Helvetica, The Film!

In an earlier post, I wrote about Helvetica's 50th birthday. I'm not a major Helvetica fan (it's hard for me to be faithful to one typeface), but I surely do love words and design, so how could I not get just a tiny bit excited about the announcement of H's half-centennial. But wait, there's more! First-time director Gary Hustwit has made an independent film, Helvetica, about "typography, graphic design and global visual culture," which is now on a worldwide tour. Leaving aside the good reviews, I tend to trust Hustwit, who produced the excellent documentary about the band Wilco: I Am Trying to Break Your Heart (order it on NetFlix now). (Here's Hustwit's film blog, by the way.)

I already know I'm going to love this film. In fact, I'm going to suggest it to our local art film/indie film/welcome-option-to-schlock film house. I recognize that it's a long shot (even this good film venue may not consider this a likely revenue-generating proposition), but then again, how could you not be interested in a film that Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune, in his review, describes thus:
"...the film says a great deal without raising its voice, lending wit and grace to an inquiry regarding the way a medium, a squiggle or the precise space between two letters affects a million different messages and a billion different eyeballs.

"The real achievement of the picture, though, is the way it sharpens your eye in general and makes connections between form and content, and between art and life. By rounding up a great group of eloquent obsessives eager to explain their feelings about a font, Hustwit has come up with 80 unexpectedly blissful minutes."
Be still my heart.

Helvetica, by the way, is Latin for "Switzerland." Who knew?

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