Film with introductory remarks by Benedict Leca, Executive Director of the Redwood Library & Athenaeum and editor of “Monet In Giverny Landscapes of Reflection”
Books will be on sale after the show and all proceeds will benefit the Friends of the Jane Pickens Theater
Discover the fascinating inner life of one of the world’s most famous artists
I, Claude Monet, a fresh new documentary based entirely on Claude Monet’s personal letters, will reveal Monet the artist, businessman and lover as never before. Disposing of traditional narration and talking heads, I, Claude Monet allows Monet to tell his story in his own words. Based on three thousand surviving letters, the film reveals a tumultuous inner life marked by moments of intense depression and euphoric creation, offering a complex portrait of one of the world’s best loved artists. I, Claude Monet also features over a hundred of Monet’s paintings filmed in high- definition, providing a unique window into his emotional and creative life. Brought to life by acclaimed actor Henry Goodman, Monet’s letters record his journey from prodigiously talented teenager to the grand old man of arts. They record remarkable encounters – from the painter Eugène Boudin, who he met as an enthusiastic amateur, to Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, with whom he struck up a friendship as an elderly man. Many letters confront Monet’s despair, depression, and even attempted suicide, as a result of poverty, obscurity, ill-health and his relationships with his wives - Camille Doncieux and, secondly, Alice Hoschedé. “I am absolutely sickened with and demoralized by this life I’ve been leading for so long.” But in equal measure his correspondence celebrates the joys of painting and the natural world, inspired by his travels across Europe. In order to capture this euphoria, the film travels to the very spots Monet painted and wrote his letters, from Paris to Venice, London to Le Havre. “Every day I discover more and more beautiful things. My head is bursting - I want to paint it all”
Phil Grabsky, director of the film, says: 'I love making biographies because when you carefully read the correspondence, travel back to the original locations and look hard at the paintings, a richer and more honest personality emerges. That is absolutely the case with Monet - there is nothing 'chocolate box' about this impressionist. What comes across so forcefully is his passion, his endless searching and, yes, his genius'.