MY LIFE AND TIMES WITH ANTONIN ARTAUD is a fictitious account of the final two years of Antonin Artaud's life, based on an autobiographical book by poet Jacques Prevel. Gerard Mordillat's darkly comic docudrama is particularly fascinating for fans of Artaud or for those with an interest
in the bohemian life of Paris in the 1940s.
Antonin Artaud (1896-1948) was a French poet, writer, and actor, who is best remembered as the author of The Theater and Its Double, a manifesto for his proposed Theater of Cruelty. Prevel's book chronicles the incredible two years he spent with Artaud. MY LIFE AND TIMES WITH ANTONIN ARTAUD begins
in 1946, when Artaud (Sami Frey) has just been released from an asylum and returns to his circle of friends. For Jacques Prevel (Marc Barbe), his meeting with Artaud is a revelation. As a young poet, Artaud is his mentor. Prevel follows Artaud around, attending to his every whim (including
supplying him with drugs) and listening attentively to his increasingly mad tirades. Prevel shares his life with two women--a pregnant wife and a low-rent mistress--but his main object of worship is Artaud, whose life and thoughts he records until Artaud's death two years later.
Shot in moody black and white, MY LIFE AND TIMES WITH ANTONIN ARTAUD is wonderfully evocative of the edgy elegance of bohemian life in postwar Paris. Nights spent in smoky bars drift into days of intense artistic pursuit, all enhanced by alcohol and drugs. Sami Frey cleverly plays the complexity
of Artaud's aging genius--a cocktail of brilliant existential musings and delusional pretentious posturing. Marc Barbe evokes Prevel's character with care. Despite his youthful eagerness and ambition, Prevel will forever live in the shadow of his idol. Artaud's presence and words loom large in
this film. While this will be an asset to fans of this artistically significant writer, it makes MY LIFE AND TIMES WITH ANTONIN ARTAUD of less interest to those unfamiliar with his body of work or this period of Paris cultural history. In French, with English subtitles. (Adult situations,substance abuse.)
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- Released: 1993
- Rating: NR
- Review: MY LIFE AND TIMES WITH ANTONIN ARTAUD is a fictitious account of the final two years of Antonin Artaud's life, based on an autobiographical book by poet Jacques Prevel. Gerard Mordillat's darkly comic docudrama is particularly fascinating for fans of Artau… (more)