When you think about movies for or about graphic designers, there aren’t too many. But for real artists who can take inspiration from almost anything, even in nothing, a movie doesn’t have to be a flat out depiction of graphic design in order to be a source of inspiration.
Here is a list of five highly visually stimulating films that can get designers, illustrators, artists and other geniuses brimming with creative juices waiting to be squeezed into artistic masterpieces.
1. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
Straight from the most creative and artistic depths of Hayao Miyazaki’s imagination, Howl’s Moving Castle brings worldwide audiences yet another spectacular tale depicted in one of the world’s most thought-provoking and visually stimulating imagery and effects. Like two other Miyazaki masterpieces, Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle is also a Japanese animated film that reminds audiences of how much awe is such an awesome experience.
It tells the story of 18-year old Sophie, who found solace from local boys’ harassment in a new-found friendship with Howl, a flashy wizard with a castle that can move on its own. After being cursed by a witch who despised her friendship with Howl, she hid in the wizard’s moving castle as she tried to find ways to undo the spell.
2. The Science of Sleep (2006)
This film goes beyond stimulation of the senses and spurs the mind with a fascinating experience of the unconscious, as it tells the story of Stéphane Miroux, whose dreams and imagination are too vivid that reality becomes harder to separate. With marvelously woven storyline and scenes made possible by the man behind the renowned Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, it takes viewers on a surreal journey through the mind of a wildly creative artist, whose struggles between dreams and reality are further amplified by the arrival of a blossoming romance.
1. Exit through the Gift Shop (2010)
Born from the brilliant direction and arrangement by notorious street artist Banksy, Exit through the Gift Shop is a 2010 feature film about Thierry Guetta, a French-born thrift shop owner in Los Angeles, who decided to record his life in video tapes and ended up documenting the phenomenon of contemporary street art. His encounter with his cousin, who was known in the guerilla art world as Space Invader, brought him into the world of modern street art and allowed him to meet various artists in the craft, until he met the infamous Banksy with his infamous “Gitmo” prank in Disneyland. Banksy persuaded Guetta to make a documentary out of his footage, until he eventually took over the project and came out with a kick ass ode to street art.
2. Objectified (2009)
Directed by Gary Huswit, this documentary film discusses humans’ intricate relationship with manufactured products around them and consequently, with the people who designed these products. It features 20 of the world’s most influential designers and how they brought forth the designs that were so deeply etched in people’s everyday lives that they had become “standards”, enough for people to forget that they had gone through so much studying, brainstorming and testing. Objectified takes the viewers on a tour into the world of industrial designing, introducing the key people behind the designs of their everyday things from toothbrushes and alarm clocks to furniture and mobile phones.
3. Manufactured Landscapes (2006)
Manufactured Landscapes, a prided brainchild of documentarian Jennifer Baichwal, centers on the clandestine beauty of industrial landscapes as revealed by the genius of photographer Edward Burtynsky. It goes beyond the lights and cityscapes and delves into the dimensions of globalization and industrialization, as it depicts scenes of industrial workers in their plight and youths wading through toxic industrial wastes, among many others.