by: Madison Barnes
LATIN QUARTER is set for revival after a long hike through development hell. Cinema Arts Group has attached Antonio Banderas, Monica Bellucci, and Gael Bernal to star in the Pablo Picasso biopic after developing the script since August 2001. Robert Powell is producing and Gary Van Haas is working on the current version of the script.
The film chronicles the story of Picasso’s time in Paris leading up to the famous paintings that lead to Cubism. Cubist art is highly subjective, but is defined as “an early 20th-century style and movement in art, esp. painting, in which perspective with a single viewpoint was abandoned and use was made of simple geometric shapes, interlocking planes, and, later, collage.” Some of the most famous paintings are Georges Braque’s “Violin” (1910), Juan Gris’s “Portrait of Pablo Picasso” (1912), and Pablo Picasso’s “Three Musicians” (1921).
Picasso is credited with starting the movement with his painting “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon,” in 1907, though there is some disagreement as to whether or not that painting was the actual beginning of Cubism, or just an influential pre-cursor. I’m sure this will be explored in the film version, as other artists are credited with adding to the movement as well, most notably George Braque (who may be played by Gael Bernal). The movement has been labeled one of the “most influential art movements of the 20th century,” and perhaps that’s why the producers have taken so much time to get it right.
The budget is currently set at $10M, so there’s not a lot of room for fat in the production either. This is definitely someone’s passion project and it will probably just make its money back. Who knows – maybe Banderas will get the long-awaited Oscar nod for playing one of the most revolutionary artists of the 20th century.