WATCH: Best Art Documentaries

Become inspired with our favorite art documentaries. Below are the the trailers to each film, and the links to view the entire film on Amazon. These films are comprised of our favorite films about artists, art movements and creativity.

RECOMMENDED FILMS: WATCH THE TRAILER

WATCH: Exit through the Gift Shop
directed by: Banksy 
"Thierry Guetta (Mr. Brainwash) is a French immigrant living in Los Angeles, making a comfortable living with his vintage clothing shop. He also has a strange obsession with carrying a camera everywhere he goes, constantly filming his surroundings. On a holiday in France, he discovers his cousin is Invader, an internationally known street artist. Thierry finds this fascinating, and accompanies Invader and his friends, including the artists Monsieur André and Zevs on their nocturnal adventures, documenting their activities. A few months later, Invader visits Thierry in LA, and arranges a meeting with Shepard Fairey. Thierry continues filming Fairey's activities even after Invader has returned home to France. While Fairey is confused by Thierry's enthusiasm, Thierry states that he wishes to make a complete documentary about street art, and the two cross the nation, shooting other artists at work, including Poster Boy, Seizer, Neck Face, Sweet Toof, Cyclops, Ron English, Dotmasters, Swoon, Azil, Borf and Buffmonster. What Guetta fails to tell Fairey is that he has no plan to compile his footage into an actual film, and indeed never looks at his footage.

"Guetta continues to hear more about Banksy – a prominent and particularly secretive artist. His attempts to contact Banksy meet with failure, until one day Banksy visits LA without his usual accomplice, who is refused entry to the US. Stuck in LA without a guide, Banksy contacts Fairey, who calls Guetta. Guetta becomes Banksy's guide in LA, later following him back to England, winning the privilege to film Banksy on his home turf – a feat that confuses Banksy's crew. Banksy, however, sees the opportunity to document street art, which he recognizes as having a "short life span", and after Guetta aids him in recording both production, deployment and crowd reactions to his "Murdered Phone-box" piece, asks him to film the preparations for his "Barely Legal" show. The two become friends, as Guetta provides Banksy with some relief from his anonymity. Returning to LA, Guetta becomes bored, and eventually ends up producing his own stickers and decals and putting them up in the city...(more).
WATCH: Helvetica
directed by Gary Hustwit
"Helvetica is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which celebrated its 50th birthday in 2007) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives. The film is an exploration of urban spaces in major cities and the type that inhabits them, and a fluid discussion with renowned designers about their work, the creative process, and the choices and aesthetics behind their use of type.

"Helvetica encompasses the worlds of design, advertising, psychology, and communication, and invites us to take a second look at the thousands of words we see every day. The film was shot in high-definition on location in the United States, England, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, France and Belgium (more)...
Baraka- Best Art Film

"Baraka"

Originally shot in 25 countries on six continents, Baraka brought together a series of stunningly photographed scenes to capture what director Ron Fricke calls "a guided mediation on humanity." It was a shoot of unprecedented technical, logistical and bureaucratic scope that would take 30 months to complete, including 14 months on location, with a custom-built computerized 65mm camera.

"The goal of the film," says producer Mark Magidson, "was to reach past language. nationality, religion and politics and speak to the inner viewer." Baraka was one of the most acclaimed international releases of its time.

A 2001 DVD release featuring a new transfer and digitally re-mastered 5.1 surround sound became one of the most popular and acclaimed discs in the format‘s history. But as Fricke and Magidson began to explore the capabilities of new digital techology, they would soon seize the challenge to capture the film‘s 70mm theatrical impact in the ultimate high definition DVD, resulting in the widely acclaimed Blu-ray release of Baraka.

(only available on DVD)