PICASSO – A PAINTER’S DIARY
(1980) (RT 90:00)
(Produced and Directed by Perry Miller Adato)
“My work is my diary. For those who know how to read, I have painted my autobiography.” Picasso has left a diary and not just in paint. In addition to more than 6000 paintings, Picasso created sketches, drawings, sculpture, toys, ceramic pottery, collages, costumes and stage sets. All were connected to a particular moment in his life; even his most enigmatic cubist paintings were never divorced from reality. But the documentary does more than discover the sources of Picasso’s work– it asks: what does Picasso himself have to say? Much of the narrative consists of excerpts from Picasso’s letters, diaries, notebooks, interviews and writings voiced by the fine actor, Hector Elizando.
This passionately researched portrait is, in effect, a Picasso film retrospective, from his childhood drawings in Malaga, Spain to his last paintings made in Cannes, France. The film combines famous and seldom seen examples of his work relating them to the places he lived, events that moved him, the art he saw and the women he loved. The viewer is transported thru on-location cinematography to Barcelona, Horta de Ebro (Spain), to Paris and to Picasso’s home “La Californie” on the French Riviera. In Paris, daughter Paloma Picasso and son Claude Picasso emphasize that there was no distinction between their father’s artistic life and his personal life. In other locations, Spanish and French critics and writers who have devoted much of their professional lives to Picasso’s oeuvre, plus the famed photographer Brassai, painter Joan Miro and a few intimate friends, express penetrating and contrasting views of the complex artist. They offer keen recollections and anecdotes, critical, pungent and/or affectionate. William Rubin (former Director of the Dept. of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art) had a unique relationship with Picasso. Their long friendship enabled him to create MOMA’s remarkable Picasso collection and, in extensive conversations on-camera, to give the viewer of Picasso: A Painter’s Diary an inside look and a deeper appreciation of this great figure of twentieth century art.