Sunday, October 3, 2010


I've just watch the movie Seraphine (2008) about Seraphine Louis (aka Seraphine of Senlis), a slow moving, achingly beautiful French film about this obscure self-taught painter discovered by art collector Whilhelm Uhde - his life seems just as fascinating as Seraphine's- a German Jew fleeing France in World War One and hiding in the south of France during World War Two. Uhde was one of the first to buy Picasso's work and also discovered Henri Rousseau.

The film unravels slowly, we meet Seraphine the devout, vacant cleaner who we later discover secretly paints at night. Uhde becomes her mentor after seeing her work in Senlis, but has to flee due to the war. Thankfully he comes back and in the intervening years Seraphine has done what he instructed her to do - keep painting - and her work has reached a whole new level of beauty and complexity. Without giving too much more away, it is a wonderful story, another bitter sweet biopic about an extraordinary life. For me, better than the recent biopics I have seen on Darwin and Tolstoy, much more interwoven and not as depressing (however, it is still fairly sad, as is life).

A really interesting film and a great performance by Yolande Moreau (most well known for her roles in Jean-Pierre Jeunet's films -like Micmacs and Amelie where she was the weeping neighbor Madeleine Wallace, whose husband had run off with his secretary ).

Go to the official website if you want to watch the trailer for this beautiful film, it will certainly make you want to know more about this remarkable woman.

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