Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Pablo Picasso was born on this day in 1881: Let's watch a movie.


Picasso—born on October 25, 1881—proves that the genius of a man—whether he is a great artist or a film producer—doesn’t make him a great man, as a human being. From what we know, when it comes to women, Picasso was a bit of a pig. 

Portrait of Dora Maar/1937

But we can’t deny his genius with a canvas. Today marks the great artists’ birthday. You can celebrate by streaming Surviving Picasso based on the biography Picasso: Creator & Destroyer by Arianna Huffington. The James Ivory directed film stars the great actor Anthony Hopkins (who I hope is, if not a great man in his personal life, at least a decent one) as Picasso. While the 1996 movie was not well-received, Hopkins of course, gave his usual excellent performance. 

he disappears into the idea of Picasso. As Hopkins creates Picasso, he is cruel, abrupt, vain, stingy, a sexual glutton, and yet we can see the dazzling charm and effortless confidence--the certainty of greatness--that inspired new lovers to pursue him, brushing aside all warnings. (“Listen,” says Picasso's servant as Gilot falls into the net, “it would be better for you to go home.”) Roger Ebert, 1996

Portrait of Fran├žoise Gilot, Picasso, 1947


Natascha McElhone stars as Fran├žoise Gilot, the woman who survived her relationship, Joan Plowright as her grandmother, Julianne Moore as Dora Maar, and Joss Ackland as Henri Matisse. 


I missed this movie when it hit theaters back in 1996 as I was first time mother to a three year old. If I went to the movies it would have been to see James and the Giant Peach or 101 Dalmatians. Happily I can stream Surviving Picasso for a few dollars on YouTube, Amazon, Vudu, iTunes and GooglePlay. How about you? Have you seen it? Thoughts?

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