By Bad Seed
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Directed by James Ivory
Produced by Ismail Merchant
David L. Wolper
Humbert Balsan (co-producer)
Donald Rosenfeld (executive)
Paul Bradley (executive)
Written by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Starring Anthony Hopkins
Music by Richard Robbins
Cinematography Tony Pierce-Roberts
Editing by Andrew Marcus
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) 20 September 1996
Running time 125 min
Surviving Picasso is a 1996 Merchant Ivory Film starring Anthony Hopkins as the famous painter Pablo Picasso. It was shot in Paris and southern France.
Directed by James Ivory and produced by Ismail Merchant and David L. Wolper. Screenplay by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala loosely based on the biography Picasso: Creator and Destroyer by Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington.
The film starts with Françoise meeting Picasso in Paris during the German occupation of the city, where Picasso is complaining that people broke into his house and stole his linen, rather than his paintings. It shows Françoise being beaten by her father after telling him she wants to be a painter, rather than a lawyer. Picasso is shown as often not caring about other people's feelings, firing his driver after a long period of service, and as a womanizer, saying that he can sleep with whomever he wants.
The film is seen through the eyes of his lover Françoise Gilot (Natascha McElhone). Because the producers were unable to get permission (as usual) to show the works of Picasso in the film, the film is more about Picasso's personal life rather than his works, and where it does show paintings, they are not of his more famous works. When Picasso is shown painting Guernica, the camera sits high above the painting, with the work only slightly visible.
The film depicts several of the women who were important in Picasso's life, such as Olga Picasso (played by Jane Lapotaire), Dora Maar (played by Julianne Moore), Marie-Thérèse Walter (played by Susannah Harker), and Jacqueline Roque (played by Diane Venora).
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