I have been dreaming and thinking about the movie Loving Vincent for a couple weeks now. It is a breathtaking work of art.
I have been waiting for this movie (as have all fans of Van Gogh’s work) for months, and have been fortunate enough to see the film twice in the last couple weeks. The first time was a weeknight, where I was able to sneak down to the beautiful Oriental Theater and really take it all in.
There is no subsitute for seeing this on the big screen. The immersive experience cannot be replicated by DVD. I hope you all get to see it in the theater for this reason, and I really hope this film gets wide release.
When I found out the film had been held over at the Oriental, I went back.
They have done a masterful job linking his paintings together and creating a genuine story, all in addition to animating the emotive works of Van Gogh. I cannot say enough about how brilliant this film is. I got so excited the second time I saw the film that I made up a new word: paintured. I meant to say “fully painted feature film” and said “paintured” instead in my excitement!
Paintured should be a word, ya’ll.
The second time I saw the film I was able to pay attention to more details in the background, more nuances that I missed the first time simply because I was holding my breath, in awe of the visual aspects of the film.
The story is touching as well, and deals with the mysteries that surround Van Gogh’s death. Even now, the official story of his suicide is difficult to accept. There are factual questions (like trajectory of the bullet entry, the missing gun, the painting supplies that were moved) and there are the emotional questions, like the change in his mental state after just six weeks, the large paint order placed right before his death, the fact that he was sensitive to how much Theo was spending to support him.
My feelings on Van Gogh have always been more sympathetic than of someone who thought he was merely mentally ill. He was brilliant and showed the world he had a gift, and while only one original painting was sold in his lifetime, he had built a name for himself. He was known as a brilliant painter even in his lifetime, which made his death even more unsettling.
There is always a deep sadness around suicide as the questions and feelings of those left behind swirl over the memory of the one who has passed. In Van Gogh’s case, we also have the deeply troubling fact that a genius was taken from the earth too soon.
More on Loving Vincent is available here.