The Price of Everything, directed by Nathaniel Kahn, is a fascinating and insightful doc about a very intriguing topic: the dynamics between contemporary art and commerce. What determines the monetary value of an artwork? Why does one artwork sell for millions of dollars at auction while others are sold for a lot less? The answers to those questions are more complex than you might think because there are many different facets. It's that complexity that makes this doc so compelling. There are the major auction houses, Christie's and Sotheby's, as well as philanthropists, art critics, art collectors, and the artists themselves. Kahn interviews a wide range of subjects ranging from Amy Cappellazzo, Sotheby's Chairman of Global Fine Arts, to philanthropist/art collector Stefan Edlis, art critic Jerry Saltz, and artists, Gerhard Richter, Jeff Koons and Larry Poons. Art can be bought for very little, then sold for a lot and then traded for another piece of artwork. It's all based on the supply and demand, basically, but there's more to it than that: it also depends on how much future value an artwork might have according to the buyer. If a philanthropist or art collector senses that an artist's work can be worth a lot in the future, he/she would buy it at a low price before its value goes up years later. Poons is one such artist who was plucked from obscurity into the world of contemporary art. Cappellazzo makes an interesting observation when she says that there are three kinds of spectators of art: those who see, those who see when shown and those who don't see. Is there just one way to "see" art, though? She also claims that the public, art critics, collectors, philanthropists and auction houses all know when they witness a masterpiece. What defines a "masterpiece" for that matter? Isn't art very subjective? Isn't beauty is in the eyes of the beholder? There are no clear-cut answers in The Price of Everything, but that's alright because at least it does raise many interesting questions and introduces you to the many aspects of commerce in the world of modern art. It opens at Quad Cinema via HBO Documentary Films.