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Thread: Movie review-"The mystery of Picasso"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Denver Colorado USA

    Movie review-"The mystery of Picasso"

    Thanks to Byron C. for having mentioned this movie as something that had changed his life, and made me want to see it as well. Turns out that is an easy thing to do, unbelievably Netflix has it. So there are few excuses for not seeing it, and I think every artist should.
    The Movie was made in the 50s, and it is such a hoot of a period piece, with black and white ultra dramatic lighting, and an over the top musical score that ranges from wild beatnik bongo frenzies, to full orchestra:-horns and bass drums blaring and beating as if the world itself was being created in front of your eyes, and then there is Picasso himself, smoking in his baggy shorts with no shirt. If you appreciate this campy sort of period piece, be sure to watch the trailer, it is worth the price of admission alone.
    The movie is comprised of 20 pieces, done just for the movie by Picasso. I will warn you, it starts out slow, with what seems to be ink sketches--you just see them appear on the screen-very much like watching a computer screen that you are painting on.
    And the first few there is no music and Picasso just seems to be doodling and I think-I can't watch 20 of these! But it gets better.
    By the time you get to "The goat head" maybe #15 or 16, things get very interesting. You see Picasso working his pieces inside out and over again.
    He seems to think nothing of redoing the same piece more times than you can count in an effort to get it out. It is fascinating to see the changes, at this point appearing not in brush strokes so much as complete segments being reworked.
    This reaches its wild pinnacle with a beach scene, #18 if I recall, and the changes are mindboggling. There must have been a hundred revisions and complete repaintings going on in front of your eyes in the span of 10 minutes or so, compressed from hours of real work of course..
    At one point in this, Picasso says "It is not going well" then, "it is really not going well" and you have to laugh. But he says it not in despair, but almost as an observer. And then, after all that, he ditches the painting, starts a new one of the same theme, and paints it in one take.
    The paintings--as opposed to his sketches, were my favorites, and these are in full color by the way.
    But it was also interesting to watch him start a sketch, ( he is a master at making a few beautiful lines speak volumes) and you think--nice sketch! and then, by the end he would sometimes push it too far and pretty much ruin it.
    Even the great Picasso! You find yourself saying;"Oh NO! Stop!!" but he is fearless, and quite willing to botch things, even on camera.
    It is so compelling to watch the dialog between the artist and the painting, a loop of creative response to what was just created, again and again, until the painting was considered done.
    It is so worth the small fee Netflix charges, I will give it two thumbs up!
    Last edited by Rob in Denver; 01-05-2010 at 03:29 AM.
    "If I could only learn to be humble, I would be so proud." Author Unknown.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Well now I have to see this! I never even knew a movie like this existed of him. I will give you some feedback after I watch. Thanks for the awesome review!!!
    "The significance is hiding in the insignificant. Appreciate everything."
    Eckhart Tolle

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