Wacky New Years Drawing Hints At Criterion’s 2012 Slate Of Releases

Here we go again, another first of the year, another Wacky Drawing from Criterion to decipher. Like we did last year, we have broken down the image that Criterion put up today on their Current Blog, to help all of the eager fans figure out what they have in store for 2012.

Now the titles that we’ve come up with are just guesses. I’m sure there are a handful that we are wrong about, but it was a lot of fun to dig around, and try to connect the drawing with a scene from a potential Criterion release. I could not have done this without the help of James,  Travis, and David.

I’ll be updating this post over the course of the day, as we continue to figure out the drawings. If you have any thoughts on what each drawing might mean, leave a comment below.

Here is last year’s drawing. Here is the drawing from 2010.

Criterion's 2012 Wacky New Years Drawing

And here is a version where we’ve gone and circled all of the items that could be clues, and assigned letters to them, to help with laying them all out.

Criterion's Wacky New Years Drawing Highlighted

Our guesses:

A – Cars

Lots of cars in the image overall. Could they refer to specific films? It seems like they would be more distinct if we were meant to read into each one. It seems as though there is a lot of “traffic” going on (Traffic is coming to Blu-ray this month).

This is also presumably a reference to Godard’s Weekend, which Janus is currently touring, and Criterion has the poster up in their store now.

B – French mime?

Mimes in Blow-Up

Pierre Etaix? or Antonioni’s Blow Up?

C – Three Samurai

Three Outlaw Samurai Coming to DVD and Blu-ray this Valentines Day

Criterion brought this to Fantastic Fest this year, and you can watch it now on Hulu Plus.

D – Man at grave (burying)

Danny Boyle’s Shallow Grave (confirmed at the Wexner talk, I totally forgot about this. Thanks to Ryan Nichols on Twitter.)

Could be a reference to Harold And Maude, although we have another possible reference elsewhere in the drawing.

E – Mouth eating a leg

Eating Raoul

This made it to the Hulu Channel just a few weeks after I posted some pictures on our Tumblr. Convenient, eh?

F – Iceberg

A Night To Remember

Coming to DVD and Blu-ray on March 27th

G – Coney Island sign

Take your pick.


H – Motorcycle


This made its way to the Hulu Channel last year, and played recently at All Tomorrow’s Parties

I – Woman on motorcycle

Harold And Maude? Girl On A Motorcycle? Nanook Of The North Blu-ray?

J – Oceans / waves

Breaking The Waves?

K – Car

L – Car transport

M – Three pearls / oysters

N – Car

O – Bow

Kim Ki Duk’s The Bow?

P – Marionette woman

John Cusack in Being John Malkovich

Being John Malkovich

We recently got a wacky drawing in the email newsletter, and it played at All Tomorrow’s Parties

There is a great clip here, but an embed is unavailable.

Q – Three people, embracing

Y Tu Mama Tambien

Let’s hope it actually happens in 2012. It was teased at last year as well.

R – Car with woman on top

S – Woman on the car

Summer With Monika (thanks to Scott Nye on Twitter)


Ryan Gallagher

Ryan is the Editor-In-Chief / Founder of, and the host / co-founder / producer of the various podcasts here on the site. You can find his website at, follow him on Twitter (@RyanGallagher), or send him an email: [email protected].


  • I’m glad to see Breaking the Waves and Being John Malkovich coming out,CC pays attention to Korean films now,but haven’t released a Chinese film for a long long time

  • I think the three identical samurai refer to an upgrade of The Samurai Trilogy. The figure is armed with what appears to be a modified boat oar, similar to what Musashi used in his duel with Kojiro.

  • The Coney Island sign…a lot of people are saying it’s definitely “Lonesome”.  I’m holding onto my pick of “The Little Fugitive”.  Or the sign could be a hint for both movies.  Who knows…

  • Interesting that someone mentioned The Sweet Hereafter for the car transport (I actually don’t remember a car transport in the movie, though I haven’t seen it in years) because the bow reminded me of The Adjuster. Maybe an Atom Egoyan duo?

  • these are my best possible guesses: 1) either or both – Traffic/Trafic (Tati) in blu-ray, 2) Weekend, 3) Shallow Grave,     4) Little Fugitive, Lonesome, or Requiem For A Dream, 5) Blowup, 6) A Night To Remember (blu-ray), 7) Quadrophenia, 8) Eating Raoul, 9) Girl On A Motorcycle, 10) Summer With Monika, 11) Being John Malkovich, 12) Breaking The Waves, 13) Bow, 14) Harold and Maude, 15) Belle De Jour, 16) Repo Man, and 17) Yu Tu Mama Tambi. 
    there are 18 letters in blue surrounding the film icons. I have listed 20 films here so one needs to be kicked out on The Coney Island pick where I have three. you guess which one. I used all of everyone’s input to make this up so thanks. it belongs to us all. my gut says this list has up to a 85% chance of being near correct. its fun just trying. the cars/car hauler films come from: Traffic,Trafic, Weekend, Harold and Maude, Summer With Monika, Repo Man possibles. 
    I welcome corrections/suggestions. peace and love – futurestar 

  • I also like the idea of all of the cars being a reference to the traffic jam scene in “Nashville”, but there’s no van with a loudspeaker plugging a local politician in the drawing.

  • You forgot On The Beach and The Wild Ones…or maybe it’s just my wishful thinking.