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Movie Night - Helvetica

Fiona Mckay

For our second movie screening of the year, we went for a different aspect of design and screened Gary Hustwit's independent documentary 'Helvetica.' This is an independent feature-length documentary about typeface and graphic deisgn, centred on the typeface of the same name. The documentary was released in 2007 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the typeface's introduction in 1957. Its content consists of a history of the typeface interspersed with candid interviews with leading graphic and type designers. The film aims to show Helvetica's beauty and ubiquity, and illuminate the personalities that are behind typefaces. It also explores the rift between modernists and postmodernists, with the latter expressing and explaining their criticisms of the famous typeface.

The documentary generated some interesting debates, and the members & guests in attendance were happy to discuss about the way graphic design links and influences architecture among many other things. Many thanks to all who attended this final screening of the first segment of the 2018 movie nights, and we look forward to welcoming all of you back to the BFI in the autumn for more screenings & debates!

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