Good Banjo Documentaries

The Complete Earl Scruggs Story

This guy had machine guns for fingers and love in his heart. Follow Earl Scruggs as he explores new adaptations for the banjo to modern 20th century music as it was evolving in 1972. Meet his neighbors from Cleveland County, his family and fellow musicians. Intimate and personal, it's a documentary that plucks at the ear and the heart with many touching moments.


Give Me the Banjo

Steve Martin, Hollywood's ambassador for the banjo, uses his star power to cast light on the instrument's complicated history. In this banjo confessional, the beloved instrument proudly showcases today's generation of players, explains its African origins, its innovators, its comfort to Civil War soldiers and admits to its employment in an entertainment circuit that relegated blacks, mere decades from slavery, to play the clowns in its bizarre racial circus. A complete and enriching journey of the instrument's history and unique sound, which Pete Seeger calls "needle points of tone...like a star in the sky." Ahhhh....*shasta*


CBS Sunday Morning - Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn

Only 7 and a half minutes long, but a good journalistic snippet of two people who play and work the banjo on a level that'll make you drop yer jaws and tap yer paws.

Inspirational Films for the Indie "Whatever"

There are a few movie mantras the turtle dev team carries around that serve as encouragement and inspiration as ungodly amounts of time are dumped into projects that don't currently see much light outside the perimeter of one's own enthusiasm.

Indie Game The Movie: This, and its companion, Indie Game Life After, document the struggles and joys of indie game creation. It's an inspiring and leveling tale about the work and life impact behind indie hits: Super Meatboy, Braid, and Fez. It's a relevant narrative for the art and culture of games, and the struggles under the hood of any indie effort.  A must for anyone testing the waters of game development. 

 

American Movie: They wouldn't have made a documentary about him if he was normal. Against all odds of child support, money, family and himself, Mark Borchardt (and his cast of amazing friends and family) pulls off the impossible and makes a movie. There is overwhelming heart, friendship, and insanity in the gonzo of Mark's creative process.

 

Ed Wood: A Tim Burton movie that canonized its namesake as the patron saint of interstellar angora. Again, a story about a person who rendezvoused passions on the fuzzy side of the tracks.