Best Indie Documentaries on Creativity


For some reason, now that 2015 started, I’m in a mood to take stock of things.

Last year I taught for the first time a class on creativity and writing, and I’ve had the pleasure of watching some truly inspiring documentaries on the creative process.  Here are a few that are worth seeing.

Indie Game: The movie

This is a nail-biting documentary following the lives of several game designers who have decided to go solo.  Follow the designers of Braid, Meat Boy and Fez.  It’s hard to believe just how much work these guys had to put into their dream, and how fragile it all is, from beginning to end.  A must for those who love video games.

Tim O’Brien: How to Tell a True War Story

This visually stunning piece juxtaposes some of Tim O’Brien’s award winning writing about Vietnam with images of war, and interviews that slowly reveal O’Brien’s obsessions.

Bird by Bird With Annie

Writer Annie Lamot, famous for her book Bird by Bird, says in this documentary, “I used to not be able to work if there were dishes in the sink. Then I had a child, and now I could work if there were a corpse in the sink.”  Annie talks eloquently about the writing life, motherhood, spirituality and all that needs be done for someone to live like art really matters.

Arts and The Mind: PBS Documentary

It’s hard to believe that this one is free.  This comprehensive documentary hosted by Lisa Kudrow covers the importance of art and creativity from pre-school to old age making a compelling argument for restoring arts to all levels of education and civic planning.

Everything Is A Remix

This is an absolute must see for anyone who wants to learn anything about creativity.  Kirby Ferguson explores the nature of creativity, not just in the arts and music, but also in business and makes a compelling case for loosening copyright laws and having an open-source approach to anything we choose to create.

Movies I love and hate

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