The Mystery of Picasso
(Le mystère Picasso)

Screening on Film
Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot.
France, 1956, 35mm, color and b&w, 78 min.
French with English subtitles.

Clouzot could not have followed up his shocking Les Diaboliques, with its impossibly pessimistic view of human nature, with a more different film. Here, the viewer is allowed to watch Pablo Picasso in the act of creation, sketching and painting on a translucent screen, accompanied by a soundtrack ranging from bebop to flamenco. Interspersed are shots of the 75-year-old genius mugging for the camera. Many of the paintings in this technically adventurous and life-affirming work were destroyed after its production, and exist only in this unique film.

Part of film series

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Treasures from the Harvard Film Archive: A–Z

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Séance Screenings

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The Complete Henri-Georges Clouzot