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The Mother of all Typographic Movies

In a typographically parallel and, apparently, more disturbing universe, Mark Simonson stars in an Yves Peters’ film, The List Samurai is a vehicle for James N. Coudal, Miss Tiffany is a damsel in distress for a movie where the same Yves Peters who cast Mark Simonson is in charge of the movie’s score. A universe where, well, Univers rules over Universal and Paramount is no competition to Paramond. This is the universe created by Cheshire Dave for his latest film: Etched in Stone, now playing at Veer.

Cheshire’s first movie Behind the Typeface: Cooper Black was tremendously popular, making the rounds in all the appropriate blogs and, like any hyped and lauded directorial debut, any succesive works will be measured against his breakthrough performance. In Etched, the main character of the film is Trajan, who commands a more lugubrious character with few of Cooper’s exploitable quirks — and emotional baggage — that were so well mocked in Behind the Typeface. Nonetheless, Trajan, who terrorizes Hollywood by stabbing producers unwilling to use Trajan for their movie posters with a chisel, was casted well in its uppercase T and makes for an excellent villain. The real scene stealer in this movie, though, is a coworker (most likely from the accounting department) of Tracy Jannon — the woman determined to solve the case — who pithily quips, in her best girlfriend voice, when asked if she knows what font is on these posters : “Of course, it’s Trajan” — and also happens to know quite a bit about the typeface’s history.

Etched is peppered with humor and references to typography and the proverbially friendly community of online type designers from Typophile and Typographica. The movie reflects the giddiness, eagerness and happiness of all those involved in producing a movie that will entertain their closest friends and peers, the ones that will get it and laugh out loud about a hidden reference of Behind the Typeface in one of the many posters that Ms. Jannon studies. There is a great deal of pride in this movie and despite the sometimes too-lo-fi-for-its-own-good animation it makes up for it with spunk and deadpan delivery of a subject that probably only Conan or John Stewart could make kick-on-the-crotch-funny: type.

The rolling credits serve as the ultimate colophon, with every typeface used in the movie getting its moment in the spotlight. Etched is a triumph of silliness and fantasy over common sense and reality: It’s quite a universe.

In Other Typomoviephile News

After last night’s marvelous keynote by Paula Scher at Typecon, the boys from Typohile and Punchcut — Jared Benson and Joe Pemberton — unleashed the Second Annual Typophile Film Festival upon a thinning audience. Among varied notable entries two stood out: RESN’s homage to Emigre’s Poppi (unfortunately, the movie is not on their web site), where they animted the characters in quite a lively fashion. And Strange Attractors’ obsessive Little Yellow Writing Hood, an amalgam of decadent typographic treatments, industry standard humor and a tremendous voiceover by OS 9’s SimpleText, all under a subtle pacing that closed the night.

Maintained through our ADV @ UnderConsideration Program
PUBLISHED ON Jul.22.2005 BY Armin
Coudal’s comment is:

In a sort of typomoviephillac mode, we're shooting a little thing called Copy Goes Here currently. A trailer will be up soon.

On Jul.22.2005 at 09:51 AM
BlueStreak’s comment is:

As I watched I thought about how Trajan's typographic grip on the universe is slipping to Gotham.

Then the end credits began. Spooky.

On Jul.24.2005 at 02:28 PM
marian bantjes’s comment is:

I love these type movies; I'm so happy there's another one by Cheshire Dave. Those type references go by fast, tho!

On Jul.24.2005 at 10:10 PM
jody’s comment is:

how entertaining could this really be?

On Jul.25.2005 at 03:15 PM