The Creation of Meaning: All Films

The Creation of Meaning: All Films

The Creation of Meaning is a documentary series portraying writers, photographers, artists, and filmmakers at work—focusing on the act of creation.

Spanning diverse cinematic approaches and a range of mediums themselves, this collection documents the multitudinous modes of collaboration, creativity and labor that underpin aesthetic pursuits, nuancing the genesis and creation of art.

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The Creation of Meaning: All Films
  • Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché


    Pamela B. Green • United States • 2018 • A fascinating profile of a lost pioneer of early cinema.

    Alice Guy-Blaché entered the film business in 1894, at the age of 21. By 23 she was installed as head of production at French company Gaumont and directed several films before moving...

  • Behind the White Glasses: Lina Wertmüller


    Valerio Ruiz • Italy • 2015 • The cinematic legacy of iconic filmmaker Lina Wertmüller.

    Lina Wertmüller was one of the most iconic filmmakers of the 1970s. Martin Scorsese has described her 1974 feature Swept Away as essential viewing from the decade—scrambling politics of class,...

  • Beuys


    Andres Veiel • Germany • 2018 • An intimate look at one of the great artists of his generation.

    Joseph Beuys was one of the seminal German artists of the twentieth century. After attending the Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts, Beuys became known for his contributions to the Fluxu...

  • Bill Cunningham New York


    Richard Press • 2010 • USA • A portrait the secluded pioneer of street fashion.

    Perched on his Schwinn bicycle, a camera hanging from his neck, photographer Bill Cunningham roams the streets of New York snapping stills of unassuming passerby, if the look is right. Despite decades...

  • Call Her Applebroog


    Beth B • United States • 2016 • A deeply personal portrait of acclaimed artist Ida Applebroog.

    Ida Applebroog was born into an ultra-Orthodox Jewish family in the Bronx in the 1920s. As one of three daughters to a father who had prayed for sons, her childhood was less than cheerf...

  • El Bulli: Cooking in Progress


    Gereon Wetzel • 2011 • Germany • The world's best restaurant creates the menu for its final season

    For many years, Catalan chef Ferran Adrià ran the best restaurant in the world. Tucked away in a small cove a few hours north of Barcelona, El Bulli prepared some of the most daring...

  • Filmworker


    Tony Zierra • United States • 2018 • The invisible hands behind Kubrick's masterpieces.

    Leon Vitali was building a name for himself in 1970s London. With a steady line of roles in theater, TV, and film, his life changed forever when he viewed Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film A Clockwo...

  • Helmut Newton - The Bad and the Beautiful


    Gero von Boehm • Germany • 2020 • The life and legacy of a controversial photography genius.

    One of the great masters of photography, Helmut Newton made a name for himself exploring the female form. Born to a Jewish family in Berlin, Newton lived as a teenager under the Nazis b...

  • Hieronymus Bosch, Touched by the Devil


    Pieter van Huystee • Netherlands • 2015 • A dive into the life and work of the controversial painter

    The late-medieval artist Hieronymus Bosch died nearly 500 years ago. Yet his art remains a subject of fascainted study—in 2016, a special exhibition of his work was held at the No...

  • In the Mirror of Maya Deren


    Martina Kudlácek • Austria, Switzerland, Germany • 2002 • A portrait of a groundbreaking artist.

    Maya Deren is considered by many to be the most innovative avant-garde filmmaker in the history of American cinema. Born in Kyiv, Ukraine, Deren’s family fled the USSR in 1922 to escap...

  • Jia Zhangke, A Guy from Fenyang


    Walter Salles • Brazil • 2014 • An intimate portrait of one of China's greatest living directors.

    Jia Zhangke is one of China's greatest living directors. His friend, the Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles, accompanies Zhangke throughout China—together, they visit Zhangke's hometo...

  • Louise BourgeoIs: The Spider, the Mistress and the Tangerine


    Amei Wallach & Marion Cajori • U.S. • 2008 • The life and imagination of an icon of modern art.

    As an artist, Louise Bourgeois is best known for her large-scale sculptures, towering arachnids that seem to defy gravity. As a screen presence, she is magnetic, mercurial and emotional...

  • Love, Cecil


    Lisa Immordino Vreeland • United States • 2017 • A stirring portrait of queer icon Cecil Beaton.

    Cecil Beaton was an incandescent talent. Born to a well-to-do British family, Beaton charmed his way into the upper echelons of the elite, learning to photograph on his nanny’s camera...

  • Oliver Sacks: His Own Life


    Ric Burns • United States • 2020 • A beloved figure who redefined understanding of the human mind.

    Oliver Sacks discovered he was going to die in January 2015. Born and raised in London to physician parents—his mother was one of the first female surgeons in England—perhaps no one ...

  • Sembene!


    Samba Gadjigo & Jason Silverman •2015• Senegal • Chronicles the life of the father of African cinema.

    Compiled from rare archival footage and hours of exclusive footage, Sembene! chronicles the life and work of the legendary Senegalese film director, considered by many to be the f...

  • The Disappearance of My Mother

    Beniamino Barrese • 2019 • Italy • Benedetta wants to disappear. Her son documents her final act.

    Benedetta Barzini was an iconic fashion model in the 1960s, a muse to Andy Warhol, Richard Avedon, Dalí. In the 70s, as a a radical feminist, she leveraged her visbility to guarantee women's emanci...

  • The Five Obstructions


    Lars von Trier • 2003 • Denmark-Switzerland-Belgium-France • Lars von Trier challenges his mentor.

    Documents the re-making of Jørgen Leth's classic short film The Perfect Human through a maddening maze of obstacles imposed by his former student Lars von Trier.

    In 1967, prominent ...

  • The Jeff Koons Show


    Alison Chernick • U.S. • 2004 • A comprehensive view of Jeff Koons’ shock-and-dazzle career.

    Jeff Koons considers himself to be the greatest living artist. A former stockbroker, his work explores the nature of art as commodity, the same way Warhol’s oeuvre explored celebrity as c...

  • The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq


    Guillaume Nicloux • France • 2014 • Michel Houellebecq was kidnapped. But was he really?

    A novelist named Michel Houellebecq sits at a table in Paris, pontificating on a bizarre range of topics. Three men appear and whisk him off to a house in the French countryside without expla...

  • The Pervert's Guide to Ideology

    Sophie Fiennes • UK & Ireland • 2012 • A journey through cinema and philosophy, Zizek-style.

    Some have called Slavoj Žižek the Elvis of cultural theory. A Lacanian and a Marxist, the Slovenian philosopher possesses an infectious zeal and a voracious appetite for popular culture, casting his wry,...

  • Walking on Water

    Andrey Paounov • 2015 • Christo's journey to bring a project conceptualized 50 years ago to life.

    In 2016 the celebrated artist Christo launched The Floating Piers on Italy's Lago d'Iseo, an enormous dahlia-yellow path above the water that was eventually experienced by 1.2 million people. Yet t...