A new Brian Eno documentary is in the works

"You can’t make a conventional, by-the-numbers bio-doc about Brian Eno"

A new documentary about Brian Eno is in the works by director Gary Hustwit, it has been announced.

Hustwit has previously worked on films about Mavis Staples (Mavis!) and Wilco (I Am Trying to Break Your Heart: A Film About Wilco).

The filmmaker’s official website now features a page for a documentary called Eno, which is described as “the definitive career-spanning, multi-platform documentary about visionary musician and artist Brian Eno”.

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Hustwit was given access to hundreds of hours of previously unseen footage and unreleased music from Eno’s archive to make the doc, which will be released in multiple versions and “will employ groundbreaking generative technology in its creation and exhibition”.

Brian Eno
Brian Eno CREDIT: Cecily Eno

The director and his team have digitised and restored approximately 400 hours of material spanning 50 years, including interviews, early video art projects, lectures, performances, behind-the-scenes footage of recording sessions and more – most of which have not been released publicly before.

Eno represents the latest collaboration in the legendary musician and filmmakers’ creative relationship. Eno previously created the score for the documentary Rams in 2017, which explored the life of the German designer Dieter Rams.

The film will, according to Hustwit’s website, “offer a deep dive into subjects that Eno has been notably passionate about, such as sustainability, social equity, and the future of civilisation, while centring 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,” Hustwit said. “I think of Eno as an art film about creativity, with the output of Brian’s 50-year career as its raw material.

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“You can’t make a conventional, by-the-numbers bio-doc about Brian Eno. 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.”

Last year, Eno spoke out about his feelings on the current NFT craze, saying it allows artists to be “little capitalist assholes”. “I’ve been approached several times to ‘make an NFT,’” he said in an interview.

“So far nothing has convinced me that there is anything worth making in that arena. ‘Worth making’ for me implies bringing something into existence that adds value to the world, not just to a bank account.”

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