Sara Vilkomerson’s Third Stringer: Object Lust

Don’t we all have a friend (or three) who makes a big fuss over the way their random possessions—alarm clock, shampoo bottle, light switch, dining room chair or vacuum cleaner—are designed? Hey, great for them! For these folks, nothing will be better than the new documentary Objectified (opening at the IFC center on May 8), which takes a look at the relationship between us consumers, the objects we use without a thought and the designers who sweat their every detail, from handle grip to rounded corner. Strangely, even for the rest of us who really (truly) don’t care about the ergonomics of our vegetable peeler, the movie offers a pretty fascinating look at just how much work goes into these seemingly simple decisions. Director Gary Hustwit’s 2007 Helvetica was an entire film about typography, so you know this is a guy who doesn’t mind getting into the nitty-gritty details while trying to figure out what the objects we are drawn to say about us as a culture. There are interviews with designers from Apple, Braun and BMW, as well as some fairly mesmerizing footage of watching people wander dazedly through an IKEA. Now that is something we can relate to.