As part of the Process module I have been exposed to some interesting films…
Definitely watch the end of this film..
Czech Dream- By Vít Klusák and Filip Remunda-2004
“Czech Dream (the film and the concept) is an ingenious affair”
A film documentary about two students from Czech Film Academy who commission a leading advertising agency to organise a huge campaign for the opening of a new supermarket called the Czech Dream. It was the rapid expansion of hypermarket phenomenon in their homeland that has inspired these two guys to come up with this plot. What makes this hypermarket, the Czech Dream different from its competitors is that it’s not real. They fake a grand opening of the hypermarket in await to see if anybody shows..you have to watch it to see what happens..
Below is the trailor…
This is a clip of Michael Moore talking about the Czech Dream..
I think it’s really interesting that they have managed to capture exactly what is going on in Czech in it’s post-communist stage and to be able to help people recognise the kind of social environment they live in today. It has close links to America and the idea of mass consumption. It clearly shows the huge impact of marketing campaigns. What they did is create hype about this super market in order to see how far people would go to believing everything they see and hear as well as how easy it is for advertising agencies to con us, and in this case even when they are clearly asked not to go, not to shop there. It’s almost like that’s what enticed them even more. And like Naomi Klein clearly reflects on her book No Logo, America has been hugely taken over by advertising and mass consumption.
No Logo By Naomi Klein
Into Eternity – directed by Danish director Michael Madsen-2010
Watch the trailor below..
“Every day, the world over, large amounts of high-level radioactive waste created by nuclear power plants is placed in interim storages, which are vulnerable to natural disasters, man-made disasters, and to societal changes. In Finland the world’s first permanent repository is being hewn out of solid rock – a huge system of underground tunnels – that must last 100,000 years as this is how long the waste remains hazardous.
Once the waste has been deposited and the repository is full, the facility is to be sealed off and never opened again. Or so we hope, but can we ensure that? And how is it possible to warn our descendants of the deadly waste we left behind? How do we prevent them from thinking they have found the pyramids of our time, mystical burial grounds, hidden treasures? Which languages and signs will they understand? And if they understand, will they respect our instructions? While gigantic monster machines dig deeper and deeper into the dark, experts above ground strive to find solutions to this crucially important radioactive waste issue to secure mankind and all species on planet Earth now and in the near and very distant future.
Captivating, wondrous and extremely frightening, this feature documentary takes viewers on a journey never seen before into the underworld and into the future”
‘Onkalo’ is a Finnish word for hiding place. Onkalo the nuclear waste repositery is in Finland, around 300 km northwest of Helsinki and its the world’s first attempt at a permanent repository.It built several kms below the ground and includes underground tunnels and many levels. The concept began in the 70′s and will only be finished around 2100s, so no one that is working on it at the moment or has will live to see it complete!
This is a beautiful documentary that very well reveals the curtains where this huge solution for the tonnes and tonnes of nuclear waste that we need to get rid of safely.
What i found of particular interest during this documentary was that i had never thought about where nuclear waste went. The documentary really opened my eyes to the ideal surrounding how and where waste was disposed, whether it be something as vital as nuclear waste, or something as arbitrary as the plastic that we use in everyday design. Everyday millions of people, regardless of whether they are designers or not, go about their daily routines not caring what happens to the future of the world that we live in. Some people use aerosols, some people litter, and they do so thinking that it is someone elses problem and that someone else will deal with it. The documentary, that for the record i think it is beautifully captured, is a fascinating insight into how some people took respnosibility on themselves to address this very problem over 40 years ago..
They way in which the point is conveyed really appealed to me. The use of a single match to illuminate the face of the speaker served only to draw me into the words that came out of the mouth. It was almost as thought the speaker was addressing me directly, and that what he was telling me was a secret, whispered for a fear of others hearing about this ‘hiding place’. At times i was made to feel uneasy, the dark side was unveiled and the seriousness of the situation revealed. The fact that this ‘Onkalo’ is destined to continue serving the same purpose for years to come made me feel as though we were being trusted with a great secret, especially with regards to the sense of unknown. I believe that there is almost a romantic notion to the way that we are ‘trusted’ with this information, of which papers over the cracks of the level of instability and inresponsibility that man has created.
