Let it be known that I love me some Quentin Tarantino. Despite the often cringe-worthy, super-graphic displays of over-the-top violence, I get sucked into his movies every time. This is exactly why I was especially psyched to see that London-based designer Sharm Murugiah had given Tarantino a different sort of graphic treatment: turning his screenplays into Penguin-style book covers.
Each cover takes the movie and turns it on its head by picking out specific themes or memorable scenes and depicting them in a fun, yet pointed, way. The Reservoir Dogs adaptation focuses on the colorfully named criminals pointing guns at one another while the Kill Bill Vol. 2 cover focuses on The Bride’s six-feet-deep-and-buried-alive debacle. Other covers include Death Proof, Django Unchained, Inglourious Bastards, Pulp Fiction and more.
I caught up with Murugiah to talk shop, and here’s what he had to say about these pop-culture pieces:
What made you decide to design something for Tarantino’s works?
I had been in the process of collecting all of Tarantino’s special edition Blu Ray Steel books, which feature some really great artwork that doesn’t come with the standard release of his films, sometimes reaching out to sellers around the world for foreign editions to get the perfect artwork for each film. These were sitting next to my flatmate’s Penguin published books on our shelf, and this was where the idea started. I am a big Quentin Tarantino fan, and Tarantino’s genre-defining filmography and the beautiful cover art of the British publisher Penguin Books presented a juxtaposition that characterises the approach I take to design every day.
Which one is your favorite? Is your favorite drawing also your favourite movie?
I enjoy them all, but if i had to pick one, I would say that True Romance is my favorite cover—it’s clear and bold. My favorite movie? That’s a tough choice. Up until recently it was Reservoir Dogs, but now it’s Django!
How did you come up with the concepts for each one?
Generally, with all of my work, I tend to remember what I know and like about the films in question and try and marry an interesting concept with common iconography related to the film. Each piece I try and do offers an aesthetic that suites the subject matter, but at the same time, I try and create an image that works on multiple levels, where at a glance it’s visually interesting but on further inspection, the viewer sees small references and details that amuse.
What is something unique about you that inspires your work but other people may not know about you?
I am actually a fully qualified architect, but I made a change to pursue a career that I was passionate about since I was young.
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