MOVIE TIME. LAUTREC, PICASSO & CO

AUTHOR: EKATERINA NECHAEVA 

Hi, guys! It’s been a while. Hope all of you are well and safe. Today I’m coming with a short-list of films about the art world at the turn of the XX century. Some artists are definitely familiar to you, while others could maybe attract the interest. Anyway, even if you just want to watch something aesthetically inspiring during this last weeks of the isolation, these movies are for you.

The first picture represents us one the most authoritative personality of that time, Pablo Picasso, the pioneer of Cubism and the devoted of Surrealism. Surviving Picasso (1996) by James Ivory announce: «Only his passion for women could rival his passion for painting».

Anthony Hopkins as Picasso and Natascha McElhone as his «La femme-fleur» Françoise Gilot (who is still alive btw) immerse us to that type of life when other people's needs are higher than personal even if it does not seem to be normal. Also with Julianne Moore as his muse Dora Maar and Joss Ackland as his close friend, Henri Matisse.

The next one gonna tell you a story about art, love and comprehension of the person who’s always been nearby Picasso and always been opposed to him. Modigliani (2004) by Mick Davis is not completely a historical movie but through it we are capable to feel a kind of pain and the force of envious rivalry between artists caused by their personal passions and talents. Various relations between such artistic personalities as Claude Monet(Ion Siminie), Cocteau(Peter Capaldi), Picasso(Omid Djalili) and others are presented.

Amadeo Modigliani

Jean Cocteau, 1916, The Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey, USA

Modigliani(Andy Garcia), an Italian modern and figurative painter based in Paris, meets Jeanne Hébuterne(Elsa Zylberstein), a young beautiful French artist. You will also observe a selfless love which is magical and suffering at the same time, the love of souls.

«When I know your soul, I will paint your eyes»

— Amedeo Modigliani.

Seated Nude, 1916, The Courtauld Gallery, London, England

Jeanne Hébuterne au chapeau, 1918, private collection

Talking about this French bohemia, I feel compelled to remind you of the Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris (2011) with Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard, Adrien Brody and Tom Hiddleston. Personally, I am in love with this film, which is light, passionate and sooo romantic. One day, returning home from work, I would love to be the main hero and meet Gertrude Stein or Scott Fitzgerald. Oh, my dreams, my endless dreams... By the way, one more chance to admire «how it used to be» Paris.

Now we gonna move a little bit in the history and watch Lautrec (1998) by Roger Planchon. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) was born, worked and died in France. This artist had to admire life from the height of 1m52 because of his health. But it was a bright, taking everything from life person. Living on Montmartre, he produced hundreds of posters for French cabarets. Lautrec(Régis Royer) was completely in love with work, women and joy. All this you will feel and see in this movie. As well as his sources of inspiration. I am sure, you already know some of his works, such as Jane Avril (1893), Yvette Guilbert chantant Linger, Longer, Loo (1894).

Jane Avril at the Jardin de Paris, 1893, private collection

Yvette Guilbert chantant Linger, Longer, Loo, 1894, Musée Pouchkine, Moscou, Russia

Toulouse Lautrec was also working for the posters of Marie-Louise Fuller’s performance in Paris. Stéphanie Di Giusto produced a marvellous film La danseuse (2016) about this American actress and dancer, knew as Loie Fuller(Stéphanie Sokolinski) who gave a birth to the modern danse.

«A story of inspiring passion for work and destructive passion for people».

Loie Fuller Poster

This young woman wanted to conquer the States but she tangled up in her costume on the stage and delighted everyone with a new «butterfly» danse. This film is beautiful, firstly, because of her performances, especially when she played with lights, and secondly, because of the force of this woman, her artistic desire and different personal experiences. Also with Gaspard Ulliel, Mélanie Thierry, Lily-Rose Depp and François Damiens.

Enjoy the aesthetics of this movies. Inspire yourself. And create!

P.S.: this dance I could film during the «Toulouse-Lautrec» exhibition in Grand Palais in Paris this winter. It was fantastic!

Photo by EKATERINA NECHAEVA