I Saw A film!
Hey, I don’t usually like to review anything current, I feel like it’s my job to sort of fill in the blanks with the decades of films that I’ve missed. But this particular treat, a fully oil-painted film, in the style of Van Gogh himself was a bit too appealing to overlook. The results will not disappoint, though I was not entirely taken with the story.
We travel back to just after Vincent’s pistol to the belly suicide, and subsequent death. A letter is undelivered. A caring young fellow takes the letter to Van Gogh’s last moments, and visits with the last people of the damaged artist’s life. An artist who sold only one painting in his lifetime, produced 800 canvases, became possibly the world’s best known artist after his death, and wrote hundreds of letters to his brother. The collection of letters to Theo is a great read for anyone curious about the life. Poor Vinny spent most of his life begging for help. Trying to get into shows, trying to sell paintings, trying not to end up making commissions (Vincent didn’t really want – like most artists- to be told what to paint and in what style). The late 19th century would be hard to travel back to, we spoiled moderns have no idea about surviving the miseries normal for folks of those days. Not the least of which was the scourge of syphilis. No one knew anything about actually controlling bacterial infection, let alone anything like viral or protist problems.
When our young mail-carrier attempts to locate someone to deliver the letter to, we find out Theo too is dead. He only lasted a few months after brother Vincent was dead. Then the story gets a little convoluted, he begins to suspect a murder. Well, he’s not the first. But, we know some of his last words were that he even fucked up his suicide, as he lingered for days. Miserable story, but one we can’t seem to collect ourselves around to the point of agreeing that old Van Gogh would have benefited from some modern mental help. Wellbutrin was probably necessary.
Whether or not the story exactly provides our thrills, the beauty of the film is beyond question. While much of it is simply rotoscoped (directly painting the film) it still provides one of the most unique experiences in art we’ve ever seen. Over a hundred painters were involved!
This is running a few dollars on Prime (USA) and well worth the investment.