Friday, 14 August 2020

Séraphine (2008) - quotes misc

The film tells the story of the poor cleaning woman whose art was discovered by German art critic, Wilhelm Uhde (played by Ulrich Tukur) while he was staying in the town of Senlis in 1910s.

Séraphine (to Uhde): You know, m’sieur, when I feel sad, I go for a walk in the countryside and I touch the trees. I talk to the birds, the flowers and the insects, and it passes. I swear, it passes.

Mother Superior: I’m glad to see you doing so well. Are you lacking for anything?
Séraphine: Time, mother. Cleaning takes up all my time.
Mother Superior: And, in there? (touching Séraphine’s head). Is everything better? Are you sure?

Mme Duphot: Shall I tell you what I think, Séraphine? You’re wasting your time. These apples are anything but apples. (to her son) Aren’t they, Anatole? Anything but apples.
Anatole: You think so? Not me.
Mme Duphot: What do you mean, not you? These apples… (to Séraphine) they are supposed to be apples?
Séraphine: Yes, madame.
Mme Duphot: They could just as easily be plums or peaches.
Anatole: They look like apples to me.
Mme Duphot (to Séraphine): Go back to your cleaning. You have better things to do.

Uhde: (picking up Séraphine’s apples painting) Who painted this?
Mme Duphot: That? I forget. Help us do justice to my baked alaska. It won’t stay alight forever.
Uhde: Tell me who painted this?
Mme Duphot: Séraphine
Uhde: What do you mean?
Mme Duphot: Your… I mean… our cleaner. She worked at the convent. One day her guardian angel commanded her to become a painter. My son insisted I hold on to it.
Uhde: I’ll buy it from you.

Séraphine: It’s very kind of monsieur to say that his friends said kind things about my work.
Uhde: You can’t spend your life cleaning when you have gold in your hands.
Séraphine: “Be ardent in your work and you will find God in your cooking pots,” said St. Teresa of Avila.
Uhde: I’m not very religious, you know.
Séraphine: But the Blessed Virgin. Monsieur believes in the Blessed Virgin at least?
Uhde: It depends on how I’m feeling… but I believe in the soul. Definitely. I believe we humans have a soul. It’s what makes us so sad compared to the animals. Animals are never sad, are they?
Séraphine: They are. Animals are sad. If you take her calf from a cow, she cries.

Uhde: It’s an intriguing texture. This red, for example. What is it?
Séraphine: It’s secret. I have my little secrets. I keep them to myself or else they wouldn’t be secrets.

The reporter: You were the first person to buy Picasso and Braque. What drew you to Douanier Rousseau and all the Naives you defend so fervently?
Uhde: Naives? I don't care for the term. It scares me. I truly prefer the term Modern Primitives. Here, look...

I rented a garage before the war to exhibit Rousseau's work, near Les Invalides. I sold nothing, and besides my sister and some friends, we didn't have a single visitor. Now, he's in the Louvre and you come out here to ask me about him.
The reporter: Why did you come back to France?
Uhde: To reclaim my collection! A collection interprets the collector's spiritual education. You can't break it up with impunity.
The reporter: Why not favour confirmed talents?
Uhde: I don't collect to sell, I sell to collect.

Uhde (to his sister): Our Séraphine, who painted on little wooden panels, has become a fully-fledged artist. The wondrous thing is she's an artist ahead of her time. Just like Van Gogh was.

A visitor: Séraphine, your flowers are strange. They move. They look like insects. They look like eyes, wounded eyes. Shredded flesh. Terrifying things.
Séraphine: I know, Madame Delonges. Me, too. When I look at them, what I've done scares me.

Mother Superior: Séraphine, are you sure your guardian angel guides your hand?

Clermont Asylum, 1935

Uhde: I sold some of her paintings. Do you think I could tell her?
Doctor: I'd prefer her not to see you. I'm afraid it would only result in another attack.
Uhde: She has to know.
Doctor: She wants to be left alone. She says that painting has gone in the night. Those are her own words. What you could do is make her life more comfortable.

Подготовила Е. Кузьмина ©
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