Now that we are spending so much time at home, we thought it was the right time to share an impressive list curated by The New York times featuring 11 excellent documentaries you can binge-watch on Netflix.
— August 6th, 2020
There is a wide variety of concerts available on Netflix, including “Springsteen on Broadway,” Beyoncé’s “Homecoming,” and “Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids.” However, performances alone don’t tell the entire story of a musical act or a musician’s life.
If you are looking for a fuller picture, you need a good documentary—one that combines exciting old footage with probing new interviews, and (most importantly) context.
There are some great music documentaries on Netflix, here are our must-watch:
Asif Kapadia’s documentary isn’t always easy to watch, given that the phenomenally talented Amy Winehouse fell so far and so fast. But the film is remarkably comprehensive, detailing its subject’s rise from a working-class background to international superstardom. And it’s filled with insight into how the intense public scrutiny that comes with a celebrity may set some stars up for catastrophic failure.
‘Chasing Trane’ (2016)
The director John Scheinfeld gathers meaningful observations from the famous saxophonist John Coltrane’s colleagues and admirers, who help demystify his incredibly complicated compositions and improvisations.
‘Echo in the Canyon’ (2019)
This short, sunny documentary is an entertaining rock history lesson, detailing the shared influences and enduring inspiration of some of the ’60s biggest hitmakers.
‘Hip-Hop Evolution’ (2016-20)
A lot of the feature documentaries about hip-hop remain stuck in the ’80s and ’90s, but “Hip-Hop Evolution” presses on into the 2000s, making room for the “Dirty South” sound, the experiments of the Neptunes crew, the controversies surrounding the mixtape revolution and more.
‘Miss Americana’ (2020)
Taylor Swift comes from a generation of pop stars who’ve never had much of an “offstage” component to their careers. They expose themselves regularly, on social media, and in their songs. Yet “Miss Americana” is still genuinely revealing. Lana Wilson spent a few years with Swift, during a time when she was moving into new phases with her sound and public persona. This film is about an idol trying to figure out how to use her influence wisely. Still, it’s also about the difficulties of wielding a strong voice in an era when fans and haters alike gather on the internet to dissect and question everything.
Who better to make a documentary about Quincy Jones than his daughter: the actress, writer, and producer Rashida Jones? “Quincy” was shot over several years by Jones and Alan Hicks. Their film combines a detailed and admiring biography of an EGOT-winning musician with more down-to-earth scenes of the man’s daily life in the present day, coping with increasingly poor health and heavy demands on his time. What emerges is an intimate portrait of a towering cultural figure.
Did these peaked your interest? Go check out the full list here!
This article is a re-post, with small modifications of “Netflix Has Some Great Music Documentaries. Here Are 11 of Them” an article by Noel Murray, published on nytimes.com