Mystery of Picasso, The
Like a matador confronting a bull, the artist approaches his easel, his eyes blazing. As he wields his brush, we see through the canvas as the artwork unfolds, erupts, dances into being before our eyes. Pablo Picasso, the most influential artist of the twentieth century, is making a painting, and Henri-Georges Clouzot, the famous French director (The Wages of Fear and Diabolique), is making a movie. And what a movie! The Mystery of Picasso stands alone as the greatest film about art and the creator.
In 1955, Clouzot joined forces with his friend Picasso to make an entirely new kind of art film "a film that could capture the moment and the mystery of creativity." Together, they devised an innovative technique the filmmaker placed his camera behind a semi-transparent surface on which the artist drew with special inks that bled through.
Clouzot thus captured a perfect reverse image of Picasso's brushstrokes and the motion picture screen itself becomes the artist's canvas. Here, the master creates, and sometimes obliterates, 20 works (most of them, in fact, destroyed after the shoot), ranging from playful black-and-white sketches to Cinemascope color murals "artworks which evolve in minutes through the magic of stop-motion animation. Unavailable for more than a decade, The Mystery of Picasso is exhilarating, mesmerizing, enchanting and unforgettable. It is simply one of the greatest documentaries on art ever made. The French government agreed" in 1984 it declared the film a national treasure.
"When we are all dead, you and me and everyone," said Clouzot to Picasso, "the film will still continue to be projected."
The DVD includes Alain Resnais' short film Guernica, a commentary track by Peggy Parsons, curator, Film Program at the National Gallery of Art and a second commentary track by Archie Rand, painter and professor of Art at Columbia University.
Also available in 35mm prints for Theatrical and Nontheatrical.
(Note to Projectionists: the film is intentional in two different aspect ratios. The first three reels are in 1:33.1 and the last reel intentionally widens to Cinemascope!)
An Explanation of Home, Classroom, and Public Performance Rights
US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to show a film publicly outside of a scheduled class need to purchase DVDs, DVD-Rs, and Blu-rays at the institutional rate — which grants 3-year in-house streaming rights and an on-site public performance license. This in-house streaming license is for a term of three years from the date of purchase and grants the purchasing institution the right to stream over a single secure server with a password-protected connection. Streaming access must be strictly limited to currently enrolled students, faculty, and staff. Streaming rights extensions can be negotiated with Milestone after the initial three-year term has lapsed. Milestone retains the right to terminate this agreement at any time. No broadcast, Internet or other rights are granted or implied.These rights are for on-site use only per the license agreement. For more information on
Similarly, US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to show a film publicly outside of a scheduled class via Milestone’s streaming site must contact Milestone to arrange a separate public performance license. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to screen a DVD, DVD-R, or Blu-ray they already own in an open showing must purchase a public performance license. For more information, please email email@example.com.
The purchase of DVDs, DVD-Rs, and Blu-rays at the institutional rate by anyone outside of a North American non-profit educational institution does not grant rights for public performance or streaming.
Any continuous or loop screenings as part of a museum exhibition must also be licensed separately. Inquiries must be negotiated directly with Milestone by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information for Exhibitors Screening DCPs and Film Prints
All bookings must be made by phone or email correspondence with Amy Heller (201.767.3117 or email@example.com) to negotiate terms and insure a screening copy is available. An order is only finalized when Milestone sends a written confirmation.
DCPs are shipped insured for their cost via Federal Express or UPS and must be returned the same way or by an equivalent method. Shipping and handling charges for outgoing DCPs appear on your invoice. The immediate return or transshipment (as directed) of all DCPs is your responsibility.
DCPs should be returned to:
Milestone Film & Video
38 George Street
Harrington Park, New Jersey 07640-0128
35mm and 16mm prints are shipped insured for their cost via Federal Express or UPS and must be returned the same way or by an equivalent method. Please do not ship prints back via US Mail. Exhibitor pays to ship both ways. Shipping and handling charges for outgoing prints appear on your invoice. The immediate return of all prints is your responsibility.
Prints should be returned insured for $1,000 to:
Attn: Milestone Account
235 Main Street
Little Falls, NJ 07424
For public screenings, advertising materials can be requested by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Milestone is the exclusive licensor for all the titles in this catalog, all of which are available here in their complete versions.