Until Tuesday, March 24th, 2020, you can watch Gary Hustwit’s documentary Helvetica for free. Helvetica is a feature-length (about 1 hour and 20 minutes) documentary about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It features the world’s most prolific typeface and explains why that is and how it got to be that way.
The director posted this on Twitter last week:
In light of the COVID-19 crisis, I’m streaming my films for free to viewers stuck indoors anywhere in the world. I’ll be streaming a new movie every week, launching each Tuesday. Stay strong, we’ll get through this.
I haven’t seen it since 2008, but parts of it stick in your mine. I have to admit that some of my favorite parts of the film are with the folks that are simply OVER Helvetica and complain about how simple and boring it is. I am not saying I agree, but it’s always fun to listen to intelligent folks who are passionate about something. That seems even more so when that thing they are passionate about is typography.
It looks like Hustwit will be sharing more of his films as well. He has another one that was enjoyable called Objectified. It’s worth checking out if you enjoy listening to folks talk about high-design, products and ideas.
So I searched around and dug up info on these four films. Let me bracket all of this by saying – I do not know squat about Hollywood. I have a vague understanding what “optioned” means and what having a producer attached to film vs. a director with no actors indicates about just how far along a film is in the process. So some of these may never see the light of day. But the interest is good.
And it seems to me that you’d want to crank out a quality film while the book it’s based on is still highly ranked in the public’s collective hippocampus. But again – I don’t know Hollywood. What I do know is a good book when I read it, so if these films based on books do happen and they’re as good as the book they’re based on, then it may be worth an $80 movie pass (or whatever movies cost these days).
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline –Steven Spielberg has signed on to direct this one. I can absolutely see this book working as a film. Everything from the real-world vertical trailer parks to the special effects needed for the game sequences would be great on the big screen. It’s still in the writing stage it looks like, so no word on a release date.
Andy Weir‘s (@andyweirauthor on Twitter) book was so much stinking fun to read. I can’t say that enough. I walked around for weeks after I read The Martian, just trying to get others to read it. The story was great. They nailed the bookcover with the shiny paper. The whole package. I don’t care if you don’t like sci-fi books. This was such a good read that you just want Mark Watney to survive.
And now the movie is coming out November 25th! I have yet to see a movie that I enjoyed as much as the book, but after watching The Martian trailer which came out today, this could be really close. I think Matt Damon may have the ability to deliver the snarky brainy lines just as I heard them in my head.
I had no idea it had so many well-known Hollywood names in it either. You can watch the trailer below:
Fingers crossed. And if you haven’t read Andy Weir’s The Martian, you should really give it a try before the movie comes out.
I am one that really enjoyed the book. Enough so that I can’t imagine how the movie can live up to it. You can watch the preview trailer below and make up your own mind. I don’t remember the book being so “cute”? Does that make sense? I am not a big re-reader, but this may call for it. The encounter with the bear was one of my favorite bits in the book. Not sure why I found it so funny. Bryson just has a why of countering serious situations with this dry, almost stuffy, British-like sense of humor.
I am still up in the air if Robert Redford and Nick Nolte are the right guys for the parts. Though since Redford is producing the movie, I guess he gets to do whatever he likes. The A Walk in the Woods movie hits the big screen this fall on Labor Day weekend. Fingers crossed!