Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight

"Very Good"

Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight Review


Roman poet Horace said it best -- at least according to the famed New York graphic designer Milton Glaser. The purpose of art, for Horace, is to inform and delight. Glaser, the New York City renaissance man and founder of Milton Glaser Inc. is certainly the man to carry forth Horace's edict, with the caveat that in Glaser's hands an artist can inform and delight for money. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

If you are a starving artist who is trying to inform and delight without money, director Wendy Keys, formerly of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, will make you forget your hunger and suicidal urges, in her celebration of the life, work and times of New York City's eclectic force of public art and design work in the enthusiastic and breezy homage to Glaser called, appropriately enough, Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight.

Anyone who has walked down a New York City street has encountered the work of Milton Glaser. His presence is more pervasive than the potholes, pneumatic drills, and dog shit. Glaser was the creator behind the I?NY campaign, the designer of the Grand Union supermarket logo, the brains behind the design of New York Magazine and the Fortune, the Brooklyn Brewery beer labels, and the big nose that lords over the street from the antipasto restaurant Trattoria dell'Arte across from Carnegie Hall. Hell, he even designed the famed Bob Dylan poster from the late sixties with Dylan in silhouette and his hair a colorful fruit salad cascade.

Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight is mostly a hagiographic monologue by Glaser as Keys follows him around his New York haunts -- restaurants, his studio, his home, museums (one time she follows him down St. Marks Place so he can show her his childhood home, only to discover that it has been torn down). Keys loves the wide-angle lens and she frequently pushes it into his face so that his eyes get larger than life and it looks like he is about to gobble up the camera. But with a subject like Glaser, that is all you have to do. Glaser is personable, erudite and unpretentious, much like his artwork. Glaser holds court on his childhood and how he discovered his passion for drawing, his years at Cooper Union, the creation of New York Magazine, various art projects (Monet, Piero della Francesca), his years as The Underground Gourmet, his work on children's books with his wife Shirley, the evils of George W. Bush and his anti-Bush button designs ('W' Stands for Wrong), and even what a lousy cook his mother was. Glaser is backed up with commentary from numerous collaborators, friends, and family. Keys compliments all this with a crisp slideshow montage of all of Glaser's impressive projects, designs, posters, drawings and paintings. The quantity and depth of Glaser's work is awesome.

At one point in the film, Glaser takes a swipe at "fine artists" who work in solitary confinement to create artworks that find their way (hopefully) into the arms of single purchasers: "I could never get the idea of making a painting that somebody would then put in their house. It seemed weird to me. I wanted to do work that was public, that was on the street, that people saw." And, although Glaser himself possesses fine art that hangs from the walls of his apartment -- weird -- as far as New York City is concerned, he has kept to his vision as a public artist and has made his stamp on his hometown as pervasive as Robert Moses, only less Hitleresque. Glaser has an unfettered love for New York City and this love is reflected in his designs. He remarks,"New York does the job that America is supposed to do." And, at least for Glaser, his designs do the job that art is supposed to do.

And drink some beer.



Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight

Facts and Figures

Run time: 73 mins

Distributed by: Arthouse Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Fresh: 12 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Wendy Keys

Producer: Wendy Keys

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.