If you’ve ever been young and alone in a foreign country, we’re betting you’ll melt after watching “Live The Language,” a series of videos which combine exquisite typography and playful visuals to cinematically capture the joy (and uncertainty, and terror, and everything else) of learning a new language in a strange city.
Take the video for Paris, for example. Jean-Luc Godard famously said that all you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun, but after watching this and literally tearing up at the end, I propose an amendment: all you need is a girl and a font.
The films’ luscious imagery comes courtesy of cinematographer Niklas Johansson, but the type — by Barcelona-based designer and art director Albin Holmqvist — is what truly makes them magical. If you watch closely, you’ll notice that director Gustav Johansson makes the foreign words onscreen subtly move to match the quivering handheld camera: a pitch-perfect visual metaphor for the fumbling, tentative experience of learning and using foreign words.
Of course, shooting in the most glamorous and fascinating cities on earth never hurts a film’s chances, either. Not only will you learn a few new words watching these clips, you’ll get a highlight reel of the coolest places to visit in them, too. And if you’re tired of watching lissome beauties flounce their way down cobblestoned alleys, don’t worry, ladies — EF has a hot young bloke wandering around Beijing to get your hearts a-fluttering too:
And that’s the true genius of the design in these films: more than anything else, it shows that learning a new language is one of the most powerful ways in the world to feel young again. Johannson could have replaced his sun-kissed models with wrinkly octogenarians and still gotten the same crackling energy and swelling emotions onscreen. Actually, that ain’t a bad idea: EF, if you’re listening, make a sequel or two! But if you do, make sure to bring back Holmqvist and his gorgeous type to seal the deal.