The 10 Documentaries Every Art Aficionado Must Watch

Forget your Netlflix & Chill, here are 10 art documentaries that you need to watch this weekend:

  • The First Monday In May

Filmmaker Andrew Rossi examines an exhibit at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art that showcases Chinese-inspired Western fashions.

  • Le Mystère Picasso (1956)

Director Henri-Georges Clouzot peers into the imagination of Pablo Picasso’s studio and emerges with a quiet documentary that captures the revolutionary painter’s creative process. Through a combination of stop-motion and time-lapse photography, Picasso’s Cubist work comes to life on screen.

  • National Gallery

The education programs, scholars, scientists and curators work and enjoy the National Gallery in London.

  • Iris

Filmmaker Albert Maysles pays tribute to nonagenarian Iris Apfel, the quick-witted, longtime interior designer and outspoken champion of eclectic fashion.

  • Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir paints on the French Riviera in 1915 after his wife dies and his son is wounded in a battle. He finds a young woman named Andrée and she becomes his last model.

  • The Cool School

The Cool School is a 2008 American documentary film about the rise of the Los Angeles contemporary art scene. It was directed by Morgan Neville and narrated by Jeff Bridges. The documentary premièred at the Cleveland International Film Festival

  • Saving Banksy

Saving Banksy is the story of one misguided art collectors attempt to save Banksy’s famous “Haight Street Rat” from destruction and the auction block. His efforts to save the Rat are met with threats from city officials, snubs from museums and a flurry of six-figure offers from art dealers eager to cannot to get their hands on the painting.

  • Bill Cunningham New York

It’s really hard not to fall in love with Bill Cunningham in this documentary. Cunningham has photographed high society and street fashion for decades. This documentary paints a charming and sweet portrait of one the most influential fashion photographers of all time.


  • Paris Is Burning

This documentary focuses on drag queens living in New York City and their “house” culture, which provides a sense of community and support for the flamboyant and often socially shunned performers. Groups from each house compete in elaborate balls that take cues from the world of fashion.

  • Ballet Russes

When the groudbreaking dance company Ballet Russes exploded on the scene in the early 1900s, it challenged everything European audiences knew about ballet. The innovative company pushed the boundaries of traditional dance with help from famous collaborators like Pablo Picasso and Igor Stravinsky. This documentary explores the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, a branch of the original Ballet Russes that broke off from the company in 1938 after disagreements among management



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