Monday, November 6, 2017

Loving Vincent

In Loving Vincent, directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman paint a touching tribute to this most unlikely world-renowned Dutch artist, and explore the murky circumstances of his death.

115 artists contributed to the 1.5-hour film, which consists of 65,000 frames of oil paintings!  It's the only animated film of its kind.   

In the film, a young man, Armand, voiced by Douglas Booth, visits the French town of Auvers-sur-Oise, to investigate where Van Gogh spent his final days.  Speaking to locals, Armand learns that Van Gogh had been in good spirits before he died and the bullet wound that killed him struck could not have been self-inflicted.  

Another friend, Dr. Gachet (Jerome Flynn), firmly rebuffs these claims, saying that Van Gogh had volatile mood patterns and may have been suicidal.  

The oil-painted frames mimic Van Gogh's aesthetic, and several cameos of his paintings occur throughout, including The Portrait of Dr. Gachet and Wheatfield with Crows.  He painted these townspeople in their natural surroundings, and so the film suggests when they might have organically occurred.   

The film tells us that Van Gogh sold only one painting in his lifetime, and closes with the quote: "I want to touch people with my art.  I want them to say 'he feels deeply, he feels tenderly'", as well as another about him feeling like an outcast who could have no place in society. 

I would have liked more of an exploration into these lines.  

The film ends with Liane La Havea singing an excellent cover of Don MacLean's "Starry Starry Night."  

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