I’ve been more and more surprised with our Netflix service recently. I found that there are some really great art/design documentaries that I never imagined Netflix would offer.
One of the first I watched was called:
1. POPaganda: The Art & Crimes of Ron English
and 2. Helvetica (yes, the font)!
For those of you who don’t know, Ron English is a vigilante artist! This movie/documentary illustrated that even more by being filmed in a guerilla art style, which made this even more fascinating and eye gluing for me. “The film also serves as a biography, chronicling English’s evolution from a simple painter to an activist-instigator who skewers just about everything from Ronald McDonald to the war in Iraq.” POPaganda: The Art & Crimes of RonEnglish went behind the scenes of his daily life and showed just how he goes about getting away with his billboard repainting 😛
Moving on. Helvetica is one of the most popular fonts in the world due to its infinite readability. The documentary offered interviews with designers and artists who were insightful as to the development, use and universal acceptance of Helvetica. It goes briefly into the history of typefaces, and font making while showing how Helvetica has become the typeface of choice for everything. Whether you are writing a letter or creating a corporate logo.
Another interesting documentary I watched (while not really related to art, but one of my other passions [Japan]) is called The Great Happiness Placewhich goes into the seemingly messed up culture of Japan. This compelling film explores the rarely seen world of Japanese host boys, men who are paid to entertain wealthy women in exclusive nightclubs. Almost but not quite gigolos, more akin to male geishas, the host boys of Cafe Rakkyo share their secrets. The narrative focuses on Issei, Osaka’s top host boy, but all the characters in this unique subculture are fascinating.
I would recommend all these movies with * * * * * 5 starz!!!