Synopsis: Objectified is a feature-length documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them. It’s a look at the creativity at work behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets. It’s about the designers who re-examine, re-evaluate and re-invent our manufactured environment on a daily basis. It’s about personal expression, identity, consumerism, and sustainability. Through vérité footage and in-depth conversations, the film documents the creative processes of some of the world’s most influential product designers, and looks at how the things they make impact our lives. What can we learn about who we are, and who we want to be, from the objects with which we surround ourselves? [Synopsis courtesy of film's official website]
Round-up: "It’s a fascinating subject obviously close to the filmmaker’s heart, but Hustwit has a hard time making the fascination infectious. While intriguing ideas surface here and there—the digital era design’s shift from tangible mechanical objects to intangible data, for instance—'Objectified' glides fro... m one notion to the next without digging too deeply into anything or even finding much continuity between one interview and the next," says Keith Phipps writing for the A.V. Club about the latest from the "Helvetica" director. Phipps' assessment echoes what many critics feel about the film: it's an interesting and engaging, if slightly flawed, doc. In his review for The Village Voice, Aaron Hillis calls it "a slickly entertaining and thorough enough curiosity about the form, function, context, inspiration, and evolution of industrial design... Still, as a story of human progress, he might have spent a little more time thinking about how our species will overcome rampant consumerism and a little less time fetishizing materialism." Similarly, Ben Walters, in his review for Time Out New York, wishes Hustwit had probed his material a bit more, writing that "for all its intriguing observations, the documentary struggles to develop a strong argument about its subject, or to demonstrate the hidden cultural power of design in such a way as to make the subject compelling to those without a prior interest."