An album cover may have a different context in the era of endless streaming, but the designs on the front of LPs could make you a legend in the 1960s, as this documentary from Anton Corbijn (Control) illustrates by documenting the story of design studio Hipgnosis.
Squaring The Circle documents the rise and fall of the studio, formed by friends Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey “Po” Powell. Through interviews and still pictures, those who were there show the genius that led to iconic album covers like Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon and various classics from Genesis, ELO, and Wings.
Considering the creatives involved, it’s a slight disappointment that the documentary follows such a familiar path. Famous faces line up to offer their perspective on what the duo’s work meant to them, and how artists could express themselves in every facet of the record process.
It’s impressive to see so many legends line up for a chat, from collaborators like Pink Floyd members to Paul McCartney, to super fan Noel Gallagher. There’s some emotion weaved in with the nostalgia, as Powell talks about how the weight of success eventually tore him from his partner (Thorgerson died in 2013).
Entering the film with a portfolio of their work tied to his back, he’s keen to show the pressure of creativity as well as its rewards. The bar was set high for Squaring The Circle, pairing an intriguing subject with a visionary director. It doesn’t quite live up to those expectations, but serves as an entertaining entry into a chapter of art and pop history.
Squaring the Circle is available now