French filmmaker Henri-Georges Clouzot was a contemporary of Alfred Hitchcock's and his films -- most notably Diabolique, were often compared to the oeuvre of the Master of Suspense. In 1955 the director joined forces with artist Pablo Picasso to document the creative process by placing the camera behind a semitransparent surface, which allowed ink to bleed through. As a result, the movie screen becomes the canvas, displaying a perfect reverse image as Picasso creates, stroke by stroke. The Mystery of Picasso is, in fact, a suspense film. The tension builds with each stroke of the artist's brush as the work emerges in front of the audience's eyes. Picasso's paintings from the film were reportedly destroyed after the production, but at least some are known to exist in private collections. Nevertheless, this remarkable look into the creative process moved the French government to declare the film a national treasure in 1984. The Mystery of Picasso is screened tonight at 7 p.m. at the Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park as part of the Cinema St. Louis' Classic French Film Festival. Admission is $10 to $12. For more information visit www.cinemastlouis.org.
Fri., June 20, 7 p.m., 2014