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September 18, 2007

Helvetica: the #1 independent film in the country!

We’re #1! We’re #1! Font fans are now rioting in the streets: the New York City opening weekend of Helvetica topped the Indiewire chart as the top-grossing independent film in the country last weekend, on a per-screen $ basis. Wow! Thanks to the cast and crew who came out to do appearances over the weekend: Tobias Frere-Jones, Shelby Siegel, and Leslie Savan.

From Indiewire:

Documentary “Helvetica” Packs IFC Center, Tops iW Bot Chart

“After its March 2007 world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival and single play dates at various film centers and design conferences across the United States, director Gary Hustwit’s feature-length documentary “Helvetica” landed Sept. 12 for an extended run at New York’s IFC Center and the response was a tidal wave turnout by typography fans. (indieWIRE recieved the box office numbers for “Helvetica” after our weekly box office column was published on Monday. The complete indieWIRE BOT weekly chart is available at indieWIRE.com.) “Helvetica,” a look at global design culture and an examination of the Helvetica typeface via interviews with acclaimed designers, earned enough for the top spot on the iWBOT. Hustwit’s on-site appearances alongside designer Tobias Frere-Jones and editor Shelby Siegel helped attract crowds. Still, its status as the top weekend specialty film confirmed what Hustwit believed all along: people can’t get enough of good design.”

Helvetica continues its run at the IFC Center through September 25th. Get tickets.


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Karen Young says

Sep 18, 2007

I thought I'd share my blog review of the film, which I saw with the teeming hordes in NYC...

I saw the new film “Helvetica” on Friday and all I can say is: OMG!!! It is the most intoxicating film you can imagine. I mean Moet & Chandon intoxicating! Anyone who appreciates design, especially graphic design, will love it and walk away singing. OK, it doesn’t really have a political angle, unless it’s to celebrate the power of art beyond its commercial applications. That’s really what this film does: it celebrates the power of great art as expressed in this perfect and ubiquitous typeface, and it celebrates great graphic artists, who in their madly lyrical discourse give a glimpse into how and why they do what they do. The director said in an interview that “Helvetica’s 50-year “career” also mirrors a period of dramatic change for the type trade and the design world in general. So I thought it would be a good structure through which to look at those issues.”

Helvetica IS the modern world, and when one artist puts an old Coke ad from the fifties with frumpy cursive type next to a sixties ad that clearly belongs to a new era, and intones - “Coke. Period. It’s the real thing. Period. Helvetica. Period. Any questions?” you can see how the type itself communicates.

I am a former typesetter and longtime fan of modern design, so I’m not quite a civilian approaching the film. I do think that anyone who understands any kind of artistic passion would enjoy it immensely as well.

Danny says

Sep 20, 2007

Wow! Congratulations Gary. You deserved it.

Ruby says

Sep 30, 2007

Enjoyed the film immensely, humorous and intelligent - great to hear designers/artists speaking about cerebral topics and politics and un-Botoxed faces looming large. There is more to the world than surface. Wonderful to see people who think and feel passion about their work! An inspiration, thank you!