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20th Century Artists Highlighted in Free Film Series at the Clark

For Immediate Release

September 13, 2007

Modern artists from Chagall to Crumb are the subject of a free film series at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute this fall. Sweeping the twentieth century from beginning to end “Documenting Modern Artists: More Portraits in Film” includes two heroes of modernism and two antiheroes of postmodernism. Films will be shown at 4 and 7:30 pm on select Fridays beginning September 28.

First in the series is The Mystery of Picasso  (1956, 75 minutes, rated PG, French, with subtitles) on September 28. Unrivaled for immediacy, Henri-Georges Clouzot brings to this portrait of the fabled painter the same drive and dynamism that fueled his classic thrillers. It's a bullfight! It's an act of love! It's a bravura performance! It's Pablo painting. Nothing else is required to rivet your attention.

October 5 will feature Homage to Chagall (1977, 88 minutes, not rated). Harry Rasky brings a more traditional approach to a film portrait of the artist and his work. Both Chagall's life and work are admirable, demonstrating "The Colours of Love," as the subtitle suggests. The elderly Chagall and his wife make engaging interlocutors.

In Crumb (1994, 119 minutes, rated R) on October 19 Terry Zwigoff digs deep into the psyche of Robert Crumb, the underground cartoonist and obsessive draftsman, and elicits startling testimony from his brothers, wives, and other family, along the border between madness and genius, with equal attention to both sides.

Concluding the series is How to Draw a Bunny (2002, 90 minutes, rated R) on October 26. John W. Walter explores that same border in this inquest into the life and death of Ray Johnson, a denizen of the downtown New York scene who retreats to Long Island and obsession, with many major contemporary artists testifying to his importance.

Upcoming cinematic events at the Clark include: a lecture on Greta Garbo and a screening of Queen Christina on October 20 and the series “In Amorous Fashion: Films of Fragonard’s France” on select Saturday afternoons starting November 17.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, MA. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and under, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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