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The Mystery of Picasso
75min. Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot.
Starring Pablo Picasso, Henri-Georges Clouzot, Claude Renoir
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, Diabolique), is making a movie.
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.
Presented in partnership with The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia.
All seats for all shows are reserved and can be purchased at the cinema or online.
To ensure that you will have a seat for your desired show, buy your ticket online. If you print out your ticket at home, you can skip checking in at the counter and be ready when seating is announced.
Food & Drinks
Food and drinks are available and can be taken into the auditorium with you.
Arriving NO LESS THAN 45 minutes early is advisable as it allows time to relax in the lounge while your order is prepared. Please be aware that there is no in-theater wait staff. Each chair has a fold out table on which to place your food and drinks.
Violet Crown Charlottesville200 W Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22902 Get Directions