Herb & Dorothy – 2008

He was a postal clerk. She was a librarian. With their modest means, the couple managed to build one of the most important contemporary art collections in history. Meet Herb and Dorothy Vogel, whose shared passion and discipline have defied stereotypes and redefined what it means to be an art collector. Read more at IMDB or support this site and the filmmaker by buying it at Amazon.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams – 2010

In 1994, a group of scientists discovered a cave in Southern France perfectly preserved for over 20,000 years and containing the earliest known human paintings. Knowing the cultural significance that the Chauvet Cave holds, the French government immediately cut-off all access to it, save a few archaeologists and paleontologists. But documentary filmmaker, Werner Herzog, has been given limited access, and now we get to go inside examining beautiful artwork created by our ancient ancestors around 32,000 years ago. He asks questions to various historians and scientists about what these humans would have been like and trying to build a bridge from the past to the present. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.

Waste Land – 2010

An uplifting feature documentary highlighting the transformative power of art and the beauty of the human spirit. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.

The Art of the Steal – 2009

Documentary that follows the struggle for control of Dr. Albert C. Barnes’ 25 billion dollar collection of modern and post-impressionist art. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.

Bomb It – 2007

Documentary filmmaker Jon Reiss travels around the world looking at grafitti art and the artists who risk censure, arrest and their lives to continue to decorate public property with what some call freely expressed and colorful art work and others call vandalism. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.

Rape of Europa – 2006

The Rape of Europa is a gripping nonfiction thriller about the systematic plunder of Europe´s great and invaluable art treasures by the Nazis during the period of the Third Reich and World War II. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.

Superstar: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol – 1990

A look at the life, work, and impact of Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987), pop icon and artist, from his childhood in Pittsburgh to his death after a botched surgery. Warhol coined the word “superstar,” became one, and changed the way the culture looks at and understands celebrity. After studying at Carnegie Tech, he goes to New York to be a commercial artist. By 1960, Warhol, Lichtenstein, and Rosenquist are inventing pop art. Warhol starts “The Factory,” his workshop where he paints and makes movies.

Style Wars – 1983

This documentary on subway grafitti in New York City in the early 1980s had it all: it was beautifully shot, had a great soundtrack, and captured the essence of what was going on in the city after the 70s and under the regime of Mayor Kotch. The best thing about this documentary is how it can be studied on so many levels- it makes you realize why “bombing” is done and what it accomplishes. It helps you understand the psychological reasoning behind it, and how it plays on human character traits such as territorial rights, pursuit and the need for recognition. It shows how graffitti had a strong impact on society, and how it tore some homes apart. A must see- plus a great representation of early hip hop music and style.

F for Fakes – 1973

Orson Welles’ free-form documentary about fakery focusses on the notorious art forger Elmyr de Hory and Elmyr’s biographer, Clifford Irving, who also wrote the celebrated fraudulent Howard Hughes autobiography, then touches on the reclusive Hughes and Welles’ own career (which started with a faked resume and a phony Martian invasion). On the way, Welles plays a few tricks of his own on the audience. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.