- Rated: PG
- Run Time: 1 hours, 15 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: January 14, 2003
- Originally Released: 1956
- Label: Image Entertainment
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Dolby Digital Mono - French
- Additional Release Material:
- Archie Rand - painter and Professor of Art, Columbia University
- Featurette: GUERNICA (1950), directed by Alan Resnais
- Audio Commentary: Peggy Parsons - Curator of Film, National Gallery of Art,
- Interactive Features:
- Scene Selection
- Interactive Menus
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Memorable Quotes and Dialog:
"This is very bad."
- Pablo Picasso, examining one of the paintings he created for the film
Cannes 1956 -
Los Angeles Times - 02/19/1986
"...Clouzot not only takes you into Picasso's den, he strips away all obstructions -- including the artist..."
Wall Street Journal - 01/30/2014
"[A] magical, indispensable study of Pablo Picasso in the throes of creation."
The friendship between French director Henri-Georges Clouzot (THE WAGES OF FEAR, DIABOLIQUE) and Pablo Picasso allowed Clouzot to film the legendary artist as he created 20 original works (ranging from black-and-white sketches to full color paintings). The result is THE MYSTERY OF PICASSO, an in valuable look at the most influential artist of the 20th century at work. Picasso destroyed nearly all the canvases after filming was completed. Generally considered to be one of the greatest documentaries on art ever made, the film was declared a national treasure of France in 1984.
Description by Image Entertainment:
Like a matador confronting a bull, the artist approaches his easel. As he wields his brush, the painting dances into being before our eyes. Pablo Picasso, the most influential artist of the 20th century, is making art, and famous French director Henri-Georges Clouzot (Diabolique, The Wages of Fear) is making a movie. This entirely new kind of art documentary captures the moment and the mystery of creativity; for the film, the master created 20 artworks, ranging from playful black-and-white sketches to widescreen color paintings. Using inks that bled through the paper, Picasso rapidly created fanciful drawings that Clouzot was able to film from the reverse side, capturing their creation in real time. When the artist decided to paint in oils, the filmmaker switched to color film and employed the magic of stop-motion animation. By contract, almost all of these paintings were destroyed when the film was completed. Unavailable for more than a decade, "The Mystery of Picasso" is exhilarating, mesmerizing, and unforgettable; it is simply one of the greatest documentaries on art ever made. The French government agrees; in 1984 it declared the film a national treasure.
Art / Artists |
- Director Henri-Georges Clouzot and Pablo Picasso were friends and neighbors. The film originally was going to be a short, but it turned into a much longer project.
- Picasso destroyed most of the canvases once the movie was finished because he wanted them to exist only on celluloid, created for the film and the film only.