Monet’s life on the big screen at Derbyshire venues

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Exhibition On Screen will be presenting two new films, the first of which is I, Claude Monet.

It can be seen locally at Cineworld Chesterfield on February 21, Pomegranate Theatre Chesterfield on February 28, and on February 21 at both QUAD in Derby and The Ritz in Belper.

I, Claude Monet, is a fresh new documentary based entirely on Claude Monet’s personal letters. It will reveal Monet the artist, businessman and lover as never before.

Disposing of traditional narration and talking heads, I, Claude Monet allows Monet to tell his story in his own words. Based on 3,000 surviving letters,

the film reveals a tumultuous inner life marked by moments of intense depression and euphoric creation, offering a complex portrait of one of the world’s best loved artists.

I, Claude Monet also features over 100 of Monet’s paintings filmed in high-definition, providing a unique window into his emotional and creative life.

Brought to life by acclaimed actor Henry Goodman, Monet’s letters record his journey from prodigiously talented teenager to the grand old man of arts. They record remarkable encounters – from the painter Eugène Boudin, who he met as an enthusiastic amateur, to Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, with

whom he struck up a friendship as an elderly man.

Many letters confront Monet’s despair, depression, and even attempted suicide, as a result of poverty,

obscurity, ill-health and his relationships with his two wives - Camille Doncieux and Alice Hoschedé.

But in equal measure his correspondence celebrates the joys of painting and the natural world, inspired by his travels across Europe. In order to capture this euphoria, the film travels to the very spots Monet painted and wrote his letters, from Paris to Venice, London to Le Havre.

Phil Grabsky, director of the film, said: “I love making biographies because when you carefully read the correspondence, travel back to the original locations and look hard at the paintings, a richer and more honest personality emerges. That is absolutely the case with Monet - there is nothing ‘chocolate box’ about this impressionist. What comes across so forcefully is his passion, his endless searching and, yes, his genius”.