Astounding time-lapse photography of Picasso painting. You chiefly see his paintings (without him) as if they were organic organisms evolving, growing, and mutating. Picasso's relentless energy is overwhelming. You quickly realize that beneath every painting of his are 100 other paintings that have been painted over. As one image morphs into another -- all equally riveting -- you wonder, what is Picasso searching for? He seems to be hunting for something as he layers one variation over another. He's said elsewhere (not much dialog here; just time lapse film) that he is not looking for beauty but truth. I decided he keeps painting over until he does something he's never done before. In the spirit of this layering, the two independent commentary tracks by two art historians are worth listening to and much preferred to the corny music soundtrack. It's not often we get to see greatness at work. This film, made by a French director in the 1950s, is a stroke of genius.
The Mystery of Picasso
Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot
1956, 75 min.
Rent from Netflix
Available from Amazon