Film Spotlight: Yarn

With every season comes a new trend in fashion, and this summer gave rise to crochet. From tops to swimsuits, yarn is on the hot list, so it would seem like an apt time to release a film about the trendiest material of the moment.

Opening July 23rd at Akron's Nightlight Cinema, Yarn beautifully educates viewers on an art form most probably still associate with their grandmothers. Following three artists and an avant-garde circus troupe, director Una Lorenzen artfully weaves these different narratives into a broader tapestry -- wink wink -- that challenges preconceived notions about yarn, crochet and needlework.

We see an Icelandic crochet artist decorate the streets with her work, often making political and social statements. We see another artist demonstrate how her crochet is used to create playgrounds for children around the world. The hanging colorful jungles of yarn are mesmerizing to watch — they might even inspire you to hunt them down in real life.

Improbably though it may seem, Lorenzen literally brings yarn to life: the camera captures the artwork in all its vivid color and richness, and unique animation and gorgeous landscapes enhance the film's substantial visual appeal.

Content-wise, Yarn gets it right as well. All too often, documentaries are packed with new information, making the films feel more like lectures than entertainment. Yarn, however, balances new information with narrative and visuals in a way that makes it an easy, enjoyable watch. Though it seemed silly to be watching a film about yarn at times, overall, the film has an important message, articulated at one point in the film by an Icelandic crochet artist: Needlework is one of the few art forms that originated with women. The underlying importance of bringing awareness to crochet and this female art form is echoed throughout the film.