The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

March 16, 2017
by Dan
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Design Canada Documentary

Greg Durrell of Canadian design firm Hulse&Durrell, and Jessica Edwards and Gary Hustwit of Film First are putting together a documentary about Canadian graphic design: The project is currently on Kickstarter. There are a couple of weeks to go and they are … Continue reading

February 10, 2017
by Dan
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BOLES

Based on the short story “Her Lover” by Maksim Gorky, BOLES is short animated film by Špela Čadež about a writer with writer’s block and the woman who lives next door:

February 8, 2017
by Dan
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Fade to Black

Hilton Als on James Baldwin, movies, and Raoul Peck’s documentary I Am Not Your Negro, for The New Yorker: One has the sense, in the sections of “I Am Not Your Negro” that are devoted to Baldwin’s relationship to film, that Peck … Continue reading

January 12, 2017
by Dan
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Future Shock

A decade after its first release, Vulture looks back at the terrifying new relevance of Alfonso Cuarón’s 2006 film (based loosely on a novel by P. D. James), Children of Men: Children of Men is having a remarkable resurgence — not just because of its … Continue reading

November 25, 2016
by Dan
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Adaptation

Tom Gauld for The Guardian.  (Tom has touched on this subject before…)

October 6, 2016
by Dan
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Gimme Danger

A Jim Jarmusch documentary about Iggy Pop and The Stooges? YES. Gimme Danger is scheduled for a limited release on October 28th.

August 25, 2016
by Dan
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The Last Punchcutter

One for the letterpress obsessives and tool aficionados, The Last Punchcutter is a beautiful, wordless film capturing Giuseppe Brachino — who was the head of the engraving department of the Nebiolo Company from Turin — hand-cut a punch for metal type: (via Coudal)

August 22, 2016
by Dan
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“Remember Those Great Volkswagen Ads?”

Remember Those Great Volkswagen Ads? is a short documentary about the classic, highly influential ad campaigns created by Manhattan advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB) for Volkwagen in the 1950s and 60s: (via Kottke)

August 18, 2016
by Dan
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Welcome to The Last Bookstore

Welcome to The Last Bookstore is a short, inspiring documentary about Josh Spencer, owner and operator of The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles:

July 15, 2016
by Dan
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The Mesmerizing Movies of Robert Frank

Nicholas Dawidoff on the films of Robert Frank for The New Yorker: Critics, including Manohla Dargis, of the Times, and younger filmmakers, such as Richard Linklater and Jim Jarmusch, consider Frank the godfather of independent American personal cinema. They revere his … Continue reading

June 22, 2016
by Dan
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RAMS: The First Feature Documentary About Dieter Rams

Gary Hustwit, the director of the documentaries Helvetica, Objectified, and Urbanized, is making a feature-length documentary about the life and work of designer Dieter Rams: You can support the production on Kickstarter.

June 2, 2016
by Dan
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Working for the Building

In a long and fascinating interview with the Ballardian, Ben Wheatley talks about J.G. Ballard and his adaptation of High-Rise: Initially, I really enjoyed the cult appeal of [Ballard’s] work, or more specifically the counter-cultural aspect. His books, particularly Crash and … Continue reading

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