We’re very fond of documentaries – and crafts, of course – so much so that we previously initiated the first-ever UK film festival dedicated to craft and moving image, Real to Reel. As we hole up for winter (and possibly beyond), it only seems apt to settle into our sofas with this rousing line-up of craft-focused film features. Immerse yourselves in new environments with these six recent documentaries, each exploring the experience of craft through a different lens.
George Nakashima: Woodworker (2020)
Beginning with a lingering sequence spanning the furrowed trunk of a single tree in the woods, George Nakashima: Woodworker immediately trains our eyes to appreciate its character as the American designer and architect would have done. Overlaid with the voice of the craftsman himself – who died in 1990 – it sets an intimate tone for a personal, two-hour documentary produced by his nephew, John Nakashima, and daughter, Mira Nakashima-Yarnall. Using archival footage, audio recordings and photographs, it takes us on a journey of discovery across three continents as we follow Nakashima on a quest to find his ‘reason for being’. It’s also spliced with commentary from experts such as the woodworker Erich DeHaven, design historian Derek Ostergard, and professor of American decorative arts Ned Cooke, which sets his work in the context of design and craft theory.