A message from Curator of Film Dean Otto:

The Creative Process on Kanopy

Films about the creative process of artists have always been a central programming theme at the Speed Cinema.  If you missed some of these biographical films or documentaries at the Speed, you can catch up on them for free through Kanopy.

Described as a poet, an athlete, and a philosopher of photography, Garry Winogrand harnessed the serendipity of the streets to capture America in the 1960s and ‘70s. His Leica M4 snapped spontaneous images of everyday people, from the Mad Men era of New York, to the early years of the Women’s Movement, to post-Golden Age Hollywood, all while observing themes of cultural upheaval, political

disillusionment, intimacy, and alienation.

Walking on Water follows internationally renowned contemporary artist Christo on his quest to realize The Floating Piers, originally conceived in 1970 by Christo and his late wife and collaborator, Jeanne-Claude. In 2016, seven years after Jeanne-Claude’s death, this stunning, site-specific masterpiece was finally cleared to be mounted on Italy’s Lake Iseo, which lies at the foot of the Alps. But securing a location proved to be only the first step in a tumultuous process of creative problem solving and difficult negotiations.

This intimate documentary allows viewers a glimpse into the life of one of the most influential and singular living British designers, Vivienne Westwood. After working as a school teacher in her early career, she began designing clothing in 1971 along with her then partner Malcolm McLaren in London. At the time, they used their Kings Road shop to showcase not only their bold and rebellious ideas but also to reflect the social and political changes to London itself.

Acclaimed French actor Vincent Cassel (La Haine, Elizabeth, Irreversible, Black Swan, Jason Bourne) leads this lush, imaginative biopic, inspired by Gauguin’s own memoir Noa Noa (a Tahitian word meaning fragrance). Portraying a ravaged Gauguin as he is awoken by the beauty and mystery of Tahiti, Cassel delivers a fully embodied, magnetic performance.

Known as “the artist among architects,” Luis Barragán is among the world’s most celebrated architects of the 20th century. After his death in 1988, his professional archive was sold to Rolf Fehlbaum, the owner and CEO of the Swiss furniture company Vitra.  Fehlbaum purchased the archive as a gift for his fiancé Federica Zanco in lieu of an engagement ring—a more appreciated gesture given her love of Barragán.  With Zanco assuming the role of head of the Barrigan Archive, the architect’s work was locked away from the world’s view and Zanco strictly controlled access and copyright.

In an attempt to resurrect Barragán’s life and art, boundary redefining artist Jill Magid starts a correspondence with Zanco to request access to the professional archive. Magid creates a daring proposition that becomes a fascinating artwork in itself—a high-wire act of negotiation that explores how far an artist will go to democratize access to art.

Fiddlin’ is an Old Time and Bluegrass music documentary that takes place at the world’s oldest Fiddler’s Convention in the Appalachian Mountains. Wayne Henderson, a world-renowned luthier known as the “guitar god,” is both a master craftsman and master storyteller. His friendship with 11-year old guitar prodigy Presley Barker shows just how closely-knit a community of musicians can be. The enduring relationship between mentor and prodigy is a testament to music’s power. With multiple generations jamming together, we are witness to some off-the-charts pickin’ and fiddlin’.

Director Pamela B. Green has fashioned an engaging detective story about her path to uncover the truth about one of the first leading figures of cinema and how sexism and egos tried to erase the accomplishments of a successful woman.

Alice Guy-Blaché was a true pioneer who got into the movie business at the very beginning in 1894, at the age of 21. Two years later, she became head of production at Gaumont in France and started directing films. She and her husband moved to the United States, and she founded her own company, Solax, in 1910 they started in Flushing and moved to a bigger facility in Fort Lee, New Jersey. By 1919, Guy-Blaché’s career came to an abrupt end, and she and the 1,000 films that bore her name were largely forgotten.

The Great Buster celebrates the life and career of one of Hollywood’s most prolific and influential filmmakers, Buster Keaton. Stunning restorations of archival works bring Keaton’s magic to life on the big screen, while interviews with his friends, family, collaborators, and a broad array of artists influenced by his singular vision detail a life and character that was as complex, bold, and graceful as the great works themselves.

Director Peter Bogdanovich’s (The Last Picture Show, What’s Up Doc?) personal dive into the Keaton archives reveals a visionary artist who put everything on the line for a laugh in such treasured films as The General (1926), Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928), Sherlock Jr. (1924), and so many others.