Whatever your creative field may be, you can enrich your work when you lose yourself in a great film, be inspired and, uncover new ideas.
If you want to broaden your own creative palate, or simply try on a different way of looking at the human condition, here are eleven films we recommend for creative inspiration. Our list is a mix of classics and documentaries, with a focus on magnificent visual sensibilities and rich cultural context. Some are specifically about design, but all should give any creative professional something to think about.
This feature-length documentary explores the way people interact with objects. It’s considered essential viewing by many interaction designers, product designers, and others in similar fields.
Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003)
Based on the academic work of Thom Andersen, this highly innovative documentary examines the city of Los Angeles as a prominent but often neglected character in film, and its complex cultural relationship with the entertainment industry.
One of the best-known works of Ingmar Bergman, and one of the most analyzed films of all time, this tapestry of metaphors raises fascinating questions about identity, duality, and how we relate to each other. It’s also widely recognized as one of the most visually stunning films of its time.
This monochromatic tale of one man’s psychic battles is noted for its beautiful sets and lightning, sweeping camerawork, and pioneering visual storytelling and allegory.
This thriller combines Alfred Hitchcock’s understated visual style with philosophical musings and the symbolism of Freudian psychoanalysis, making it one of his most imaginative and creatively stimulating films.
After suffering from a panic attack on air, TV news anchor Dan Harris began practicing mindfulness meditation and undertook a quest to simplify his mind and his life. This film asks its viewers to consider how they might do more with less.
This documentary visits the world of Mark Hogancamp, a genuine “outsider artist” who copes with his trauma by constructing a tiny town in his backyard. It’s a fascinating exploration of the relationship between suffering and creativity, and the alchemy of turning pain into art.
American Movie follows a low-budget horror filmmaker in small-town Wisconsin. Mark Borchardt and his group of charismatic and creative misfits provide a rousing case study in making the most of the resources you have, putting your heart and soul into your work, and overcoming all obstacles to ship your dream project.
Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)
A wild and controversial romp with the street artist Banksy, this prankish documentary raises mind-bending questions about authenticity, artistic ethics, and what happens when provocative mischief, astute social commentary, and consensus reality collide.
Many designers admire Wes Anderson for his unique, storybook aesthetic sensibility and his deft use of symmetry. Moonrise Kingdom captures his sparkling characterization and microscopic attention to detail.
One of the best-known documentaries about advertising, Helvetica looks at the aesthetic and influence of the 20th Century’s most ubiquitous typeface, and what its enduring popularity says about our shared visual culture.
Bonus: Netflix Abstract: The Art of Design. Episodic documentary covering a variety of creatives from a stage designer, to a graphic designer, shoe designer and much more.
Try one you haven’t seen yet, let us know what you think, and let us know what other galvanizing movies you would add to the list.
At Artisan Creative, we believe great creative inspiration is priceless. Contact us today to talk about how we can help you take your creative work to the next level.
We hope you enjoy the 473rd issue of our a.blog.