It’s cold and wet outside, so what better excuse do you need to stay in and veg out. As you know my viewing time is pretty sacred, especially when it comes to absolutely rubbish TV. But sometimes I don’t want to switch off as soon as I put the TV on. There are so many films out there about creativity and making that you’re never going to be short on inspiration, but I thought I’d put together a short list to whet your appetite and save you some searching.
HELVETICA & OBJECTIFIED
So, I’m kicking off with a double bill. Helvetica and Objectified are two parts of Gary Hustwit’s design documentary trilogy, with the third in the series being Urbanized. Each film shows the design and craft that goes into the world around us. Helvetica, unsurprisingly, charts the history and design of one of the world’s most popular fonts – I promise it’s actually really fascinating. Objectified gives the same treatment to everyday objects. Hustwit’s films really open your eyes and change how you view the world around you a bit, which is the perfect way to find some inspiration.
Any movie where Greta Gerwig gets to dance will always have my seal of approval. Frances Ha is a take on the classic girl comes tries to find herself and her art in New York story. Frances is an apprentice at a dance company, she isn’t really a dancer though. But she doesn’t let that stop her doing what she loves and pursuing the life that she wants with a real joy. If you’re struggling with keeping going because the real world is hard (and this film doesn’t pretend that adulting isn’t hard) then this one might be for you.
THE PIXAR STORY
The Pixar Story is one of my favourite documentaries ever. I’ve seen it at least 5 times. While Pixar might not be the same giant it used to be a decade after this film was made, as someone who grew up with Toy Story, Monsters Inc., and Finding Nemo it still holds a lot of sentimental value. It’s a great piece of movie history and a wonderful story of the triumph of some pioneering artists. Plus, like any great Pixar movie you leave it feeling uplifted and like you can be the hero of your own story.
THE PRINCESS BRIDE
This might seem like an odd pick, but hear me out. The Princess Bride is all about story-telling and putting a spin on a classic, and if you can’t find inspiration in either of those two ideas you’re going to be struggling. There’s a reason it’s a cult favourite, even thirty years after it debuted. It’s a magical piece of escapism, so sit back, relax and say “as you wish” to all of the ideas you’re going to have after watching it.
THE DEAD POET’S SOCIETY
If you’re looking for a rousing endorsement of the power of the arts look no further. The late Robin Williams is at his heartbreaking best in this one, as a group of schoolboys discover a love of literature through his incredible teaching. It’s honest and raw, and a real reminder of why we make things and why we engage with art.
As I said there are so so so many more you choose from. When it comes to looking for inspiration I love turning to films that are just a feast for the eyes, we’re talking movies like The Fall, Amelie and pretty much anything Wes Anderson has made.
Which films do you turn to for inspiration? Is there anything you think I should be watching over the next few weeks?