Design Cinema (Sep15~23)

Graphic Design 

DIRECTOR:Gary Hustwit / 2007 / UK / 80min / English / Chinese subtitles

★ “A gleefully engaging investigation into the world’s most ubiquitous typeface. This is one of the wittiest, most diligently researched, slyly intelligent and quietly captivating documentaries of the year.” – TimeOut (London)

★ SXSW, BritDoc, Hot Docs, SilverDocs +

This documentary traces the development and enduring charm of the typeface, Helvetica, but it is also about much more than the world's most pervasive font. It’s a history of the last hundred years of graphic design and how Western culture has expressed its hopes, wants and needs through magazines, advertising, signage and all the other graphics that fill our lives. Filmmaker Gary Hustwit shows Helvetica's impact on international design, advertising, and communication, chasing down the world's top graphic designers in the US, Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium and everywhere else, and displaying their love-hate relationship with this landmark of graphic design.

POST-FILM TALK: Jessie Chen will discuss Chinese typography, fonts commonly used here in Taiwan, and how local designers have similar issues to those in the film. Ms. Chen, founder of way2creative, is a designer who was worked in both the US and Taiwan. (The talk will be in Chinese.)
SCREENING TIMES: 9/21(Fri) 17:00-18:30


Product Design

FILM: Design & Thinking
DIRECTOR: 蔡牧民 Mu-Ming Tsai / 2012 / US / 74min / English / Chinese subtitles

In 2008 the American design firm IDEO proposed the concept of “design thinking” as a tool for solving problems in daily life, business, and even global crisis like world hunger. They said that thinking like a designer can help achieve human solutions, give us better ways to use new technologies and also deal with economic realities. Attention and debates followed. Some insisted on design education in all K-12 schools, while others declared it as just marketing tool for that firm, and still others hoped it would turn the company into Apple. This film is an examination of design, its ubiquity and its limitations. The film is the first documentary by the Taiwanese design firm Muris Media.

FILMMAKERS FORUM: Director Mu-Ming Tsai will discuss the film in a separate panel discussion following the screening. (The discussion will be in Chinese)
SCREENING TIME: 9/22(Sat) 14:00-15:30



FILM: How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?
DIRECTOR: Carlos Carcas, Norberto López Amado / 2010 / UK / 78minutes / English / Chinese subtitles

★ "A handsome portrait of one of the most esteemed architects of the modern age"– The Telegraph
★ Best Documentary, Docville Film Festival 2010

The British architect Norman Foster once proposed the world’s first mile-high building, and though it was never built, he has consistently been one of the most visionary thinkers in contemporary architecture. Through interviews with Foster and contemporaries including the author Alain de Botton and the singer Bono, this film traces Foster’s monumental career and his unending quest to improve the quality of life through design. The cinematography alone paints striking portraits of Foster’s emblematic projects, such as the largest building in the world, the Beijing Airport, the Reichstag, the Hearst Building in New York, and world’s tallest bridge in Millau France. But there are also the ideas: In the very near future, the majority of mankind will abandon the countryside and live entirely in cities. Foster offers striking solutions to the problems that will be created by this historic event.

FILM INTRODUCTION: Roan Ching-yueh, writer and architect

SCREENING TIMES: 9/21 (Fri) 19:00-20:30


Urban Planning

FILM: The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: an Urban History
DIRECTOR: Chad Freidrichs / 2011 / 美國 / 80分鐘 / 英文發音 / 中文字幕 

“Superb. An uncommonly artfull example of cinematic journalism.” – Variety
Silverdocs, Los Angeles Film Festival, Full Frame Film Festival +

