A young Pablo Picasso sits at his easel. Quite unexpectedly, he looks up to find himself an old man in a strange, rocky demesne. He spies a minotaur sitting at a very similar easel, at work rendering a portrait of a nude model. Old Picasso watches as the minotaur puts down his charcoal and devours his model; Picasso wisely filches the stick of charcoal while the monster is occupied and runs deeper into the grim labyrinth that cages them, marking his path with the charcoal but the relentless minotaur follows, his bloodlust unsated. Juan Pablo Etcheverry's Minotauromaquia, Pablo in the Labyrinth, a stop-motion animated short film, is a wordless adventure, a parable of the artist's struggle. As Picasso delves into the maze, he encounters elements and subjects from his large body of paintings; from above, the labyrinth's tortuous paths look similar to the whorls and switchbacks of the human brain. Is the minotaur actually stalking Picasso, or is he driving Picasso ever forward? In ten brief minutes, many questions are raised about the artist and his works, while Igor Stravinsky's Firebird Suite provides an ominous and gorgeous soundtrack. Minotauromaquia screens at 7 p.m. this evening in the auditorium of the Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park (314-721-0072 or www.slam.org) as part of the Prizewinners from the International Festival of Films on Art program. Admission is $3 to $5, and Aliona Van Der Horst's documentary about the dedicated employees of Russia's state museum, The Hermitage Dwellers, is also on the schedule.
Fri., Jan. 5