May 9, 2011 at 9:15 AMMay (Cinema, Friends, Letter, Media, Musings, Poetry, Slice Of Life, Soliloquy)

[The following is the mail i wrote to a few friends based on my first viewing notes after watching the film Guernica, directed by Alain Resnais and Robert Hessens.]


This mail is to share my experience of watching GUERNICA, a short non-fiction film made by Alain Resnais and Robert Hessens.

In this film (1950) the paintings and sculpture of Picasso, made between 1902 and 1949, are used to tell the tragic story of Guernica, a city in Spain which was bombed by the Nazis in 1937, as an experiment. This horrific incident shook many and it also shook Picasso who went on to make a painting on the bombing and its destruction (pic attached). After travelling through few other paintings of Picasso, the film comes to this famous painting and concludes with a poem by Paul Eluard.

This short film (13 mins) was terrific to me because the film is constructed with only still images. These images do not move. But the cinematic tongue of camera and editing and also sound is used in such a fashion that these still images, connected till now only through its creator Picasso, get connected yet again through the filmmakers in yet another form of art, to tell a tragic story. But while constructing its own narrative the film doesn’t construct it relying completely on the narrative that the paintings and the sculpture holds. Using those images the film constructs its own narrative without making it appear like a ‘filmed painting and sculpture’ but a film made using images of painting and sculpture.

This is all i can write, as of now, though others thoughts are still unfolding in my mind. Before i go back to watching the film again and before i close this mail i have to share this with you: It seems when the painting Guernica was first exhibited a Nazi soldier came to Picasso and asked “Is it you who did the painting?” to which Picasso is said to have answered, “No. Not me, its you…”


– Samvartha ‘Sahil’


  1. We huffed and puffed - Blues for Levantium Lost » Blues for Levantium Lost said,

  2. For 64 years - Blues for Levantium Lost said,

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