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1,776 Ratings

The Mystery of Picasso

Le mystère Picasso

Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot
France, 1956
Documentary, Biography


Clouzot and Picasso joined forces to make a new kind of art film, one that would capture the mystery of the creativity process. Using special inks that bled through a semi-transparent surface, the artist created a series of paintings that unfold chronologically, dancing into being before our eyes.

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The Mystery of Picasso Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot
In the noir thrillers for which he is best known—Le Corbeau, Les Diaboliques, Wages of Fear—Clouzot dazzlingly revealed humanity at its worst. Here, cinema’s great misanthrope shows Man at his best: playful, inventive, unselfconscious, indefatigable.
March 14, 2019
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Clouzot, in his way, de-sentimentalizes art-making, showing the exaltation and the terror of a way of life that requires knowing how and when to throw something away. The Mystery of Picasso reveals art to be a life of many deaths.
February 27, 2019
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It’s legitimately not necessary for the viewer to buy into any concomitant hagiographic genius mythology (although you gotta sell tickets to a movie like this somehow) . . . but any artist of any medium, amateur or professional, will find it hard to miss the message: looking at paintings in a museum is like watching the footprints on a theater stage after all the actors have gone home.
September 24, 2010
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