As film-lovers we are all always searching for those film that will incite some kind of new thoughts or feeling in our heads, and we’re lucky each and every time we find one. As often as that may happen though, it’s extremely rare that a film or a documentary can immediately change the world around you to the point that it’s as if you are able to see a new color. That’s the best way I can describe seeing Helvetica for the first time, a film whose subject –typography design– frankly registers as a topic that would make most people want to stab themselves. It’s to Gary Hustwit’s credit though, that he managed to make a true-blue design documentary filled with talk of serifs, leading, and kerning that is also very entertaining. Because it is tackling a part of our world that is so omnipresent, yet so subtle, it also has that added benefit of having the “new color” effect I spoke of earlier.
I expect Gary Hustwit’s latest documentary Urbanized will have a similar effect, writ large. Capping off the design trilogy that he started with Helvetica and followed up with Objectified (a messier, but equally fascinating doc about product design), Hustwit is tackling a subject that has taken him all over the world. The trailer promises great interviews and gorgeous footage shot in his very particular style that, as you might imagine, puts a lot of emphasis on composition and shot design.
I couldn’t be more excited to see Urbanized, and if you catch up on the two earlier films in the trilogy (available on Netflix here and here) I think you will be too. The film’s website is here where you can read about its successful TIFF debut, and keep up with any news of future screenings. Also check out the Q&A I transcribed from a visit Hustwit paid to my university when he screened Objectified.
thanks to Casey Moore
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