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Free movie series continues at the Cultural Center on March 12

The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History’s movie series continues on Saturday, March 12, 2005, with two showings at 1 and 4 p.m. at the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex, Charleston. The film series is free and open to the public.

The Mystery of Picasso (75 minutes, 1955), directed by France’s master filmmaker Henri-Georges Clouzot (Diabolique), sets out to demonstrate the relationship between creation and destruction in the artistic process. In 1955, Clouzot teamed with his friend Pablo Picasso to capture as many aspects of the painter’s working methods as possible. Clouzot placed the camera in front of Picasso while the artist worked, thus capturing reverse images of brush strokes in motion. This entirely new kind of art documentary captures the moment and the mystery of creativity. Picasso created 20 artworks for the film, ranging from black-and-white sketches to widescreen color paintings. Using inks that bled through the paper, Picasso rapidly created fanciful drawings that Clouzot was able to film from the reverse side, capturing their creation in real time. When the artist decided to paint in oils, the filmmaker switched to color film and employed stop-motion animation. By contract, almost all of these paintings were destroyed when the film was completed. Unavailable for more than a decade, The Mystery of Picasso is a mesmerizing film experience. France declared the movie a national treasure in1984.

For more information about the free film series or other events at the Cultural Center, call (304) 558-0162 or visit our website at

The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at for more information about programs of the Division. The Department of Arts, Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.