Urbanized, the new doc about the design of cities, opens this Friday the 11th at 7:15pm.
Here's a great article from Justin McGuirk at the Guardian.
And here's what I have to say:
Urbanized is from director Gary Hustwit, the man behind the font-doc Helvetica (2007) and the design documentary Objectified (2009). I guess you could consider these films a design trilogy, from dot to city block. I thought Helvetica was pretty cool, though I already had an interest in typefaces before I saw the film. But if you're interesting in graphic design at all, check it out. And if you do, there are extra interviews in the DVD bonus material that are worth watching. There's one cranky font designer that I think is hilarious. Anyway...
Objectified is about the relationship between designer and product, and a reminder that everything you own (you know, besides things you found in the woods) was designed by someone.
I love manufacturing videos. I could watch "how it's made" videos on YouTube for hours. (In fact, I just saw how drill bits are made. Awesome.) So these parts of Objectified are pretty great. For the most part, the objects at hand are sleek modern things. Lots of injection-molded plastic, lots of Apple-design and OXO kitchenware. I would've liked a larger variety of manufacturing disciplines, as it seemed heavy on personal electronics and kitchen appliances, but I guess I should be happy with what I got.
I haven't seen Urbanized yet, but I probably will. Let me know what you think.
Also, I was trying to think of other movies that are about cities. Obviously, there's The Pruitt-Igoe Myth, which plays tonight at Ragtag with local director Chad Friedrichs. If you missed this great documentary at this year's True/False Film Fest and subsequent showings at Ragtag, it's definitely worth seeing--especially for a Missorian. It's about the rise and fall of the famous St. Louis housing project, whose razing is oft called the death of Modernity (by nerds, mostly).
Then there's the crazy time-lapsed masterpiece Koyaanisqatsi (1982), which I haven't seen in quite a while, but there's a lot of "man in his urban environment" stuff going on. The film also makes great use of Pruitt-Igoe demolition footage.
Another film that just popped into my head is the documentary The End of Suburbia, from 2004. I haven't watched it yet, but it's about the sustainability of our automobile-centered suburban areas. It might be a bit doomsday peak-oily, but whoever was telling me about it made it sound real good. It might've been Jeremy over at True/False....
Time for posters: