Last weekend we saw the new Mike Mills film Beginners. Afterward I said it was my favorite movie of the new decade, and I have yet to take that back. Its got incredible heart, innovative pacing, a fantastic script, and an admirable sense of authenticity. But enough about the film. Do we look like a movie review blog? Just go see it: let’s talk type.
Beginners with its beautifully awkward brushy cursive (shades of Interview masthead and Quiksilver logo but far more humble/charming than both) belongs squarely to the last grouping I mentioned in my analysis of handwriting-on-movie-poster trending — that is, it is typecast with the painfully earnest Freaks and Geeks, Beautiful Losers (which he’s featured in along with handletterer Geoff McFettridge) and Where the Wild Things Are (by fellow Beastie Boys collaborator Spike Jonze and fellow enthusiast for the authentic Dave Eggers). His previous feature film Thumbsucker also falls into this category, as does Me You and Everyone We Know(the first feature film of his wife, artist Miranda July). Indeed, though not movies, so does her book of stories or his great series of products, “Humans.” These are all linked by a raw earnestness signalled by their use of handlettering.
So, wait. I know handwriting and that… some of that is not handwriting, it’s Helvetica. The more I look at Mike Mills’ work (of art rather than design for clients) the more it seems he has two modes: handwriting and Helvetica. And I’m generally not a fan of the font without qualities, but with his content in it, I’m a bit in love. Words from the heart makes sense in scrawled lettering, but it’s a bit obvious. Text about the human experience, or sadness, in the typeface of generics and megacorps is sort of beautiful.
For much more Mike Mills, visit his site. I recommend watching his short film Deformer — though the preview on his site is only a minute of its 17-min run time. If you live by me, I’ll lend you the issue of the Believer it’s in.
3. Speaking of Canada, Spanish video production outfit CANADA produces fantastic videos with an aesthetic which is retro, kitschy, erotic and unsettling. Perhaps better examples of their peculiar style are found in their Scissor Sisters, Battles, or Vaccines videos — all of which are great — but here’s one that’s safe-for-work, which channels both 60s live-music acts and Michelle Gondry.
4. And, Best Coast has a video that merges creepy and cutesy beautifully, with slow-motion that brings us back to the first.
I love this video all the more because it reminds me of near-forgotten video I saw just once in the early 90s, a black and white, seemingly one-take video of firing squad executions in the desert — panning between the condemned stage right, the shooters stage left and the deadpan lovesong singer center foreground… Google and Bing have failed me. Anyone?
I love this living painting — a “cover version” of Van Gogh’s A Wheatfield, with Cypresses from 1889 — composed using plants rather than paint. Created by ans, using over 8,000 plants, the wall was built with sponsorship from GE as part of The National Gallery’s greening campaign. The painted masterpiece can be seen at The National Gallery and the living masterpiece can be seen outside in Trafalgar Square until October 2011. More images can bee seen here — so pretty.
While out and about in warm LA this past weekend, I ran across this building that intrigued me–I couldn’t exactly tell if it was old or new. Kind of reminds me of the half-timbered buildings I saw throughout England. So many interesting things to discover when traveling. Hope you all had a nice, relaxing weekend.
Recently I’ve been really interested in Generative Art — in how amazing and aesthetic things can be made out of data and algorithms. I posted about my first deeper look into it (Tim Huchinson, plus my own attempts to use Kandid) over a year ago.
An array of garbage bags + fans and Processing, and it’s art that feels more than a bit like life:
Crazily complex “Subdivided Columns” by Michael Hansmeyer, built out of computations from topographical data from a standard Doric column. These are not just conceptual: they actually were output, prototyped as objects, which makes me feel excited about how wildly structured objects and architecture of the near future might be.
And yeah three great music videos made with Processing: