Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot • 1956 • France
Starring Pablo Picasso
In 1955, Henri-Georges Clouzot joined forces with his friend Pablo 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 semitransparent surface on which the artist drew with special inks that bled through. Clouzot thus captured a perfect reverse image of Picasso’s brushstrokes, turning the motion-picture screen into the artist’s canvas. Here, the master creates, and sometimes obliterates, twenty works (most of them, in fact, destroyed after the shoot), ranging from playful black-and-white sketches to vivid color murals. Exhilarating, mesmerizing, enchanting, and unforgettable, THE MYSTERY OF PICASSO is simply one of the greatest documentaries on art ever made.