Randall Wright’s documentary about the English artist is forced to trade drama for detail: that’s what happens when your still-living subject has led a relatively happy, comfortable life. (Yes, he was born into English austerity during the war years, and yes, it wasn’t easy being gay, but he still comes off as mostly unscathed — well adjusted, even.) And even then, it’s largely a specific sort of detail: personal but not quite intimate, the stuff of home movies and recollections from old friends. But that’s okay, because Hockney’s work is similarly personal: lots of old friends and the sort of stuff you might see in home movies (including a few naughty bits). Hockney painted just what he wanted to paint (so many pool pictures!) and made oodles of money doing it. What’s remarkable is that he didn’t let money and fame destroy his restless quest to keep seeing things afresh, and to keep finding new ways to convey that vision. It takes nearly an hour before anyone discusses anything conceptual, but what comes before is sufficiently entertaining, and what comes after, sufficiently illuminating. (2014) — Matthew Lickona
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