October 31, 2012

Guy Brunet, l'Age d'or du cinéma d'Hollywood/The golden age of Hollywood movies

The decorated exterior of a house -as in above picture- can be seen in Viviez, an otherwise rather commonplace community of some 1400 inhabitants in a former mining area north of the city of Toulouse, France.

Life and works

Guy Brunet (born in Viviez, 1945) doesn't need an inspiring exterior habitat:  he is most happy inside his own house, which he has converted into a memorial and homage to the heydays of Hollywood movie, from the thirties to the sixties.

His father exploited cinema's, the Caméo in Viviez, later the Plaza in Cagnac-les-Mines, untill in 1963 the curtain dropped when television supplanted small local cinemas.

Young Guy, who assisted his father in projecting movies, became fascinated by the world of cinema, to which he gave expression by collecting and documenting material relating to the world of movies, drawing posters and writing film scenario's in his school notebooks. 

The cinema being closed, his parents opened a store of electronics (indeed: selling tv's too). Guy would assist them for some years, and then would go from job to job in various industries, not succeeding in getting a job in the industry he most loved, the movie world.

Finally he returned to Viviez, where in 1994 he could acquite a house on the avenue Adam Grange.

Hundreds of card board figures

In 1986, being active in an employment scheme, Guy Brunet first began making card board figures of personalities in the movie world. Once he had his own house, the collection would grow and grow.

 this picture and the next four courtesy of  HEY Pop Galerie 

Nowadays (2012) the collection has some 750 items, stored in two rooms on the first floor of the property, men and women occupying separate rooms.

These two-dimensional card board figures, all of them 1.38 m high, painted in brilliant colours, represent a multitude of actors, producers, musicians, tv personalities etc, a large group of more or less famous personalities who form his daily company and who, as it happens, will also appear in video movies Brunet himself creates.

The collection can be considered as a very special outsider environment.

Selfmade posters and scripts

Already as a youngster, Guy Brunet has been writing scripts and designing posters, related to the movie world.

He has made some sixty of these posters, using paper of a large format, on the average 120x80 cm, painting his subjects in bright colours, and paying tribute to both classic titles in the american film history in particular and to world famous actors appearing in these films.

He was inspired by the posters as distributed by the film production companies, but felt free to shape the images in his own way.


From 2000 on, Guy Brunet, using a video camera, has been active in making video films on topics relating to the movie world, using his card board figures as actors and acting himself as voice over or actor.

These films, with a length of between one and over three hours, in general will be documentary, like films dealing with the producer Cecil B. de Mille, the actor Fred Astaire, the history of the music hall, or the golden age of the Cannes film festival (a production from 2005 of 3 hrs 50 min).


When Brunet was almost sixty, he began to gain a certain fame when he got a first exposition, a selection of his posters, in Sète in 2002 (Musée International des Arts Modestes),

This exposition was  followed by expositions in Paris (Arts Factory, 2004), Nice (2005), Rodez (2008, Musee Artaud) and Lille (2011, Lille Art Museum).

poster of the exposition in Villefranche s/S

In october 2012 a large exposition was held in Villefranche sur Saone, near Lyon.

Organized by the association l'Autre Cinéma (the other cinema) the exposition (31/10 - 11/11/2012), apart from posters and other items, had over 200 of his card board figures. As far as I know this was the first time a large selection of these figures was exhibited.

During the exposition, fragments of Brunet's (at that time) latest, not yet finished film, entitled Le monde magique des frères Lumière (The magic world of the Lumière brothers) were presented.

In the summer of 2015 Brunet's work was presented at the Collection d'Art Brut in Lausanne (June 4 - October 4).

Documentation/more pictures
* A large collection of photographs (summer 2014) on the weblog les grigris de Sophie, may 2015:
     -various actors
     -various posters
* Article in regional journal La Dépêche, february 10, 2003 and october 30, 2012 (in french)
* Bruno Montpied, articles in his weblog may 1, 2008 and october 25, 2012 (in french)
* Article by Alexia Jacques-Casanova (may 2016) in Hyperallergic

* Video by Justeuneimage (8'00", Youtube, uploaded jan 2010

* Fragment (6'12") of the Arte film Un Monde Modeste by Stéphane Sinde (2009, 52'), a meeting with Guy Brunet (Youtube, uploaded oct 2012 by LesBeauxDimanches)

* Video (5'06", uploaded april 2015, Vimeo) with scenes of a movie by Bastien Genoux about Brunet in preparation

first published oct 2012, revised may 2013, may nov 2015, jan 2017

Guy Brunet
30 Avenue Adam Grange
12110 Viviez, Midi-Pyrénées, France
visitors welcome

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