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The Icon Bar: News and features: Helvetica the movie

Helvetica: the movie

Posted by Phil Mellor on 14:00, 15/3/2007 | ,
Helvetica movieI've been excited about the Helvetica movie ever since I read about it on NoiseToSignal last August. According to the blurb, "Helvetica is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which is celebrating its 50th birthday this year) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives."
It finally premiered on the 13th at SXSW and, judging from the reviews, it seems it's everything I hoped for...
Thanks to Hustwit's clean lines of narrative and intellectually playful style, we get a great look at the universality of Helvetica as a typeface and how, after it was unveiled in 1957 and hailed as a miracle of modernism, it became the unofficial font of official activities. Hustwit's camera noses through a variety of urban landscapes and shows you just how omnipresent Helvetica is -- traffic signs, logos, official notices, storefronts.
At its best, Helvetica makes us actually look at the world around us, and actually think about how the medium is the message, how much art is in the things our eyes gloss over every day.
One of the most intellectually exciting, stimulating, warm-hearted and best-made independent documentaries I've seen in a long time, Helvetica turns 26 letters into a whole new perspective on the world.
This is not really a movie about a typeface. Helvetica is just a character in this wonderfully-made film, which just might be the best history of graphic design we've ever seen ... Designer or not, you will never, ever see the world the same again.
Hopefully the UK screenings will be announced soon. I need to see this film.
  Helvetica the movie
  monkeyson2 (12:56 6/11/2007)
Phil Mellor Message #105129, posted by monkeyson2 at 12:56, 6/11/2007
monkeyson2Please don't let them make me be a monkey butler

Posts: 12380
A shortened version of this film is on Imagine tonight - BBC1, 10:35pm.

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The Icon Bar: News and features: Helvetica the movie