Possession and Picasso: Beyond the Frame

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Instead of employing the color black to represent the state of death and mourning, Zulawski paints Anna and Mark’s flat with the same colour Pablo Picasso felt rigidly comfortable with during his “Blue Period” between 1901 to 1904 (comparison is seen above; left is a cropped image of Picasso’s “Blue Nude”). According to Zulawski in several interviews regarding the production history of his film, his analysis of divorce was directly influenced by his own separation with his wife:

“…when I returned to Poland I saw exactly what the guy in Possession sees when he opens the door to his flat, which is an abandoned child in an empty flat and a woman who is doing something somewhere else. It’s so basically private. Now I can go back to it many years later, but even the dialogue in certain kitchen scenes and certain private scenes is like I just wrote it down after some harrowing day” (Film Comment).

The flat fashions itself as a literal site of mourning for the estranged Mark, who returns to it as if expecting Anna and the memories associated with their once intact marriage still linger.

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