Thursday, May 17, 2007

May 17th Log

1955, Henri-Georges Clouzot, France
Repeat Viewing, Turner Classic Movies

Another film from the great French auteur Henri-Georges Clouzot, but this film may be less his then it is legendary painter Pablo Picasso’s. The film opens with a prologue and a beautiful profile image of Picasso sitting down. He quickly arises and begins to paint as the camera closely captures, thus beginning an unusual cinematic exploration into the mind of a unique artist. The prologue shows Picasso as he begins to paint but the film camera essentially becomes Picasso hand throughout. It may not be a film for everyone, but it can be viewed on various levels: as an examination into the mind or motive of the artist, as well as a study into the artist, and even into the very techniques of painting. As a film The Mystery of Picasso is truly rare. Clouzot simply goes into the very essence of the painter and the film becomes equally unique and even suspenseful in that we await the final results of the paintings. Clouzot mixes the pacing through different methods of presenting the art (sometimes with Picasso’s hands, other times with jump cuts, and at one point a with a change in the films aspect ratio to widescreen). In all there are twenty paintings here and the work is fascinating to view and/or study. This film is a wonderful journey into art and the discovery of the artist. You won’t see anything else quite like it.


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