A lot of films are inspired by stories, but fewer are inspired specifically by books. The films in this list are a few of our favourites that are take their cues from books as media. From Lei Lei’s abstract collage of 1980s book covers (built from his father’s book introducing Western design to a generation of Chinese artists), to the Oscar-winning Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, a tribute to the life that’s contained in the walls of a library, these are films that wouldn’t exist without the magic of bound pages. Enjoy, and then spend some time this World Book Day curled up with a book of your own.
Books on Books
Animation by Lei Lei
Sound Art by Nik Phelps
Syn: The cutout patterns are from my father’s book “Book cover collection in the West,” which was published in 1988, when China’s leaders launched their great Reform and Opening-up to embrace the world.
Many leading concepts of book cover design were introduced in the book and this book had an eye-opening influence on the younger generation of Chinese designers since then.
The Opposites Game
A film by Anna Samo & Lisa LaBracio
Syn: A classroom erupts into a war of words as students grapple with a seemingly simple prompt: what is the opposite of a gun?
Moonrise Kingdom Animated Shorts
Animation director: Cristian De Vita
Syn: In Wes Anderson’s indie mega-hit “Moonrise Kingdom,” 12-year-old Suzy packs an unusual set of items for her runaway adventure: A half-dozen (fictitious) storybooks she stole from the library, three of which she reads aloud over the course of the film. Anderson commissioned six artists to create the books’ evocative jacket covers, but initially the director wanted to take the artistry even further. “At one point in the process, when she’s reading these passages from these books, I’d thought about going into animation,” he says.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Directed by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
Syn: After a hurricane levels his city, a young man wanders into a mysterious library where books literally come to life.