February Films: Anvil and Objectified

To get back to my 1-film-per-day rate, I had to watch two movies tonight, so I chose two very different but equally interesting documentaries.

First was Anvil, an amazingly touching movie about a has-been heavy metal band from Toronto. The film bottles up an incredible amount of pathos – the two main members of the band desperately want in the 50s what they wanted in their teens: to be rock starts – but it’s also surprisingly inspiring. Anvil never really becomes what it “should” (the biggest metal band in the world) but both Lips and Robbo show – and know – that it’s the journey, not the destination. Plus and so, the music is pretty great.

After the noise and chaos and fun of Anvil, I watched its opposite, the sophisticated and self-conscious Objectified, a cerebral take on the role of design in modern society. Directed by Gary Hustwit, who made the documentary about the font Helvetica a few years ago, Objectified takes a while to get going but eventually – after Karim Rashid shows up in his white-nailed glory – becomes an engrossing examination of just what “good design” means. I doubt real designers would be quite as impressed, but as someone with a passing acquaintance with the field (both as a historian of technology and as a consumer), I thought the film more than met its goal. Plus, it’s chock full of incredibly beautiful stuff.

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