Midnight Movies: Oscar-Night Edition

The 85th annual Academy Awards ceremony airs this Sunday evening at 4pm Pacific on ABC. Have you seen all the films yet? With nine nominees crowding the Best Picture category alone, we won’t blame you if you haven’t. However, these things are always more interesting when you have a dog in the fight (and something to talk about at Oscar parties come Sunday)—so if your Friday and Saturday plans permit, consider taking in a last-minute film or two.

We’re honored to have five original, exclusive poster designs below, created just for us by LA-based graphic artist (and film buff) Midnight Marauder, representing five of his favorite Best Picture nominees. Read his crib notes, watch the trailers, and then hit up Fandango to find a screening near you, pre-Oscar night.

ARGO – Directed by Ben Affleck. “I went a little Syriana on this design. I guess the film struck me as CIA on a mission. George Clooney produced the film, so it has that vibe to it.”


LINCOLN – Directed by Steven Spielberg. “I’m a big Civil War buff. I ritually watch Civil War by [documentary filmmaker] Ken Burns a few times a year. So the entire Lincoln story is something I’m deeply passionate about. Only a true maverick like Daniel Day-Lewis could bring Lincoln’s last few months to the screen with such vigor. For the design, I wanted something simple and nostalgic.”


DJANGO UNCHAINED – Directed by Quentin Tarantino. “QT is a marvelous writer. I can imagine him giddy with excitement when he called Christoph Waltz over to read his part. I loved the energy of each character—but when Waltz and DiCaprio left the film, it lost me a little.”


AMOUR – Directed by Michael Haneke. “Haneke has crafted quite a love story, with devastating effects. This one will really get to you if you let it. I couldn’t help bringing a Polish touch to such a depressing and beautiful film.” [Ed. note: Artists in Poland have been particularly renowned in the realm of poster art for decades.]


ZERO DARK THIRTY – Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. “Female directors are a bit rare in the industry, but I love Bigelow’s films. She’s right up there with action guys like Paul Greengrass and Guy Ritchie. Again, I was feeling inspired by Polish poster design.”


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The Real Winner: As many critics might attest, the year’s truly best movies don’t always win awards—or even get nominated. In Mr. Marauder’s opinion: “Honestly, the best picture this year is The MasterIt’s a shame that Paul Thomas Anderson [director of There Will Be Blood and Boogie Nights, among others] hasn’t yet gotten the recognition he rightly deserves.”

More Midnight Marauder: The grid above contains just a few of our latest favorites from Marauder’s vast archive of hundreds of eye-widening poster designs, spanning from celluloid classics to upcoming releases. We chose these based solely on aesthetics—but given the designer’s taste level, you can bet money each is worth adding to your Netflix queue as well. [Click images to enlarge. Ryan Gosling’s The Place Beyond the Pines, bottom left, is due in theaters late March.]

Marauder’s latest limited-edition print—created for a recent ‘Oscar Legends’ exhibit at Hero Complex Gallery in San Francisco—is still available for sale (framed if you so desire). It depicts 1978 Best-Picture winner The Deer Hunter, about which Marauder had the following to say: “One of my favorite films of all time…it encapsulates everything that I adore in cinema. Director Michael Cimino’s intimate epic about family, brotherhood and war is the ultimate ’70s film. The Russian roulette scene is one of the greatest gifts to cinema ever realized.”

If you find yourself in the Portland, Oregon, area this Sunday—see the Deer Hunter print in person, along with Oscar Legends as depicted by many other artists, at Hero Complex’s pop-up gallery at the Hollywood Theatre.


[Artwork © Midnight Marauder. View more of his work on Tumblr and Behance.]

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