The modernist architect Le Corbusier once said the house is a machine for living in, but what were the real consequences of applying this concept to an entire neighborhood, city or a society? The Pruitt-Igoe Myth tells the story of the transformation of the American city in the decades after World War II through the lens of the infamous Pruitt-Igoe housing development in St. Louis. At the film’s historical center is an analysis of the national urban renewal program of the 1950s and 1960s, which prompted the process of mass suburbanization and emptied American cities of their residents, businesses, and industries. Those left behind in the city faced a destitute, rapidly de-industrializing St. Louis, parceled out to downtown interests and increasingly segregated by class and race. The residents of Pruitt-Igoe were among the hardest hit. Their gripping stories of survival, adaptation, and success are at the emotional heart of the film. At the same time, we also see the larger histories of public welfare policies, a spiral of poverty and crime, and the first rent strike in the history of American public housing. In the end, Pruitt-Igoe was deemed a failure and torn down. Its failure has been used to critique Modernist architecture, attack public assistance programs, and stigmatize public housing residents. This documentary seeks to set the historical record straight and examine the interests involved in Pruitt-Igoe’s creation and why things went so terribly wrong.

POST-FILM DISCUSSION: Kang Min-Jay, housing reform activist and associate professor at NTU Graduate Institute of Building and Planning. Related webistes: OURs and Social Housing Advocacy Consortium.

SCREENING TIMES: 9/18 (Tue) 19:00-20:30│9/23 (Sun) 16:00-17:30


Digital Design

FILM: Indie Game:The Movie
DIRECTOR: James Swirsky, Lisanne Pajot / 2012 / Canada / 94minutes / English / Chinese subtitles

★ Sundance 2012 Best Documentary Editing Award, SXSW, Hot Docs
★ “A compelling glimpse into artistic compulsion in video games.” – Hollywood Reporter

This documentary looks at the game developers who've rejected the billion dollar franchises of conventional gaming to enter the no-to-low budget world of indie development. It follows the two-year trek of one of the first major indie games for Xbox, Super Meat Boy—the adventures of a skinless boy in search of a girlfriend, who is made of bandages. It also tracks the development, release and success (or failure) of famed games like Fez and Braid, one of the highest-rated games of all time. But more than just a film about a geeky subculture, Indie Game captures the emotional journey of these meticulously obsessive artists who devote their lives to their games. This is a compelling portrait of a new breed of digital artist.

FILM INTRODUCTION: by Johnson Lin of the local indie game design group, Several local developers of indie video games will also be in attendance.
SCREENING TIMES: 9/15 (Sat) 19:00-20:30│9/20 (Thu) 19:00-20:30


Street Art

FILM: Beautiful Losers
DIRECTOR: Aaron Rose / 2008 / US / 90minutes/ English / Chinese subtitles

★ “An absorbing look at how a circle of dispossessed young artists from the 1990s eventually found its way to mainstream success.” – Los Angeles Times

The 1990s was when street art, skateboarding, indie music and film managed to push their way into mainstream art galleries and the popular consciousness. This film chronicles the rise of artists who came out of New York’s Alleged Gallery, including graffiti artist Shepard Fairey (now famous for his Obama “Hope” poster), skateboard legends Mark Gonzales and Ed Templeton, film directors Spike Jonze, Mike Mills and Harmony Korine, graffiti artist Twist (Barry McGee) and others. They all went on to become at least underground famous, and theirs is the story of the Beautiful Losers, a group of disenfranchised creative spirits struggling first to create, and then with success.
SCREENING TIMES: 9/16 (Sun) 19:00-20:30│9/19 (Wed) 19:00-20:30


Fashion Design

FILM: God Save My Shoes
DIRECTOR: Julie Benasra / 2011 / US / 60minutes / English / Chinese subtitles

“A soft look at the psychological, socio-cultural and erotic power of vertiginous footwear.” – New York Times

God Save My Shoes is most basically a documentary about gorgeous women’s shoes, their designers, and the celebrities who wear them. It turns the camera on superstar shoe designers like Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Walter Steiger, Pierre Hardy, Bruno Frisoni and Robert Clergerie. But the real passion comes from the even bigger superstars who wear their creations. Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas, Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child, the model Dita Von Teese and others gush about their pumps, stilettos, puppies and every other type of heels. They answer probing questions like, Why would a woman need 12,000 pairs of shoes? Or how much could you possibly spend on a shoe collection? The answers are strangely fascinating.

SCREENING TIMES: 9/17 (Mon) 19:00-20:00│9/22 (Sat) 19:00-20:00