To coincide with the re-opening of France’s national Gustave Moreau Museum, this DVD release from Frémeaux & Associés proposes Nelly Kaplan’s film-presentation of the masterpieces contained in the museum/home of the great Symbolist master. The disc also contains three short-films by the same director in which she presents the graphical works of Victor Hugo and Rodolphe Bresdin, together with the famous Walter-Guillaume Collection at the Orangerie Museum in Paris. Christophe LOINTIER & Patrick FRÉMEAUX
Gustave Moreau 21’37 :When Nelly Kaplan invested funds from the Gustave Moreau Museum in 1961 to make her short-film on the master of Symbolism, the work of Moreau had been neglected for years. By drawing Baudelaire, Lautréamont, Huysmans, Breton (and Moreau himself) into the heart of her commentary, and by placing her camera very close to the motif in order to reveal the alchemy of colours and light contained there, the filmmaker mimed precisely those aims which the great painter had set for himself: “The evoking of thought in lines, arabesques and plastic means.”
Rodolphe Bresdin 17’20: “For want of a talent, he had genius,” emphasized Baudelaire impishly in referring to Rodolphe Bresdin. Unfairly neglected since the 19th century, the engraver seduced Huysmans, Breton and, lastly, Nelly Kaplan. She extends us an invitation to run our eye over an opus whose romantic élans thrust us into “headlong flight” towards fantasy landscapes populated by “creatures that seem to glide between two worlds.”
(Victor Hugo) Dessins et merveilles 11’27:“If he wasn’t a poet […], he’d be a first-rate painter,” cried Gautier on the subject of Victor Hugo. Nelly Kaplan unveils the work of the great man playing truant from literature — his ink and charcoal drawings, his sepias — while choosing two of its developments as inscriptions: the architectural and oceanic cycles.
La nouvelle Orangerie 8’07 : The filmmaker who directed La Fiancée du pirate and Le Regard Picasso (the Silver Lion at the 1967 Venice Festival, released through Frémeaux & Associés) guides us into the heart of the famous Walter-Guillaume Collection, gathered in 1966 at the Orangerie and comprising works by Cézanne, Renoir, Douanier Rousseau, Matisse, Derain, Picasso, Soutine… An edifying, colourful testament to fifty years of artistic creation in Paris, from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th.