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Arts & Culture

Documentary exploring LEGO culture comes to Ann Arbor

photo of 'Yellow' by artist Nathan Sawaya
Courtesy photo
'Yellow' by artist Nathan Sawaya is included in 'A LEGO Brickumentary'

A feature length documentary about the Danish toy behemoth LEGO will screen this weekend at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor. Current State's Jamie Paisley talks with co-director Daniel Junge.

Since the 1950’s, the design of the Lego toy hasn’t really changed. That’s allowed it to become a cross-generational touchstone to childhood memories. However, for the hardcore fans, it’s much more than just a toy. A new documentary coming to Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theater this weekend explores the culture of LEGO.

Current State’s Jamie Paisley speaks with Oscar-winning co-director Daniel Junge about "A LEGO Brickumentary."


On LEGO being a toy as well as a tool 

It absolutely is a toy. We don't run away from that idea. Our guiding principle in the film was (it’s) more than a toy. We wanted to elaborate on the ways it's being used in addition to a plaything for kids. And the fact that it's being used for things like architecture and city planning and even therapy for treatment of kids with conditions. It just shows that it is at times more than a toy.

With so many scenes featuring the various uses of LEGO’s, how did you decide what makes the final cut?

Our hardest task in this film was not what to include but what to keep out because the LEGO universe is ever-expansive. So we put a constraint on ourselves to only focus on the actual bricks themselves even though LEGO is really now a design company, a game company, an entertainment company. It’s what people were actually doing with the actual bricks which we wanted to focus on in the film.

On addressing gender inequality in a lighthearted film 

LEGO has traditionally been unrepresented with girls and women. So it was important for us to feature a woman builder. Alice (Finch's) work is incredible, arguably some of the best in the film. And Alice is also outspoken about the need to get more girls and women building. So she was a great addition to the film.

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