First off, just to let you know, I'm a designer. I say that because itmay mean that I have more interest in the subject than most.Objectified however really points to the fact that we are ALLinterested in this stuff. Far more than most consciously realize, andfor those who do, probably more than we care to admit.
Gary Hustwit's previous, "Helvetica" is on my rack and gets viewedprobably about once a year. It's just that kinda documentary.Objectified is, in my 'subjectified' opinion, not quite so good, notquite as thoroughly followed through but Hustwit remains one of myfavorite documentarians.
Objectified is certainly engaging enough to pull you into the designingbackstage of our world; the depth of thinking that goes behind much ofwhat we take for granted. If you like "stuff" you'll like this movie.Even if you don't particularly care, then I still recommend it. Hustwitis again able to show just how powerful a pull we give to the thingsaround us, what goes into them, and what we get out. You may find youcare a lot more than you think you do. We really have a materialisticmindset and this is a good first step to seeing it clearly ... andmaybe finding a way out.
I should give this film credit for what it does because, on the face ofit, I have to be honest and say that when I started watching this I didso with a certain air of "why am I wasting 90 minutes of my time on asubject that holds little interest for me". You must agree that, to thecasual viewer (which I am), a documentary on the nature of design israther loose and perhaps lacks a real hook to get the punters in thedoor. This was my attitude at the start and I mention this becausemostly I found the film to be engaging and interesting. This is mostlydown to the way the film is pulled together (appropriately enough)because it has a real structure and rhythm to it that just works.
Some sections work better than others though. Anything to do with Appleis most accessible because we are all familiar with the brand as athing of beauty and easy use and it makes the conversations around thiseasy to follow. Conversely the sections with the toothbrush is less sobecause the work being shown does not appear to be necessary or begoing anywhere. Although there are some exceptions, everyone involvedin the film is intelligent, well-spoken, clear and easy to listen to.There are a couple of slightly pretentious "design types" that rubbedme up the wrong way with their attitudes but otherwise I found it easyto spend time in the company of the contributors.
Ultimately the film doesn't quite provide the level of insight orpassion that one might have hoped but it does engage across theadmittedly quite short running time. The subject is well presented,made accessible and, as much as possible, tangible. Could have beenbetter with more insight but for what it is it is accessible andengaging.
Well edited and composed, Objectified is neither groundbreaking norearth-shatteringly enlightening, but it holds the interest of theaudience.
The transitions from subject to subject and interview to interview aresmooth and unobtrusive, and the content of the documentary isinteresting and cool. Form really does follow function in terms of thecomposition of this film, but given that it deals with the means bywhich design integrates itself seamlessly into our experience, the lackof bold choices becomes pertinent and is therefore less troublesome. Ifone is to be generous, it could even be supposed that this kind ofdifficult-to-notice editing is some kind of implicit statement ofphilosophy with regards to the role of design in the life of theindividual.
An interesting film. Worth seeing.