Surviving Picasso

Synopsis: In 1943, a young painter, Françoise Gilot (1921- ) meets Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), already the most celebrated artist in the world. For the next ten years, she is his mistress, bears him two children, is his muse, and paints within his element. She also learns slowly about the other women who have been or still are in his life: Dora Maar, Marie- Thérèse (whose daughter is Picasso's), and Olga Koklowa, each of whom seems deeply scarred by their life with Picasso. Gilot's response is to bring each into her relationship with Picasso. How does one survive Picasso? She keeps painting, and she keeps her good humor and her independence. When the time comes, she has the strength to leave.
Director(s): James Ivory
Production: Warner Home Video
Rotten Tomatoes:
125 min


Good morning.

Good morning.



Let's see.



A masterpiece.

You like that?




Uh, what? What?


My version of it.




They are your parents?



Why, uh, do you

paint like this?


Uh, why do you paint like this?


Oh, I'm sorry. That's not mine.

That's, uh, my friend

braque, George braque.

It's hard to tell the

difference sometimes.

It's all so long ago.

What is it called?

Guitar, bow tie,

and fruit bowl.

There's the bow tie...


But, uh, where

is the fruit bowl?

Ah ha-ha.




It is all, uh, fantasy?

All fantasy from up here.

This is also by braque.

Matisse, Henri Matisse.




What is the value

you would put on all this?

It's hard to say.

Unfortunately, nobody wants to

pay me much for any of this.

Why don't you make me

a reasonable offer?


My wife would have

something to say to me

if I brought home

a woman like that

to hang on our wall.

Ha ha ha.

What about you?

No, I think not. No.

Good evening, sir.

Good evening.

Here we are again.



My friends.

Friends? Who are they, huh?

They admire you very much.

Of course they do.



Good. Yes.


Bon soir.

Great pleasure.

Bon soir.

My dear.

Bon soir.



I showed them everything.


Here, boy.


braque, everything.

I showed them some early

drafts of guernica.

Last year they ransacked

my house,

and they walked off with my linen

and left my paintings behind.

How insulting.

Preferring my towels and

my sheets to my paintings.

Kazbec! No!

No, no! Bad boy!

How many times

do you have to be told?

You know very well

what your doctor said.

Begging? I'm ashamed.

Who are your friends, Pierre?

Francoise. Genevieve.

What do you do?

I'm a painter.

Painter? Like me. And you?


Share the same studio?

Who's your favorite painter?

Van gogh.

Van gogh? Yeah, he's all right.


I don't know.

Who are your friends?

Francoise and Genevieve.

They're painters.

What do they paint...

Besides their fingernails?

He's going through

his usual routine.

"Oh, so you're painters.

"I'm a painter, too.

"Come to my studio,

I'd like to show you my work.

"I know your face so well.

I painted it before

you were even born."

You must come to my studio sometime.

I'll show you around.

You know, I've painted your

face before you were born.

No one stops you on the street

and says you're a Picasso?

No? Never?

We have an appointment

to see monsieur Picasso.

He told us to come.

To see his work.

"That spread over a

sky dripping with herring,

"fished out of

a ploughed-over ocean,

broiling under a myriad sun."

"Torso and testicle,

"where's the party you promised

"with fiery men

of eternal erections

"rising out of flaming bushes

"to heat up our cold caves?

"At least get the soup,

so I can warm my feet

in its noodles."

Second man:
"My aunt had a

cat that swallowed a parrot

and cried out all day long in a

voice as dulcet as yours..."

"Food, food, food!"

"Food! Food!"


"Food! Food!"

Good. On.

"Lie down, my sweet

turtle, and"... lie down.

"And let me walk

your starry planet

with my 6-toed feet

of pliant rubber."

"We're respectable,

licensed whores,

"so hold your filthy tongue

and supply us with

your sturdier organ."

"At your service, madame."

"They leap over a tub in which

sea urchins are boiling

in an orgasm

of frenetic excitement."

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Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, (7 May 1927 – 3 April 2013) was a German-born British and American Booker prize-winning novelist, short story writer and two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter. She is perhaps best known for her long collaboration with Merchant Ivory Productions, made up of director James Ivory and producer Ismail Merchant. After moving to India in 1951, she married Cyrus S. H. Jhabvala, an Indian-Parsi architect. The couple lived in New Delhi and had three daughters. Jhabvala began then to elaborate her experiences in India and wrote novels and tales on Indian subjects. She wrote a dozen novels, 23 screenplays, and eight collections of short stories and was made a CBE in 1998 and granted a joint fellowship by BAFTA in 2002 with Ivory and Merchant. She is the only person to have won both a Booker Prize and an Oscar. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"Surviving Picasso" STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 21 Aug. 2019. <>.

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