard to argue with that placement. "POWERFUL", says The Guardian, and as long as it came from a legitimate review (oh hai Surviving Georgia, when's your DVD coming out?) then why not include a quote like that from such a known publication. Empire even calls it "MESMERISING AND HYPNOTIC", and since I have already trotted out the word hypnotic in the opening paragraph, I think we can all agree that I agree with such a sentiment. Still, the one that really irks me is... well, take a look for yourself and find out.

Talk about unfortunate positioning!

Sitting right underneath the tagline that read "What happens while she sleeps..." is a quote from Elle Magazine that reads "A JOY TO WATCH". I think I speak for everybody here when I say whaa....?!? Sleeping Beauty is, after all, a film about a girl who is drugged by a high class brothel den mother and promptly fondled by elderly gentlemen as she lays unconscious in bed, her naked body exposed for all to see. Despite the curious context of the quote in general - a great movie it is, but "a joy to watch" it is not - it's placement right under that tagline is simply horrendous. Who allowed that past? Leigh's film doesn't shy away from what happens when she sleeps; we see it all. We see the feeble older gentlemen completely starkers as they haphazardly flop this petite woman around the ornate bedroom as they try to wake up this sleeping beauty in some misguided attempt to reclaim their manhood. What goes on while she sleeps is not a joy to watch, in fact it's quite disturbing and troubling. I haven't read the Elle Magazine review that this quote is from, but I'm too concerned by it to do so. That the UK DVD distributor didn't think to recognise the inappropriateness of the quote and where it sat amongst the design is just as bad.

Joy to the world!

And then, of course, there is that (surely) strategically placed blu-ray logo in the small of Emily Browning's back. Someone's clearly have a laugh, yeah?

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