Quentin Tarantino

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.”


—  —  —

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.]


We tend to gloss over at the sight of red carpets, but these candid, backstage polaroids—shot by photographer Lucas Michael at Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards, using a Warhol-era instant camera—capture stars looking like real people. Well-dressed, attractive, hilarious real people, but still.

While Paul Rudd, above left, definitely took home the night’s prize for best botched dialog, his bow tie comes off as a little stiff. We’ll award best-dressed to the incomparable Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis, whose floppy bow carries far more character—and gives an appropriate nod to 19th-century presidential style.

Check out more of our favorites below (click images to enlarge)—and view the rest at New York Magazine’s Vulture.com.

Christoph Waltz. Buzz cut x thick rims—digging the Trainspotting vibe.
Julianne Moore. What can we say, we’re suckers for freckles.
Ben Affleck. Brash peak lapels are befitting an actor turned very serious director.

Adam Driver. Went from clearly psychotic to strangely sane on HBO’s Girls.
Morena Baccarin & Morgan Saylor. Damian Lewis’ TV fam deserves props for putting up with him.
Sacha Baron Cohen.
Polka dots and a 4 o’clock (not 5 o’clock) shadow add chutzpah to his tux.

Bryan Cranston. Killer goatee. But what, no Pinkman?
Jennifer Lawrence. Date-night alert: Silver Linings Playbook is a rom-com you won’t hate.
Quentin Tarantino. The man still has a way with words—and a knack for memorable soundtracks.


Because you never know when you might get snapped backstage:


[Photos by Lucas Michael, via New York Magazine’s Vulture.com. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]