Throughout this project, I have watched three movies: Helvetica, Everything is Illuminated, and wall-e. While watching these three movies I believe design was expressed in each of the three cultural products. I will compare and contrast as well as explain in detail what all three of these movies are about. For starters, Helvetica is a film about typography. Helvetica is a common, simple, overlooked and not so popular font. The second film, Everything is Illuminated is not quite what I expected. This film is about a young Jewish-American man who took a journey to Ukraine to find out more about his grandfather. It also states the young man is obsessed with his family history and learned more than he could ever imagine. This last film is a classic as well as one of my favorites, Wall-e. The term Wall-e stands for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class, which is what this movie is all about. He is the last robot left on Earth and spends his day cleaning up the planet form garbage which connects this film to consumer culture by showing everyone one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Viewing the first film Helvetica, you would not think it would be as unrecognized as it is. The Helvetica font is used in many different places such as computers, posters, billboards, signs, etc. Research has stated that the font is also the governments official sign, yet no one really pays attention to it. In the film, they interview typography experts who state the font is clear and easy to read which connects this to consumerism culture. Some people who were interviewed may claim that the font needs more style and argue it is too plain. Most critics have enjoyed and said the film sharpens your eye and makes connections between form and content as well as between art and life.
In addition, Everything is illuminated was my favorite film of the three because of the mystery. This film is a cultural classic designed movie because it shows us anything can be considered as an artifact that represents business or cultural values. The young jewish man, Jonathan, was trying to figure out his family history and to find the woman who saved his grandfather in World War II. He went on a quest to find the woman in a small Ukrainian town, which was wiped off the map because of the Nazi invasion. This film shows that paper products and simple artifacts are still beneficial in our world today which represents cultural value.
The last movie I will discuss is called Wall-e. Wall-e is a movie about a robot that finds happiness in simple things that we would not find a bit of happiness in today’s society. As his job on earth, to clean up trash and help keep the planet clean, looking through trash all day he still finds happiness in anything he finds. During the 700 years on earth, Wall-e developed a personality. Later in the movie, he spots EVE, a robot who was sent back to Earth on a scanning mission. Wall-e falls in love and follows EVE across the galaxy which is part of the cultural values we have today that we take for granted. This movie shows that a small waste collecting robot ( any of us in our world today) can turn a trash filled planet into a clean one.
Throughout this research I have discovered exploration of design can be taken from all three movies. In comparison for all three movies, they have design. Helvetica has design in the font and keeping it simple, Everything Is Illuminated has a designed artifact to help the man figure out his family history and Wall-e has design in helping people discover ways to keep our planet clean. All three movies state cultural values in different ways we may not seem to see is cultural. This movie review should inspire people to watch these films and gain the educational purposes I did. The idea of these movies versus a movie like Narnia are quite similar because even though they are in a different world with different designs, we have the same situation and do not notice the designs we have in our world today.
In conclusion, the experiences and lessons I took out of watching all three movies as a whole are the hidden messages they all had encrypted. The interesting thing I found from all three of these films is the meanings in them to help people learn yet, not really show the people they are learning. I believe these films were created as teaching strategies for adults and children to learn about business, social and cultural aspects. We live in a world where we are surrounded by design everyday and for the most part we don’t notice it. It is difficult to notice a font from a sign or billboard, but maybe people should start paying more attention to the little things such as the main artifacts represented in all three of these interesting and educational films.