Balthus: Through the Looking Glass [DVD] [1997]

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Special Features

  • Three Balthusian Lessons - Painter François and art critics Jean Clair and Jean Leymarie offer three visions of the artist's work, based on the sacred, the profane, and the Japanese Zen concept of satori
  • Tea Time at the Grand Chalet - As the model, Anna, takes tea with Balthus and Setsuko, this easygoing yet instructive film captures the multi-faceted personality of the painter whose sunny mood clouds over when he considers the work on his easel


Balthus: Through the Looking Glass
With this 1997 film, acclaimed documentarist Damian Pettigrew (Fellini: I'm A Born Liar) creates a biographical portrait of Balthasar Klossowski de Rola (1908-2001), also known as Balthus - a French-born modernist painter whose thickly-painted portraits of lyrically-posed, often nude adolescent girls (while non-exploitative) made him both unique and highly controversial in his day. Pettigrew visits Balthus in his Swiss studio, just four years prior to his death, for a firsthand look at the artist's unique creative process. Pettigrew also conducts and interpolates interviews with those in Balthus's family and social circle, and works in still photographs of the artist and his work by such luminaries as Irving Penn and Henri Cartier-Bresson. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Bernard Verley
    Bernard Verley - Narrator
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