Saturday, September 19, 2009

Picasso and the Cinema

Picasso was inspired by the cinema (Charles Chaplin, etc.). The cubistic and the montage connections between Picasso and the cinema are of the essence. - Henri-Georges Clouzot's masterpiece Le Mystère Picasso is one of the handful of the very best films made on painting. The priceless document focuses on Picasso's process of painting: the process is primary, the result is secondary. - Orson Welles's F for Fake includes an affectionate homage to Picasso ("art is a lie that can expose the truth") and cubism. There is an ironic commentary on forgery. Elmyr de Hory created fake paintings in styles of Picasso, managing at first to fool Picasso, himself. Picasso's astonished comment: "I can forge Picasso, myself, as well as anybody". - James Ivory's Surviving Picasso (1996) is based on the story (though not the memoir book) of Francoise Gilot. Anthony Hopkins is great as Picasso, Natascha McElhone is Francoise Gilot, Julianne Moore is Dora Maar, and Joss Ackland is Matisse. Ivory was not allowed to use Picasso's work! The heirs usually deny the permission. The film displays Elmyr de Hory -style fake Picassos in an interesting way. The Guernica sequence is amazing, as we never see the painting. - But if I were to select one film to represent the Picasso inspiration, it would be Jean Cocteau's Le Testament d'Orphée.

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