Directed by Amelie Harrault & Pauline Gaillard • Documentary • 2020 • 53 minutes
Episode 1: Bohemia
In joyous, early 20th century Montmartre, a band of penniless artists comprising Max Jacob, Picasso, Apollinaire, Derain and Vlaminck, among others, takes up residence in an old piano factory: le Bateau-Lavoir.
Soon enough, anyone who is anyone in the way of painters, writers, and art collectors is rubbing shoulders in the shabby-chic hallways of their warehouse. The bohemian lifestyle that they cultivate revolves around doing work, meeting muses, and making merry.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Seine, Matisse, known for leading a life of austerity, is busy turning the established order upside down at the Salon d’Automne of 1905, exhibiting works that burst with flamboyant color. Fauvism is born. From within the murky halls of the Bateau-Lavoir, Picasso prepares his response. Paying homage to their respective visions of modernity, the two painters ready their brushes for a contest of canvases.