As the title of this post suggests, this is yet another review, but instead of a book this time, it is of the DVD Objectified. My book readings are on hold at the current moment in time due to waiting for a couple more to be delivered, and one of the books I have yet to read but have on hand at the moment looks very unappealing.
Objectified has been part of my relatively small DVD collection for about two years now. I preordered it in 2009 as it seemed like a very good watch and it was related to my course at university, which if you don’t already know, is product design. It’s director, Gary Hustwit, had previously made the documentary-film about the font Helvetica entitled Helvetica. Objectified is considered the second film in the series with Helvetica being the first and the yet to be released Urbanised being the third, and as far as I am aware, the last.
The number of times I have watched this film has been quite high regardless of it being a documentary rather than a fictional thing, but I like it. It is also one of the reasons that I liked Love the Beast so much, a documentary-film storytelling the relationship Australian actor, Eric Bana, has with his beloved 1970′s Ford Falcon Coupé.
The amount of information portrayed in little over an hour and a quarter is quite astonishing. This is enforced with interviewing many key product designers such as Dieter Rams of Braun, Jonathan Ive of Apple, Chris Bangle, Marc Newson, Tony Dunne and Fiona Raby. There is no one person narrating, instead, it is told by the designers. The story being told is that of the relationship that people have with products, and the people behind them. Wonderful cinematography accompanies the interviews, often giving glimpses into how products are made, whether it be an injection moulding process of a chair, establishing shots that reinforce what the designer is talking about at that one time or a product being used.
Back to Objectified, one of the parts I knew could have been wholeheartedly useful was the part with the then head of design at BMW, Chris Bangle. Instead of him talking about what I thought it would have been better to talk about he rambled on about something different and evidently my opinion of him continues to decline. I admired the big risk at what he took at the helm of design at BMW. He produced some of the most controversial automotive designs to date shaking the whole automotive design world. But I can’t help but feel that there would have been another car designer that would have been a better choice to have interviewed. Just my opinion.
In conclusion, I still consider this film to be very good and a strong alternative to any other film if I am sitting down to watch one, but in terms of using it for a source of information or analysis for my dissertation it was quite disappointing. In all the other sources I have used, I have managed to take away a different perspective of my topic, giving me greater depth for which I can think or write about, but this in a way seemed to barely scratch the surface. It is as though it was made for people who know little about the subject. Maybe I am being a little too harsh there, but it doesn’t mean it is a bad film.