Brian Eno Documentary Coming In 2023 From The Director Of Helvetica

Director Gary Hustwit (Helvetica, Objectified, Urbanized, Rams) has announced plans for “the definitive career-spanning, multi-platform documentary” about visionary musician and artist Brian Eno.

For the past 50 years, Brian Eno has been at the forefront of musical creativity, technology, and artistic innovation. The musician, producer, activist, visual artist and self-described “sonic landscaper” began his career as an original member of the legendary Roxy Music in the early 1970s. He pioneered the genre of ambient music with his 1978 album Ambient 1: Music for Airports. As a producer, Eno has helped define and reinvent the sound of some of the most important artists in music, including David Bowie, U2, Talking Heads, Coldplay, and dozens of others.

Gary Hustwit’s forthcoming documentary Eno will be released in multiple versions and will employ groundbreaking generative technology in its creation and exhibition. Hustwit and his team have been granted unlimited access to Brian Eno’s vast archive, and have digitized and restored approximately 400 hours of material spanning 50 years: interviews, seminal early video art projects, lectures, performances, behind-the-scenes documentation of recording sessions, and more. Most of this material has never been publicly released.

Hustwit’s collaboration with Eno first began in 2017, when Eno created an original score for Hustwit’s film Rams, about the German designer Dieter Rams. With Eno, Hustwit aims to offer a deep dive into subjects that Eno has been notably passionate about, such as sustainability, social equity, and the future of civilization, while centering above all on the nature of creativity.

“Much of Brian’s career has been about enabling creativity in himself and others, through his role as a producer but also through his collaborations on projects like the Oblique Strategies cards or the music app Bloom. I think of Eno as an art film about creativity,” notes Hustwit, “with the output of Brian’s 50-year career as its raw material.”

Eno will utilize proprietary generative software developed by Hustwit and digital artist Brendan Dawes to provide unique viewing experiences via multiple digital formats, cinema screenings and site-specific installations. “You can’t make a conventional, by-the-numbers bio doc about Brian Eno,” said Hustwit. “That would be antithetical and a missed opportunity. What I’m trying to do is to create a cinematic experience that’s as innovative as Brian’s approach to music and art.”

The film is planned for release in 2023.

20 thoughts on “Brian Eno Documentary Coming In 2023 From The Director Of Helvetica

  1. Brian Eno doesn’t know it, but he played a large role in the origin story of my Atomic Shadow project. A story for another time.

    But a couple of years later, he was a judge in the Science Museum’s Daphne Oram remix contest. I sent in an entry because I figured that if nothing else, Brian Eno would be forced to listen to it. In my minds eye he would have been tied to a rotten old office chair in a rusted out, abandoned factory. A pair of hands would appear from off camera and fit a pair of headphones over his ears. Someone presses play on a reel to reel. The Horror!

    To this day I still can’t believe that my entry took second place. Mr. Eno said some nice things in his judging comments. One of which was that it left him wanting more. I have more, but have never been able to figure out where to send it! : )

    Also: It’s a damned good thing you can’t copy and paste film. Otherwise somebody would be making a knockoff documentary. Probably.

  2. this makes sense, Eno is the Helvetica of ambient music. and he was one of the first to make moving looping images and charge people to see them yet he does not like NFT’s, maybe the doc will cover why he’s allowed to innovate and make money from progressive art forms but others are not. 😉

    1. Plenty of artists sell their work and dislike NFTs.

      NFTs aren’t art, they’re a certificate of authenticity that authenticates that the certificate of authenticity is authentic. They’re just a scammy way to commoditize art while also wasting energy.

      1. Well said.
        Some artists do get involved in this kind of game. Sometimes as a way to support their art. Yet it’s so disconnected from the artistic practice itself that it serves as a distraction from creative endeavours.

        It’s as if a band were rehearsing for a gig and ended up talking for three hours about someone in another who’s made some money by trading baseball cards.

  3. Master of “ambient”, but also collaborated and produced with Robert Fripp, Talking Heads and countless others…
    Brian Eno = Genius, simple as that 🙂
    Can’t wait for this movie release…

    1. That’s the incalculable thing – he does’t consider himself a musician, but he’s got a great sense of sound design, impeccable musical judgement and the ability to think about music in new ways.

      His visual work is just as important, but probably under-appreciated.

  4. Have been a big fan of Eno …discovered him on the early Roxy Music albums…he was a big influence on my music….his collaboration with David Bowie and Cluster were fantastic….

  5. Boooooooring its been done many many times. Can we just stop with Eno already, so many great artist that we can watch documentaries about why doesn’t someone do a full doc one on Robert Henke, Now that is an icon from our times worth talking about.

  6. I’d love to see a doc on Johannes Schmoelling (who did a couple of LPs with T-Dream), but he’s probably too esoteric for a lot of people and Lady Gaga’s keyboardist Brockett Parsons is too young to fill one. Too bad the music machine has changed until you don’t appear on a live TV show, you do individual YouTube ‘casts. Its fun to watch The Old Grey Whistle Test and shows like it, with Roxy Music as the lead act and fringe bands like Gryphon getting a turn. Its a small buffet.

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