Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Biopic About Modigliani

One of my all-time favorite film performances delivered by an actor illuminates a foreign biopic that, I believe, is not widely known here in the USA.  The 1958 film is about Amodeo Modigliani, the painter.  We see that the gifted yet poor painter, an excessive drinker, is nearing an untimely death.  He'd die at the age of 35.  Ironically, the gifted French actor who played him was also nearing an untimely death.  He'd die at the age of 36.  The film, MONTPARNASSE 19, is coming out on Blu-ray.  This look at the sad life of Modigliani starred the late Gérard Philipe.
I discovered this film in September 2013 and blogged about it.  Modi, as the artist is called, has a pitiful life.  He makes very little money.  His artwork, for the most part, goes unappreciated.  It's treated like water from the faucet.  It's taken for granted until the day its service is turned off.  Even when his artwork does gain attention and his luck seems to change, the attention turns cold because of society's limited vision and conservative sexual mores. In death, Modigliani will be acclaimed.  His artwork will sell for millions of dollars.
If you have time, go into my blog pieces for 2013, September, and find my FRENCH STAR AS MODIGLIANI post.
I read the news that MONTPARNASSE 19 is getting a Blu-ray release on the www.dvdbeaver.com website.  Look for the Blu-ray drama film release on www.arrowfilms.com.  Or check www.amazon.com.

When I saw Gérard Philipe's performance back in September 2013, I knew I would have to see it again.  And I did.  About three times the following week.  Philipe's performance drew me into the soul of his character and stayed with me long after the film was over.  Philipe's brilliance and emotional nakedness lingered in my heart for days like a sweet ghost.  He's so moving in MONTPARNASSE 19.  From what I've read, he's a film icon in France because of his talent and untimely death. Like Marilyn Monroe and James Dean here in the U.S.  I bet that, had he lived and worked with Godard and Truffaut in French New Wave films of the 1960s, he'd be known to classic film fans here in America today.  Gérard Philipe died of liver cancer in 1959.

Jacques Becker directed MONTPARNASSE 19.  Also starring in his biopic are Anouk Aimée, Lilli Palmer and the rugged Lino Ventura.
Check out my September 2013 blog post, FRENCH STAR AS MODIGLIANI for more on this portrait of an artist dying young with an unforgettable performance by Gérard Philipe.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing, nice post!

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