Clearly illustrating how true it is that it ain’t whatcha know but, rather, whoya know, I was invited to take part in a survey of what we most wanna see at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. What was the criteria for being invited to participate? Something about being buff. Or mebbe it was something about being a film buff. Or someat like that. But the rules! Oy, the rules! They were cruel: I could name only three films and I could justify each choice with only one sentence. Ye gods.
But, hereabouts, my rules rule. So here’s a little further elucidation…
Stuck is based on a true story that I can remember being all over the news a few years ago. In Texas, an intoxicated woman struck a man with her car and he flew up over the hood and lodged in her windshield. Did she call 911? No. Did she drive to the hospital? No. Instead, she drove all the way home with him like that, pulled into her garage and closed the door and then went in the house and left the poor guy to die a slow painful death overnight—ignoring his cries for help that she could hear from inside her house. Then she dumped the body. Isn’t that sweet? A girl you’d like to take home to meet Mom, eh?
Anyhow, throughout his filmmography, you will find that Stuart Gordon has a deft hand when it comes to finding the blacker-than-black comic side of a gruesome story. His films are what you could call transgressive–just a step beyond where other filmmakers might draw the line, y’know?
(Like, oh, say, a sex scene between a nubile young thang and Dr. Hill’s re-animated decapitated head.)
That approach and tone is what I like best about his work. I don’t know if he takes that kind of off-kilter funny/weird/awful tack with this film, but I am sure anxious to see! Continue reading
It is interesting to me to learn just what I am conveying (consciously or not) when I choose to use the typeface Helvetica. Which I’m doing right now, in case you didn’t realize (your fugbox may not be set up to display it that way but, hey, I’ve done my part)…
But there seems to be some disagreement about just what meaning is couched in Helvetica’s firm verticals, smooth curves, and the white spaces between them.
Many of the world’s top graphic designers are interviewed by American director Gary Hustwit on the subject and opinions about this particular sans serif typeface run the gamut from giddy love to sneering hate. Some suggest that its simplicity and clean lines suggest universality, unity, openness, and humanity while others turn up their noses and declare it utterly bereft of meaning because of that same simplicity and clean lines. Lots of opinions are expressed–some with considerable emotion–but none takes precedence. What is notable about this film to me is how fascinating, articulate, and witty these designers are. Their enthusiasm is palpable and I have to marvel at how entertaining this little film about a font is.
And I’ll bet that if you look up from your computer screen right now and gaze around you, you’ll find Helvetica all over the place. Continue reading