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WORDS BY PHIL GRABSKY
Sunday morning and catching up. I’m too busy to even go for a run today but with Christmas around the corner there’s a lot to get done. Last Friday we finished YOUNG PICASSO which I think is one of the best films we’ve done. I think we had the idea almost four years ago so it has been a long time in the making.
I personally have learnt a huge amount about this titan of art history. I know plenty of people actually know relatively little about Picasso’s origins – and the importance certain cities played in his development. Too often films just list achievements without explanation: I like to know why a small child from Málaga rises to become arguably the greatest artist of the 20th century. The 26-year-old that paints Les Demoiselles d’Avignon: where does he come from, who does he learn from, was he just plain lucky? And so on. I hadn’t realised what a full and fascinating youth Picasso had has – and I was extremely fortunate to be able to work with the experts of the (wonderful) Picasso museums in Spain and France.
Once again, I urge you to luxuriate in the artwork on the big screen. My word, he is quite extraordinary from such a young age. The film is out in February: don’t miss it. The blue period paintings in ultra HD on the big screen are worth the price of admission alone. Meanwhile, our film DEGAS: PASSION FOR PERFECTION is doing OK on its release. I admit I wish we were getting the kind of numbers that theatre and opera get in the cinema but we’ll just keep plodding away. Certainly we get a lot of great reaction to the films themselves so that’s very motivating. I don’t think Degas was very well known by even those who declare themselves lovers of the impressionist period (which frankly should be all of us!). We’ve just had some great reviews out of France echoing that: see the Degas film in your local cinema and (re)-discover an artist you probably didn’t really know or appreciate. France is such a tough market – cinephiles for sure but awash with films and with a preference for French-speaking (and why not?) or Hollywood. Again, we’ll carve out our niche and keep beavering away.
My colleague David is currently editing VAN GOGH & JAPAN and that’s going to be a cracker too. This is a fascinating time in the world of cinema as so many are built in new territories: I was recently invited to speak at a cinema conference in Dubai and I have to say I was staggered by the money being spent on absolutely high-end cinemas (albeit often in shopping malls) across the middle east and United Arab Emirates. Billions of dollars. It’s true that it’s Hollywood and Bollywood that are what most screens will show but I think with determination I can pop our films on the odd screen now and again! And we have to believe art has the power to influence and change…. Enjoy your day; why not walk down to your local gallery and pop in and say hi. Talk to us on our facebook and Instagram sites – let us know which galleries and which painters you love.