Stranger Than InfoVis

Stranger Than Fiction Information VisualizationI had the chance last night to see the new Will Ferrell flick, Stranger Than Fiction. In the film, Ferrell plays Harold Crick, a strictly regimented IRS agent living in Chicago whose life is turned upside-down when he discovers that every event in his life is decided by the pen of an omnipotent author.

To illustrate Harold’s almost purely systematic and mathematical thought processes, director Marc Forster (of Monster’s Ball fame) hired (links to video) Kansas City new media firm MK12 to create a series of animated information graphics integrated into much of the first fourth of the film. The graphics conspire with Ferrell’s excellent acting to create a refreshing new take on the way cinema communicates information and plot.

I highly recommend Stranger Than Fiction not only as a case study of innovative information graphics, but as a fantastic film that allows Ferrell to take a break from his comedy typecast and appear in a more serious character study.

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