Objectified- Directed By Gary Hustwit
‘When you see an object you make so many assumptions about that object in seconds…what it does, how well its going to do it, how much you think it should cost. The object testifies to the people that conceived it‘
Objectified was about our complex relationship with manufactured objects, and by extension, the people who design them. Personally, i was able to relate to this documentary greatly. My personal style is very simple, sleek and functional. I like products that are easy to use and not overly ‘busy’, for lack of a better word.
However when i watch this documentary i couldn’t help but think that perhaps we as designers over-complicate everything while striving for individuality and originality, when perhaps the greatest sense of originality is indeed simplicity. It is almost a catch 22. As we try to be different we look at many different ways of becoming different, rather than being different by not trying to be different, if you see what i mean…
My best example of this was Apple. Apple decided to design something that was clean. sleek and user friendly. They didn’t want to offer hundreds of different means to an end. They had a goal and that was simplicity. While others were trying to run and create something that the others didn’t have, Apple focused on the consumer and created something that the consumer needed. The need in this case was efficiency and simplicity, the ability to be able to function a product with ease.
The simplification of the manufacturing process and the move towards machine assembly models made me feel that perhaps mass consumerism was also effecting the very industry that it came from. It is getting harder and harder for designers to break into the industry and sell their products due to the cost of production. This is turn, in my opinion, stifles originality in design because a lot of people want to make money. That is why someone like Apple has been so successful. They have a simple design, of a complexed product, that can be mass produced because it is simple in its design which still allows the generation of it. The process of iteration allowed them to get to that stage. Components as simple as all of the compartments sitting together so precisely, the fact that the light on the outside goes off when the laptop is open because it is not needed, the user friendly interface. It has taken an almost obsessive dedication to perfect simplicity, so what chance do we have at perfecting complexity?
Exit through the Gift Shop- Directed By
To quote Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian, ‘Banksy has made W for Windup. As a documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop is as about as reliable and structurally sound as that house-front with the strategically placed window that falls on top of Buster Keaton. As entertainment, though, it works very well’. Exit Through the Gift Shop, for it’s reliability should not be taken seriously, but as an insight into the world of Street Art and rebellion and downright enjoyment, it is bang on. But isn’t that what Art and Design should be? fun? I believe that if you take the fun out of something it becomes work, and i think that is what Banksy endeavours to convey.
Exit Through the Gift Shop was of particular interest to me as it wasn’t a film per se. It was a documentary, its script wasn’t written and it wasn’t attempting to convey any point in my opinion. Although Thierry Guetta sets out with the ambition to film street artists while at work, it turns into something far bigger. Especially seeing as how Thierry was suddenly capable of donning street art comparable to Banksy’s really tickled me.
What really captured my interest was how in fact Thierry got drawn into the world that he came to film. He became entranced by the world of street graffiti. An obsession with the counter cultural movement of street art really gave me an insight into a different way of thinking. I began to contemplate the position of the non-mainstream affecting the mainstream.
The way in which Banksy and other street artists rebelled against the norms of society was by expressing themselves in an alternative method. They used their art to speak on behalf of the arguably ‘working class’ members of society, and to a certain extent, poke fun and conventionality.
Although the plot of the film is good, with the aim of befriending Banksy, i think that there is far more to it. We as designers should be watching the film and absorbing certain things. For me one of these things was the behavior of these individuals, and the risks that they took in order to express themselves.
From an artistic perspective i loved the way in which the whole ‘film’ was filmed. It was a really useful insight into human behavior, as it seemed as thought the street artists were really at ease when they were being filmed. Because of this they really acted as themselves.
The films of Charles and Ray Eames
The power of ten. 40 to the 10, 10 to the 40. we appear to be right in the middle of two poles of nothing, something that can be considered both the beginnings of both people and the universe, but at the same time can also be considered the end.
moving at ten metres per second, “in each ten seconds of travel the imaginary voyager covered ten times the distance he had covered in the previous ten seconds.” we are able to understand the progression of time, alongside the progression of space. The whole process that they illustrate is cyclical, it can be flipped either side with the same effect.
One of the most interesting parts of it for me was the narrators following comment, “Notice the alternation between great activity and relativity inactivity, a rhythm that will continue all the way into our next goal: a proton in the nucleus of a carbon atom beneath the skin on the hand of a sleeping man at the picnic.” He’s comparing the juxtaposition of galaxies and the vacuum of deep space, and the relatively vast distance between tiny particles at the atomic level.