Magritte, or the lesson of things

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The poetic universe of Magritte, with the participation of the painter and several writers from the Belgian surrealist group: Marcel Lecomte, Scutenaire, Camille Goemans, Irène Hamoir.


In Surrealism and Painting, André Breton write this of René Magritte: ‘AIone of 
this tendancy, he approached painting in the spirit of ‘lessons of abjects’ and, 
from this point of view, he taught the systematic process of the visual image of 
which it pleased him to underline the weaknesses and emphasize the dependent 
character of figures of speech and thought.’
The philosophie introduction ta this film prolongs that reflection.
In a preliminary meditation, the painter casts doubt on objective reality and 
underlines the arbitrary char acter of the of the existing relation between an 
object, its image and its narne, For Magritte, the evocation of mystery consists in 
images of familiar things gathered together or transformed in such a way that 
tbeir accordance with our naive or savant ideas ceases.
Having established these definitions, the painter questions vision itself. The 
world is outside us and yet its only representation is within us.
If the painting is not a reflection of reality but rather an image charged with 
autonomous powers, a title must be found for it which defines its magic. The 
search for a title is agame reserved for certain friends on certain Sunday 
These few keys may facilitate access ta the poe tic universe of Magritte which is 
the essential constituent of this film. About fifty significant paintings have been 
grouped according to the functional necessities of a cinematographic discourse.
An equivocal situation must be dissipated: Magritte is not a painter of the erotic 
life; he atternpts to enchant a universe which escapes our own knowledge. He 
bas nothing to say about objective reality; one must, if one is to evoke it, evoke 
its mystery, awaken the unfamiliar feelings of which we are capable.


1960. 35 mm., colour, 20′


Director : Luc de Heusch
Scenario : Jacques Delcorde and Luc de Heusch 
with the collaboration of Jean Raine
Music : Celestin DeLiège
Musical Ensemble directed by : Elie Poslavsky
Editing : Suzanne Buron
Voice : Serge Sauvion
Director of Photography : Freddy Geilfus and Oleg Tourjansky
Camera : Fernand Tack
Assistant Cameraman : Jacques Moniquet
Special Effects : Arcady
Operators : A. and D. Harispe
Assistant Director : Jacques Delcorde
Script : Jacqueline Veuve
Sound Engineers : Antoine Bonfanti and Jean Velu
Recorded by : Estrex
Mixing by : Studios de Boulogne
Lab : L.T.C. and Meuter-Titra


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