The Arts Council film collection contains some of the most ground-breaking and significant film portraits of the great masters of modern art. The Space is showing some of these rarely seen gems.
Winner of the Palme d’Or for best short film at the Cannes Films Festival in 1975, this animated film is based on the graphic work of artist Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. An atmospheric evocation of late 19th-century Parisian nightlife, director Geoff Dunbar’s homage to Toulouse–Lautrec’s drawings starts, of course, with the cancan.
The film is a series of animated visual riffs on the artist’s themes: poster images come to life, Yvette Guilbert sings a smoky chanson to a period recording of her voice, exquisite wildlife illustrations move on the page and the circus comes to town. A brief sequence of contemporary photographs is included, to moving effect, portraying Lautrec with the people he lived among and drew.
You can watch another award-winning animated classic from the 1970s featuring the great Japanese artist Hokusai, whose work, like Lautrec’s, had a strongly graphic quality.
Explore a selection of animated content that has been featured on The Space by following this link.