Movies to Inspire, Part III

Movie Reel
Movie magic still exists.

Since the 88th Annual Academy Awards were last evening, and Leo finally got his hands on an Oscar, we felt it all but appropriate to unleash another wild installment of movies that should inspire designers of any medium.

This year’s Oscar statuette features a very subtle redesign, with a refined face and other adjustments that combine the best of the statuettes from the golden age of Hollywood and more recent versions, according to the Academy.

As well, the slogan for last night’s Oscar festivities was “We All Dream in Gold”, a clever way of depicting the race towards cinematic infamy, and the lust of movie magic in all of us. We would argue that everyone involved in the making of a movie contributes to its overall design. Like our office, it is a magical team effort.

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 10.01.20 AMBeautiful Losers

Directed by Aaron Rose, founder of the now-closed Alleged Gallery in New York City, Beautiful Losers depicts the work of a 1990s art collective that championed a ‘do-it-yourself’ style – influenced by skateboarding, graffiti, punk rock and hip hop. When you watch this film, the young, creative soul inside you will undoubtedly be inspired.

who-framed-roger-rabbit.28048Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Who didn’t love this movie growing up? For the time, mixing cartoons with live action was astounding and, let’s face it, pretty cool. Plus it’s fun to see how many of your favorite cartoons make a guest appearance. As both a groundbreaking feat for the world of animation and an enjoyable crime comedy, Who Framed Roger Rabbit stands in a class all its own.The original movie won three Oscars (for editing, sound editing, and visual effects), and was an immense box-office hit in its day, still routinely cited on best-of lists—for animation, for 20th-century feature filmmaking, and design innovation.


Spike Jonze’s Her is a calm glimpse into a future that doesn’t seem too far off. It perfectly depicts how digital personality may very well be the relationship, the interface. Many subtle pieces of technology and ideas appear throughout the film, and they paint a very positive, plausible world we’d love to live in. Will they come true? We don’t know. According to the well-respected futurist and Google Engineer Ray Kurzweil, the sort of technology seen in the film will become a reality by 2029. The movie is something of a Rorschach test for our feelings about technology.

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 10.52.05 AMDreams

A collective visual treat of eight short films some of which overlap in terms of characters and theme. The movie is based upon the actually dreams of influential director Akira Kurosawa. This movie will keep your eyes glued to the screen because of the beautiful and stunning scenes aided by outstanding cinematography work. This is a colorful epic for any designer.

Layout 2His Way

Speaking of Hollywood royalty, there is no better place to start than the business of Jerry Weintraub. The man literally came from nothing and worked his way through the system to the top, going on to work with Sinatra, Evils, Clooney, Pitt, everyone. This documentary, based around his best-selling memoir, will inspire anyone and everyone to go out there and make a name for yourself, no matter what you do.

the-revenant-2015.39576The Revenant

The Revenant was the overall favorite film of the year in our office, and stylistically it outdid itself with scene, set design, costume and climactic, snowy drama. That bear fight scene alone deserves a lot of technical recognition, even when the possibilities for a film’s locations are both picturesque and sprawling to the extreme. We dare anyone to watch this movie and not feel swept away by the beautiful cinematography, with its raging rivers and snow-capped mountains.

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