The artist approaches his easel, wields his brush and the painting dances into being before our eyes. Pablo Picasso, one of the most influential artist of the 20th century, is making art, and French director Henri-Georges Clouzot is making a movie. This entirely new kind of art documentary captures the moment and the mystery of creativity; for this film, the master created 20 artworks — all of which were destroyed when the film was completed.
Acclaimed in particular for his thrillers, Clouzot was one of the genuine rivals to Alfred Hitchcock and, at his peak, seemed to anticipate the moves of the better-known English director. Born in 1907 in Niort, Clouzot intended upon a career in the French navy but was barred from that opportunity by poor eyesight and chronic ill health. He studied political science with the intention of joining the diplomatic service and he served on the staff of a Rightist political figure after graduation from college, but in the late ‘20s, Clouzot moved into writing, first as a journalist and, starting in the early ’30s, as a screenwriter and playwright. He co-authored numerous scripts between 1931 and 1933, in addition to making the short thriller La Terreur des Batignolles and serving as an assistant to several directors, including Anatole Litvak, E.A. Dupont, and Karl Hartl, on various projects. Clouzot’s initial start in films was interrupted in the mid-‘30s when his declining health forced him… read more
it is fantastic to see how many layers that he was made until the painting finished, because art is a process.
When you look at him swapping all those inventive layers and you think that most of the old, beautiful ones are buried under the new ones and lost forever... and you are aware that you liked them a lot but it means nothing to him... then you start having a clue of what's inside the mind of a genius. Or, perhaps, what I have written is exactly what that genius wants you to believe. A brilliant and wonderful film.
There are some amazing scenes in this, but instead of being "transfixed by the creative process and its mystery" I found myself feeling like I was watching a screen-saver half the time. It's worth a gander however, if only to see Picasso and Clouzot smoking their tobaccos and thinking intensely.
The 1950s movie posters of one of Poland’s greatest artists, now aged 90.
Also: Posters for this year’s Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week, “Great Directors” in San Francisco, Picasso in London and more.