MOVIE NIGHT: 25 Great Movies For Designer And Artists

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I am a big art nerd. Make a movie about art and design and I’m watching it. Here is my list of my favorite movies, perfect for artists and designers. WARNING: Proceed with caution if you are watching these movies with someone who is not an artist or designer. They may fall asleep numerous times, whine that they want to watch a super hero movie or may ask you the dreaded “What’s so exciting about type?”

  1. DOCUMENTARY: Helvetica: Love it or hate it the Helvetica typeface is everywhere. In this brilliant and interesting documentary you will learn about the font’s origin, designers views & opinions and popular uses. It will change the way you view the typography around you and you will start seeing Helvetica everywhere.
  2. DOCUMENTARY: Art & Copy: A great look into the world of advertising. People in the business will find this interesting but some of the interviews are a bit boring.
  3. DOCUMENTARY: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold: This is a great documentary for anyone who is interesting in branding. It shows how an entire movie can be paid for by product placement and the power of a brand. It also has a great sense of humor and as documentaries go is fun to watch.
  4. DOCUMENTARY: To Infinity & Beyond (The Pixar Story): This documentary gives you an in-depth look at how Pixar came about. It has great interviews and lots of interesting facts about the films. Great for animators, artists, computer nerds and Pixar fans.
  5. BIO PIC: American Splendor: This movie tells the story of American Splendor comic book writer Harvey Pekar. The acting is great and how they infuse it with his comic book stories is visually interesting to look at. The other cool thing about this movie is how they mix the actors with the actual people they depict.
  6. BIO PIC: Miss Potter: One of my favorites stories growing up were written by Beatrix Potter. A pretty interesting story about how these stories came about. Also animated versions of her greatest characters make an appearance.
  7. BIO PIC: Frida: Biography of Frida Kahlo. Gives you great insight into her life and the art she created.
  8. BIO PIC: Pollock: Biography about Jackson Pollock: Very interesting especially if you were intrigued and a fan of his famous paint splatters.
  9. DOCUMENTARY: Annie Leibovitz (Life through a Lens): I really like this documentary because it really lets the photographs speak for themselves. It’s great to see her body of work and how her photography has evolved over the years.
  10. DOCUMENTARY: Bill Cunningham New York: From the very glamorous life of Annie Leibovitz comes and really interesting documentary about New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham.Bill Cunningham works surrounded by high fashion but can’t bring himself to buy a new jacket. This is worth the watch because he is so eccentric but endearing at the same.
  11. DOCUMENTARY: Herb and Dorothy: This documentary takes a look into the world of modern art collecting by following an adorable and eccentric couple. At times the couple is more interesting than the art but it’s a really fun & interesting watch.
  12. COMEDY: Save the Date: Not really a movie about art but the main character is an artist and as the story plays out in cartoon drawings. It’s really fun to see how an artist would interpret their life and shows how no matter what happens in her life she needs to sketch it out the minute it happens. CHICK FLICK WARNING.
  13. DRAMA: Kramer & Kramer: Not really a movie about art but Dustin Hoffman’s character is in advertising. I chose this because it shows how demanding the profession can be and how it affects his home life.
  14. COMEDY: Chasing Amy: Again not really an art movie but it explores the world of comic book artists and has some great art jokes in there (“I’m an inker”, “oh, so you trace”). Plus the rest of the movie is funny and surprisingly good.
  15. COMEDY: Who Framed Rodger Rabbit?: Who didn’t love this movie growing up? For the time mixing cartoons with live action was astounding and let’s face it still pretty cool. Plus it’s fun to see how many of your favorite cartoons make a guest appearance.
  16. SHORT: Logorama: This short won an Oscar and it’s easy to see why. The story is hilarious but you could just as easily watch it with the sound off. It’s one of those films that no matter how many times I see it, I still find something new. The whole movie, including the scenery is created by logos. How many  can you identify?
  17. TV SERIES: Mad Men: If you haven’t heard of Mad Men I don’t know where you have been hiding. A great show especially for advertising nerds. You can really get a sense of how advertising has changed over the years. It’s also interesting to see ads back then that would be unheard of to do today. We were so inspired by it that we drew our agency in the style of Mad Men. Check it out here: http://www.myriadcore.com/our-agency-team-drawn-in-the-style-of-mad-men/
  18. TV SERIES: The Office: Season 4 & 5 of this show had Pam pursuing her artistic dreams and attending a graphic design program. My favorite part is that she doesn’t get her certificate because of QuarkXPress (which any design student can relate to).
  19. OPENING SEQUENCE: Catch Me If You Can: This is one of my favorite opening sequences. It feels more like from a movie from the 60’s and 70’s than today. I’m a typography nerd so I love how the letters create the scenes. Be sure to check it out.
  20. OPENING SEQUENCE: 101 Dalmatians: I love this opening because you have to remember someone was hand-drawing all those spots. It’s also neat how the typography matches the music and how the integrate the movie into the opening.
  21. OPENING SEQUENCE: Gattaca: I’m not going to tell you why the opening scene is great from a typography standpoint. It’s funner to see if you can figure out how the opening credits relate to the film.
  22. OPENING SEQUENCE: Sleepy Hollow: These opening credits are interesting because the type takes on the characteristics of the background (when they are over trees the letters fall like leaves). Just a nice touch.
  23. COMING SOON: Design & Thinking: This documentary confronts all sorts of professionals and asks them what is design thinking and how can it be applied to you. It technically has been released but it is hard to find to rent so that’s why it’s under coming soon.
  24. COMING SOON: Jobs: If you are a designer you know you are looking forward to this movie. I never thought I would be looking forward to an Ashton Kutcher movie but stranger things have happened. Plus the wait is almost over. The movie comes out August 16th.
  25. COMING SOON: The Good Dinosaur: This one you’re going to have to wait to next year. Why did I put this one the list? I think Pixar fans (myself included) have been waiting for Pixar to release a movie that feels Pixar again. Too many sequels and prequels were making the brand feel stale. Hopefully this movie can bring back some of that Pixar magic (but not until May 30, 2014)

Do you agree with my list? Did I forget a movie you think should make the list? Did I miss the mark on a particular film? Be sure to comment below.

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7 thoughts on “MOVIE NIGHT: 25 Great Movies For Designer And Artists”

  1. Thank you so much for these suggestions…
    This is a really good bunch of films for designers…
    I am going to watch most of them and I am sure I will enjoy them…

  2. Thank you for this list. Your stories are always very interesting.
    “Soul Kitchen” is a well hidden gem, with one of the greatest opening sequences a graphic designer would enjoy. It also comes with a great soundtrack and a really nice story.
    I would also recommend most of the “James Bond” opening sequences.
    The list is huge!

  3. I am gonna watch the movies as per my taste from the mentioned bunch of films .Thanks a lot for the share mate 🙂

  4. Thank you for your interesting articles.
    I recommend “Soul Kitchen” which has a fantastic opening sequence any designer would love. It comes with an uplifting soundtrack and a nice story to tell.
    And of course, most of the “James Bond” opening sequences… Some of them are pieces of art.
    Enjoy!

  5. Hi
    Great list, I’m going to try to see all of these.
    I think the movie “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World” has a great opening sequence. For a movie that old (1963), the graphics and animations used in the opening are just awesome. They would have been even better in a cinema. It’s a comedy movie, but more mentionable was the opening.

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