Sunday, March 18, 2007

SXSW Film 2007, last two movies I saw


The festival synopsis reads, “ZOO tells the story of a seemingly average businessman whose secret sexual life led to his shocking death.” The shocking death is bleeding caused by his colon being perforated by a giant horse cock. That is, an actual horse cock, not just a big human one. Yeah.

I was unconvinced about the desirability of seeing this film, but was assured by a staffer that it was “disturbing, but beautiful”. That description is entirely accurate. Showing influence from Errol Morris, Zoo features recorded interviews from people involved in the case (fellow horse “lovers”, an investigator) played over gorgeously-filmed reenacted scenes. The effect is meditative and far from exploitative. There’s only a tiny glimpse of actual explicit sex and many in the audience didn’t remember seeing it (and not because they’d gouged out their eyes and had tramautic amnesia). It really is a wonderful film; packed screening, audience rapt. Highly recommended.


A documentary about a typeface. I wanted to write this entry in Helvetica, but I don't know how to change the typeface for just one post. The doc is effective in showing how Helvetica was introduced and came to such dominance. The audience was absolutely in on the idea of this film so there was much enjoyment as various typeface experts give sloppy love, or vitriolic distaste, to Helvetica. Interspersed with the talking heads are numerous examples of Helvetica on signs everywhere. The film drags a little toward the end but all in all it's successful. Afterwards and for the next several days, Helvetica stood out like neon for me. Really quite amazing how ubiquitous it is. Recommended.

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