Tag Archives: helvetica

on watching movies

I have a friend who sees probably 75% of movies that come through the theaters.  Anything with 3D, big name actors or big name directors that you can check out at your local Cineplex, he has probably seen it.  A friend like that is good to have, because he can always give you a heads up of what you should check out (along with Rotten Tomatoes & IMBD).

However, I personally try to see movies that don’t come through the theaters and aren’t available in IMAX & 3D.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a cinephile or a snob when it comes to movies.  I’ll gladly watch through The Dark Knight on a huge screen like most people, but I think it’s also worthwhile to watch movies that aren’t “blockblusters”.

What will surprise most people (as it did me) is that there are some unbelievably terrific movies that aren’t shown on thousands of screens nationwide.  Just because a movie isn’t available at your local Cineplex doesn’t mean that it should be avoided.  The combination of blogs, recommendation systems (try MyZeus) and YouTube (for checking trailers) allows you to make much better decisions on what you want to watch.

Netflix has made this task much easier, with a variety of streaming titles and the ability to get just about any movie you can think of.  I would highly recommend signing up for a plan, as it costs about 1 movie ticket a month.  Couple that with the savings you’ll reap by avoiding $4 sodas and $7.50 buckets of popcorn, and you’ll surely come out seeing a wider variety of movies and still have some money in your pocket.

I thought I might share a few movies that I believe are worth your time.  I realize that 4 out of the 5 recommendations are documentaries, and that is intentional.  Message to everyone: learning while watching a movie isn’t a bad thing.  Just because these films don’t have vampires or CGI or Hugh Grant and tell stories of fact rather than fiction, doesn’t mean they are bad.

Art of the Steal

I’ve recommended this movie to almost everyone I know who has a Netflix account, as you can stream this one. Fantastic story whether or not you like art at all.


This is the most recent film from Francis Ford Coppola (of Godfather fame) and it is quite beautiful.  A film about brotherhood.  Vincent Gallo does a great job.

The King of Kong

Quite simply, a documentary about the world’s best players of the arcade game Donkey Kong.  One of the great battles of good and evil.

Dear Zachary

If you don’t cry during this movie (men and women alike), you have got some serious issues.  Don’t read about this movie, just watch the trailer (if you have to) and stream this on Netflix.


A film about the typeface Helvetica.  Give it a chance and you might learn that a documentary about type isn’t boring – it’s actually quite interesting.

I’d love to hear your comments if you’ve seen these (or end up watching them).


ban comic sans

As referenced in my posts about Helvetica and the Periodic Table of Typography, I have quite an interest in typography.  I don’t know a lot about it, but I definitely like to learn and wouldn’t mind a few more books (hell an entire library) on the subject.  A friend of mind passed this link onto me about typography, specifically a movement against the font Comic Sans.

Suprised?  I know I was a victim of overusing Comic Sans in my middle school days, but I’ve since then stayed far away from.  Many people may be wondering why people are against Comic Sans, and for you Ban Comic Sans has a fantastic video.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Absolut is one of the best examples.  That brand’s identity exists partially because of the font they use on their bottle (it’s Futura Condensed ExtraBold  btw).

Anyway, I’m not crazy enough to buy one of the sweatshirts, but I do have to agree.  After watching Helvetica, I am much more cognicent of how my choice in type affects my writing’s meaning.  Check out Ban Comic Sans here and buy a bumper sticker to show your support (and disgust).

designer spotlight: stefan sagmeister

I first heard of Stefan Sagmeister from the documentary Helvetica.  I remember seeing his designs in the movie and thought they were pretty amazing:

Those images are from Stefan’s book Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far.  Only a few weeks ago I added it to my Half.com Wishlist and my wonderfully beautiful girlfriend surprised me with it for Valentine’s Day.

How about this for packaging/presentation:

And here Stefan talks about the book (from Ted.com):

Stunning work, right?

a must-see documentary: helvetica

I heard about Helvetica in 2007 when it dropped.  A lot of people on messageboards I visited posted pictures of the book and DVD, and I also saw it on Colette.  A documentary on fonts?  Lame.

Fast foward two years and as a more design-appreciative person, I decided to check it out.  Can’t be all that bad, right?

The documentary was absolutely brilliant!  I’m watching it right now as we speak, actually.  And I ended up buying the book too (mine’s hardcover though).

Stop watching Lost or whatever show you are into and download/rent/buy this ASAP.  I wish somebody would have forced me to watch it at launch instead of now – but better late than never.

get your tivo ready

Objectified, a documentary about industrial design is going to premiere on PBS this Spring.  Even in the trailer, you see clips of products from Apple, Leica, Ikea, Pantone, etc.  I never knew PBS had such good programs on.

Apparently the documentary Helvetica is premiering on TV on Tuesday night as well.  Definitely check it out if you are a fan of design.

Courtesy of Gizmodo via Uneasy Silence.