Directed by Alain Resnais • Documentary • 1949 • 13 minutes
PAUL GAUGUIN uses the artist’s own writings and artwork to trace his creative journey. The film begins with Gauguin losing his job in finance—the catalyst for his commitment to paint every day—and continues through to his final days in Tahiti.
After leaving Paris, Gauguin settles in Brittany, where he is inspired the landscape and the locals. In the sound of their clogs, he writes, “I hear the muffled, dull, powerful sound I seek in my painting.” After a time though, Gauguin, miserable and impoverished, sets off for Tahiti. Here, he would create the paintings that would bring him lasting fame, but near the end of his life he considered his Tahitian sojourn a “crazy sad adventure.”
Recently digitized and restored, PAUL GAUGUIN masterfully melds writing and visual art, providing insights into Gauguin’s life and artistic development.
PAUL GAUGUIN is one of a series of impressive short films on art made by the great French New Wave director Alain Resnais, early in his career.