I know absolutely nothing of fashion or fashion design. So when confronted with "Made As Art: The Michael Braun Story," not only did I have no clue who this man was, I also had my doubts this film would hold my attention easily. Even productions of the highest caliber must contain an interesting subject; something relatable to the viewer. I had my doubts for sure and in the end, I am so glad this movie was sent to me. Under the guise of a purely fashion and art-oriented film, Bryan Kaufman's flick has a secret weapon to use against folks like me. It's also a narrative about people, complete with touching stories and yes, even some history.
The concept is simple, familiar documentary fare. This is the story of Michael Braun and his life. Never heard of him? Don't worry, after this film you will - and for those who have heard of him, Kaufman presents a gold mine of information. Essentially, Michael Braun was a clothing designer for some big names, but also created plenty for the average Joe. So long as they agreed to pay his price. Ever wonder who made the stage clothes for the Macho Man Randy Savage? Michael's work. How about guitar legend Jimi Hendrix? Yup, Braun's stuff as well. This film is his story, along with his family and friends and humble beginnings. "Made As Art" covers a few decades of work including Braun's shift to art over fashion. As stated above, for those in the know regarding fashion, a lot of interesting stuff is covered here. But there's more.
For me, what got me was the stories. Stories of the late Jimi Hendrix and the Macho Man really stuck with me. These were human stories, beyond the glitz and glam of the ring or stage. Stories that took these huge celebrities and made them human again. These memories circled around Braun's interactions with these guys and really elevated this film to a place near anyone could enjoy. The history is good, the stories are good, but the humanity is a great touch. For me anyhow.
Normally, I would now begin my technical ranting. Picking apart whatever I could find. In this case, I don't have a lot to say. "Made As Art" looks and feels the way it was no doubt intended. A great documentary with all the interview segments, cut-ins, and graphics you could want. The film looks and sounds good, and will easily fit in on any screen it's viewed on. The pacing feels right and no, this isn't one of those documentaries that drag on and on. Production-wise? No complaints.
At the end of the day, there really isn't much more to write. "Made As Art: The Michael Braun Story" is simply a really good documentary. What else is there? If this is your niche, I have no doubt you would probably rate this film a four out of five. With that said, being that guy who really isn't normally into the content, I had to settle on a three and a half star rating. But damn, that's quite impressive all things considered. There's simply a little more to this film that I didn't expect, and it had no problem not only educating me a little, but also entertaining me. Well done, a solid three and a half stars.