Visite à Óscar Domínguez


Another artist portrait, this short silent film is one of the earliest cinematic efforts by Alain Resnais, following some amateur experiments which are now lost. Resnais made several of these artist films in 1947, before embarking on the longer documentaries that brought him to the attention of the French film world. Visite à Óscar Domínguez was followed by Visite à Lucien Coutaud, Visite à Hans Hartung, Visite à Félix Labisse, Visite à César Doméla, Portrait d’Henri Goetz, and Journée naturelle (Visite à Max Ernst) but the Domínguez, which was apparently unfinished, is the only one I’ve been able to find so far. The Max Ernst is the one I’d most like to see even though Ernst didn’t lack for documentaries—he was filmed regularly in later life, and also turns up as an actor in L’Age Dor and Dreams that Money Can Buy—but I’m curious to know what he was doing when Resnais paid a visit.


Óscar Domínguez (1906–1957) was a Spanish artist who was affiliated with the Surrealists for a while although this connection was over by the time Resnais arrived. In the 1930s, Domínguez gave the Surrealist artists a new spur for their imaginations, decalcomania, a technique which Max Ernst in particular used to great effect in his paintings of the early 1940s. Domínguez himself produced a number of decalcomania paintings but by 1947 he was settled into a period where all his work looks like an imitation of Picasso. It’s good to see him painting all the same—films of artists at work have never been very common—but I would have preferred to see him doing something that wasn’t so indebted to somebody else’s work.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Monaco on Resnais
Providence on DVD
Art on film: Je t’aime, Je t’aime
Art on film: Providence
Marienbad hauntings
Les Statues Meurent Aussi, a film by Chris Marker and Alain Resnais
Toute la mémoire du monde, a film by Alain Resnais

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Discover more from { feuilleton }

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading