The Deadline Studio at Sundance Film Festival runs January 20-23 at Hotel Park City, where the cast and creatives behind the best and buzziest titles in this year’s lineup sit down with Deadline’s festival team to discuss their movies and the paths they took to get to Park City.
“They were very ambitious, and they didn’t think there was a limit to what was possible both financially and in terms of artistic possibilities and ideas,” says Anton Corbijn of Squaring the Circle (The Story of Hipgnosis) featured designers Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell, and their archetypal rock album covers.
“It’s astounding what they did to the album sleeve, that raised the bar,” the Joy Division, U2 and Depeche Mode photographer added at the Sundance Film Festival this week – as you can see in the video above.
As the documentary depicts, back in the Seventies, the now deceased Thorgerson and Powell were on every stadium band’s must have list as the duo crafted the covers of Pink Floyd’s instantly recognizable Dark Side of the Moon and Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy. While both album covers have seen more recent brewhas in today’s very different and politically divisive era, the process behind their creation and the creators themselves proves fascinating. Toss in more than a few rock legends, and record companies with money to burn back in the day and you have a portrait of an era as much as Hipgnosis’ Thorgerson and Powell.
Cranking that rock legend star power, the Corbijn helmed docu is full of icons like Paul McCarney, Led Zep’s Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, Roger Waters and estranged former Pink Floyd bandmates David Gilmour and Dave Mason, and ex-Oasis chief Noel Gallagher, as well as acclaimed Factory Records art director Peter Saville.
In terms of the time of the latter, who designed Joy Division’s Closer album cover and the front of New Order’s Blue Monday 12-inch single, Corbijn also chatted in the Deadline Sundance about the post-punk world, his own work, and the digital environment of today. “The importance of album sleeves have very much changed,” the Control and A Most Wanted Man director said. “So, the informative side of album sleeves is gone …it’s just an aesthetic element now,” he lamented.
Having first debuted at Telluride back in September, picked up by Utopia earlier this year and premiered at SFF on January 21, Squaring the Circle is produced by Raindog Films’ Ged Doherty, Trish D Chetty and Oscar winner Colin Firth.
Now with many films like Squaring The Circle, online as well as screening in-person in Park City and Salt Lake City, the 2023 Sundance Film Festival runs until January 29.