Anton Corbijn’s wildly entertaining doco profiles Hipgnosis, the designers behind the most iconic album covers in rock history for acts like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and many more.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2023
Photographer and designer Anton Corbijn (who directed the striking Joy Division drama Control [NZIFF 2007]) celebrates his forebears in this riotously enjoyable documentary about the amazing imagery produced by the legendary design studio Hipgnosis. The result is jam-packed with inside goss from the era of rock ‘n’ roll excess.
“Corbijn was responsible for… U2’s The Joshua Tree album cover, among many others. So it’s clear that the guy knows what he’s talking about—not that Corbijn himself does the talking in the film… Instead, he leaves the storytelling to the illustrious likes of Paul McCartney, Peter Gabriel, Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Mason, and many others. All of those luminaries crossed paths with the curious London-based design company Hipgnosis, which for a stretch from the late 1960s to the early ’80s was the go-to agency for a bewildering variety of album covers that pretty much defined an era in rock.
Hipgnosis was responsible for the prism on Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon along with most of that band’s other covers; the all-star jailbreak on McCartney and Wings’ Band on the Run; the naked kids climbing a mystical stone landscape for Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy; Peter Gabriel’s first three solo albums, each a little weirder than the last; and lots more… Squaring the Circle is a treat for anyone with a taste for rock, for rock imagery and for the glories that can be found in that piece of cardboard wrapped around a record.” – Steve Pond, The Wrap