Essential Big Screen 2018
Screening Dates
  • December 20, 2018 6:30
  • December 21, 2018 8:30
  • December 22, 2018 6:30
  • December 27, 2018 4:00
New Restoration

A miracle.”

François Truffaut

This extraordinary collaboration between Pablo Picasso and French master of suspense Henri-Georges Clouzot (The Wages of Fear, Les diaboliques) may be the most startlingly original documentary ever made about a great painter. Awarded the Jury Prize at Cannes in 1956, and declared a national treasure by France in 1984, the film employs some remarkable cinematic innovation. Clouzot and cinematographer Claude Renoir (grandson of Auguste and nephew of Jean) filmed from behind special transparent canvasses” on which the artist drew with bleed-through inks; Picasso, in effect, is painting directly onto the screen before our very eyes. Twenty original works (most destroyed afterwards) are created in the film; certain sequences use time-lapse to animate the process. Picasso is a fascinating and volatile presence throughout. At one point, he complains that his canvas is too small—and, in a startling technical coup, the film bursts into the wider frame of CinemaScope.