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 Post subject: The Mystery of Picasso
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:25 am 
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Henri-Georges Clouzot, best known for his classic French thriller Les Diaboliques, took on a different mystery in 1956: the creative process and the essence of an artist, namely Pablo Picasso.

Utilising transparent canvases so the camera of Claude Renoir could directly capture an artwork’s creation, Picasso created 20 artworks for the film. At first, these are simple sketches in marker, but each grows in complexity until the final reel, when The Mystery of Picasso switches to a CinemaScope ratio and bursts into colour.

One of the greatest documentary portraits of an artist of work, this release is accompanied by two other films of Picasso: Paul Haesaerts’ BAFTA-winning A Visit to Picasso from 1949 and a charming ‘home movie’ by fellow artist Man Ray.

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS

• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation, from materials supplied by Gaumont
• Original French mono audio (uncompressed LPCM)
• Optional English subtitles
• A Visit to Picasso, Paul Haesaerts’ 1949 BAFTA-winning documentary on the painter, capturing Picasso at work in his Vallauris studio
• La Garoupe, a 1937 ‘home movie’ by Man Ray, in black and white and colour, of Picasso and friends holidaying near Antibes
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by maarko phntm

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by author and illustrator John Coulthart

Image

January 22


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:44 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am
The release blurb makes it slightly different than it actually is : the first reels actually also contain color artworks.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:47 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:14 am
Was literally reading about this after Godard mentioned how great this is in one of his talks. Would definitely check this out.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:01 pm 
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This is a fabulous movie that should be a delight on Blu. Too bad Arrow couldn't snag the Resnais short on the Milestone disc.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:41 pm 
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You can all thank me for buying the existing US DVD earlier this year (I haven't even watched it yet). Though that disc includes two commentaries and Resnais' Guernica, so at least it's not totally redundant.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:21 am 
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The recent documentary Hockney paid tribute to this, only with the aid of 21st-century technology in the form of an iPad whose software recorded each individual brushstroke as it was made, so when played back you get an uninterrupted view of the picture taking shape in a very similar fashion to the ones in the Clouzot film. Are there any other examples of major artists doing something like this? Because as a close-up look at the creative process in action it's absolutely riveting.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:59 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm
MichaelB wrote:
The recent documentary Hockney paid tribute to this, only with the aid of 21st-century technology in the form of an iPad whose software recorded each individual brushstroke as it was made, so when played back you get an uninterrupted view of the picture taking shape in a very similar fashion to the ones in the Clouzot film. Are there any other examples of major artists doing something like this? Because as a close-up look at the creative process in action it's absolutely riveting.

A major artist, though not perhaps a major painter: Oskar Fischinger's Motion Painting No. 1 is pretty much a stroke-by-stroke account of the artwork he's creating, with the crucial difference is that the painting is a means to an end in that case (i.e. the intended artwork is the film).

And Erice's Quince Tree Sun is an extraordinarily detailed depiction of the painting process, though not in so literal a way, as it's more focussed on how Antonio Lopez Garcia prepares his subject and himself for the painting (e.g. ensuring that his position and stance is always exactly the same) than the individual brush strokes.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:49 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:14 am
zedz wrote:
MichaelB wrote:
The recent documentary Hockney paid tribute to this, only with the aid of 21st-century technology in the form of an iPad whose software recorded each individual brushstroke as it was made, so when played back you get an uninterrupted view of the picture taking shape in a very similar fashion to the ones in the Clouzot film. Are there any other examples of major artists doing something like this? Because as a close-up look at the creative process in action it's absolutely riveting.

A major artist, though not perhaps a major painter: Oskar Fischinger's Motion Painting No. 1 is pretty much a stroke-by-stroke account of the artwork he's creating, with the crucial difference is that the painting is a means to an end in that case (i.e. the intended artwork is the film).

And Erice's Quince Tree Sun is an extraordinarily detailed depiction of the painting process, though not in so literal a way, as it's more focussed on how Antonio Lopez Garcia prepares his subject and himself for the painting (e.g. ensuring that his position and stance is always exactly the same) than the individual brush strokes.

The Quince Tree has long fascinated me, as I adore everything else Erice has made (its off subject, but his La Morte Rouge is just phenomenal)


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:20 pm 
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The Spanish DVD is wonderful (lots of extras - and it looks like it's still available from fnac.es), but the transfer is rather dated now and it would greatly benefit from a new restoration and, obviously, wider distribution.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:48 pm 
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Location: Worthing
Yes, I really should have recalled The Quince Tree Sun, which I haven't seen since it was out in 35mm. But I remember we played it a fair bit in rep at the time.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:50 am 
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For whoever is producing it at Arrow, be aware that the B&W sequences have a huge green bias despite having been shot on B&W stock. Hopefully, this can still be corrected for this release.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:08 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:12 am
zedz wrote:
The Spanish DVD is wonderful (lots of extras - and it looks like it's still available from fnac.es), but the transfer is rather dated now and it would greatly benefit from a new restoration and, obviously, wider distribution.


A new 4K restoration played Cannes Classics earlier this year, so hopefully someone puts it out


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:05 am 
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knives wrote:
This is a fabulous movie that should be a delight on Blu. Too bad Arrow couldn't snag the Resnais short on the Milestone disc.

Just rewatched this short and I'm gonna say the Milestone is worth keeping even for that alone.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:59 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 12:30 pm
Location: Brandywine River
Gremillon's André Masson et les 4 éléments would be a great fit on this disc too.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:12 pm 
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Beaver


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:56 pm
Location: Aldershot, Hampshire, UK
Ribs wrote:
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS

• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation, from materials supplied by Gaumont
• Original French mono audio (uncompressed LPCM)
• Optional English subtitles
• A Visit to Picasso, Paul Haesaerts’ 1949 BAFTA-winning documentary on the painter, capturing Picasso at work in his Vallauris studio
• La Garoupe, a 1937 ‘home movie’ by Man Ray, in black and white and colour, of Picasso and friends holidaying near Antibes
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by maarko phntm

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by author and illustrator John Coulthart


There are a couple of extras not listed above. A 25-minute interview with Maya Picasso, who was an assistant on the film is well worth watching, as she's quite candid in places. There's also a short restoration demonstration.


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