Inspiring documentaries about artists and creators
March 25, 2014 9:40 AM   Subscribe

I stream art documentaries on Netflix while I work. (Having something playing on the 2nd monitor is acceptable at my job.) I've watched enough that the top three recommendations at the bottom of the page are almost always films I've already seen, but I want to keep this habit up another month!

I've seen this, but it's been a few years and my wishes are specific.

I like inspiring, nuanced documentaries of creative people, especially when there is time to sink into their work. Good ones I've seen recently: Rivers and Tides, Never Sorry, Beauty is Embarrassing, Gerhard Richter, Absolute Wilson, Cutie and the Boxer, Gregory Crewdson.

Not keen on film adaptations or interviews with super famous people. Drew Struzan is an amazing illustrator, but the documentary about him was fawningly fannish, and I couldn't finish it.

It's another 3 or 4 weeks until I can get back to painting, and it really feeds my art heart to watch artists do their thing. What's the good stuff out there?

Netflix preferred, but any site without ad breaks is fine.
posted by itesser to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
In A Dream maybe?
posted by gudrun at 9:56 AM on March 25, 2014

On Hulu, so there are ad breaks, but I can't stop myself from recommending Spike Jonze's Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak--poignant, inspiring, and hilarious.
posted by carrienation at 9:59 AM on March 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

I don't have netflix so I can't give you a netflix link and I don't know if this is streamable, but you may not have seen War Photographer because you might not have realized that it really is an art documentary and not a war documentary. Pretty amazing. And it reminded me of nothing more than Rivers and Tides. Andy Goldsworthy and James Nachtwey have a surprising amount in common.
posted by janey47 at 10:01 AM on March 25, 2014

Oh gosh I also need to recommend to you In The Realms of the Unreal, which is about outsider artist Henry Darger. There's a lot of pan and zoom because his art wasn't found until after his death, but it really is a world in itself.
posted by janey47 at 10:06 AM on March 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

"Between the Folds" is about origami, includes profiles of a number of practitioneres, and it is awesome. It was available on Netflix not too long ago, although I'm not certain it still is. Google indicates that it's available on youtube.
posted by Ipsifendus at 10:11 AM on March 25, 2014

We have very similar taste! I also liked
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
Edward Burtynsky: Manufactured Landscapes
The Woodmans
Bill Cunningham New York
Vik Muniz Waste Land
posted by rmless at 11:00 AM on March 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

You might not think so at first glance, but Jiro Dreams of Sushi is about a truly uncompromising artist.
posted by UncleBoomee at 11:46 AM on March 25, 2014 [4 favorites]

I don't know how inspiring it is, but Exit Through the Gift Shop.
How to Draw a Bunny
Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, The Mistress and The Tangerine
The Mystery of Picasso
posted by Ideefixe at 12:59 PM on March 25, 2014

Some good docs about graffiti artists, unfortunatly not all available on netflix instant currently.

Style Wars

Graffiti Verite

Bomb It


Piece by Piece.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child, was great but also not on instant right now.

Even if you are not really interested in video games, Indie Game: The Movie, is a pretty great documentary about the creative proccess.
posted by St. Sorryass at 4:46 AM on March 26, 2014

Marwencol is AMAZING. Beautiful and a little heartbreaking portrait of an accidentally "discovered" outsider artist Mark Hogancamp. It's on Netflix.
posted by dahliachewswell at 11:37 AM on March 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

He's a musician, not an artist, but you might like Life On Four Strings. Review.
posted by gudrun at 1:58 PM on March 26, 2014

If you can get 4od where you are, they have the 5-episode knitting extravaganza that is Kaffe faccett's " glorious color ”. It's really good and I love its old fashioned 1988 long silent meditative pauses.
posted by aesop at 8:13 AM on March 27, 2014

« Older OMG = Oh My (not God)?   |   Can this relationship be saved? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.