INSTANT 3: Documentaries

Keep flipping past the same flicks in your "Watch Instantly" Netflix queue?  The films they have reserved for instant view can be a mixed bag, so here are a few short recommendations for the Documentary category:

1)  Marwencol (2010) -  The less you know about this one going in the better.You might classify it as an "Outsider Artist" picture, along the lines of Jessica Yu's incredible In the Realms of the Unreal, but Marwencol has its own style, featuring some stunning small-scale cinematography.  You may find yourself wanting to freeze the frame from time to time just to savor some of the images, which achieve an expressiveness that is confounding and magical.  Can't say anymore.  Not only  a 
a great documentary about an uncommon artist, but one of the great overlooked
films from last year, period.

Mark Hogancamp in Marwencol
 2)  Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010) - Once again, a movie that is better experienced without too much pre-screening information.  Maybe my favorite film of last year (next to the subject of my last post, True Grit).  A great double-bill with Orson Welles' F for Fake (1973), this first film by street/pop artist Banksy upends the documentary form in a similar way, leaving all sorts of questions in it's wake about authorship in art, while simultaneously giving a satisfying overview of the street art movement.

A "Banksy" or a "Brainwash"?
3)   Rivers and Tides:  Andy Goldsworthy Working With Time (2003) - Ok, so all of these Documentary recommendations are films about art and artists, but none of them are as breathtaking as Rivers and TidesAndy Goldsworthy is a pioneer of earth art, working with natural materials
and landscapes to create astounding works of impermanence, some of them lasting only
a few seconds.  In fact, my favorite scenes from this are of his more brief works: the "Red Waterfall" scene, as well as the final shots of the picture, which subvert our desire for a final display of something "big," instead leaving us with this incredible moment of childlike simplicity and joy.
If you haven't seen this one, it's about time.

A Goldsworthy, for sure

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