The death of Catalan artist Carlos Casagemas devastated his close friend Pablo Picasso, yet also inspired many of the famed modernist’s most iconic works. Italian actor Gianlorenzo Albertini explores the same themes of mortality and inspiration in his short film, “Immortality in Blue,” which was inspired by his own loss.
Pablo Picasso was only twenty years old when he learned of the suicide of his close friend and fellow young painter Carlos Casagemas in February of 1901. Though devastated by his friend’s death, the loss inspired Picasso’s first recognized “movement” as a mature artist, his “Blue Period.”
In the autumn of 2013, young Italian actor Gianlorenzo Albertini was in the middle of a cross-country move from New York City to Los Angeles when he learned that his grandmother lay dying back home in Naples. “I couldn’t make it back in time to say goodbye,” he says, with emotion. “It was too sudden.” His last glimpse of his grandmother was via a Skype connection from her deathbed.
Albertini, who was just 21 at the time, was devastated. Like Picasso before him, the young actor was inspired to explore loss and parting. But instead of oil paints, Albertini chose the medium of film to express his feelings and bring his vision to life—and his short film “Immortality In Blue” was born.
The film features Albertini as Picasso and Medhi Dumartin as Casagemas. The multi-talented Albertini also produced the film, in addition to composing and performing the Catalan-influenced classical guitar score.
“This particular story inspired me because I find Picasso’s work so compelling,” says Albertini. “I realize as an artist the impact a deeply-felt loss can have on your artistic outlook, and how it can affect your work. When I had the flash of inspiration to make ‘Immortality In Blue,’ I saw it fully realized in my mind. It is a reflection of my own personal contemplation of life and death and what’s beyond it, and what it means to me as a man, and how loss and redemption affects me as an artist.”
The film included several parallels between Picasso’s and Albertini’s experiences, perhaps most movingly when Albertini, as Picasso, pleads, “Why didn’t you wait for me? I promise, I would have come!”
“Working with Gianlorenzo on Immortality In Blue was quite the treat,” said First Assistant Director Randy Stanley. “Not only the caliber of work that we were executing…This project was unique, as Gianlorenzo wore the hats of both lead actor and producer. Seeing him work as a producer was very encouraging. He took so much time and energy to select his crew and he left no stone unturned in every detail of production.”
About Gianlorenzo Albertini
Italian actor Gianlorenzo Albertini, 25, is native of Naples, Italy. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in film performance from the New York Film Academy. He has film and theatre acting credits in both the United States and Italy. In addition to his work as an actor, Albertini is an abstract painter, composer, and Conservatory-trained classical guitar player. “I’ve always found myself close to music, and since I’ve started making films, I always envision my projects first through music,” says the actor.
About About “Immortality In Blue”
“Immortality In Blue” by Gianlorenzo Albertini explores the impact of the death of Carlos Casagemas on his fellow young painter Pablo Picasso when both were twenty years of age. The loss inspired Picasso’s Blue Period. “Immortality In Blue” is an official selection of the California International Shorts Film Festival, the Los Angeles Cine Fest, and the Back in the Box Film Festival. Most recently the film won an Award of Recognition from the Accolade Global Film Competition.