Godard, Pierrot le Fou & Velázquez.

In the opening scene of Jean-Luc Godard's film Pierrot le Fou (1965), Jean-Paul Belmondo's character sits in a bathtub reading Élie Faure's Histoire de l’art (History of Art: Modern Art) to his daughter:

"Past the age of fifty, Velasquez stopped painting definite things. He hovered around objects with the air, with twilight, catching in his shadows and airy backgrounds the palpitations of colour which formed the invisible core of his silent symphony. Henceforth, he captured only those mysterious interpenetrations of shape and tone that form a constant, secret progression, neither betrayed nor interrupted by any jolt or jar. Space reigns supreme. It is as if an aerial wave, sliding over the surfaces, soaked up their visible emanations, defined and modeled them, then spread them about like a perfume, an echo of themselves, a scattering of impalpable dust. The world he lived in was one of sadness: A degenerate king, sickly infantes, idiots, dwarfs, cripples, a handful of clownish freaks dressed up as princes, whose function it was to laugh at themselves and to amuse a cast that lived outside the law, in the meshes of etiquette, plots and lies, bound by the confessional and remorse, with the inquisition and silence at the door." Listen to this, little girl! "A spirit of nostalgia pervades his work, yet he avoids what is ugly, sad, or cruelly morbid about those oppressed children. Velasquez is the painter of evening, of open spaces and of silence, even when he painted in broad daylight or in a closed room, even with the din of battle or of the hunt in his ears. As they seldom went out during the day, when everything was drowned in torrid sunshine, the Spanish painters communed with the evening.” Beautiful, isn’t it, little girl?
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