Saturday, September 30, 2017

"Loving Vincent" Movie Review and Reflections by Cecilia Brainard

"Loving Vincent" Movie Review and Reflections
by Cecilia M. Brainard

There's a new movie out, Loving Vincent, by Breakthru Films and Trademark Films. It's reportedly the world's first fully painted feature film, with over 62,000 oil paintings used as frames for this animated movie. Watching the movie was a fascinating experience: I felt as if I entered the world of Vincent Van Gogh! (Be sure and watch the Trailer here.)

The film is like a mystery: the son of the postmaster sets out to deliver a letter to Theo Van Gogh, the brother of Vincent, only to discover that Theo himself died six months after Vincent's death in 1892 in Auvers-sur-Oise, France. The postmaster's son then sets out to investigate Vincent's death: Was he shot? Or did he kill himself?

I loved the film! Having said that,  I should add that I overheard viewers say they dozed off during the movie. That could have been because the plot of Loving Vincent isn't particularly strong.

I enjoyed it though and it's probably because I have always appreciated the work of Vincent Van Gogh and have seen some of his paintings in museums. I also visited places where he had lived, Arles and Saint-Remy for instance.  The latter impressed me most of all because Saint-Remy continues to be an asylum, and there we saw the bathtubs where patients received treatment. We saw Vincent's room with the cot to one side and small chair. Saint-Remy Asylum had women patients who painted as part of their therapy and their paintings were sold there.

Here's another reason I loved the film.  I feel connected with Vincent Van Gogh.  Aside from loving his images of deep blue skies, brilliant stars, crooked cypresses, wide fields of yellow, black crows, blue irises -- I had read about him and his letters to his brother Theo who devotedly supported him and his art. The book Dear Theo collects Vincent's letters to his brother and allowed me to know the mind of Vincent.

Further, the book Dear Theo and my own first novel, When the Rainbow Goddess, shared the same destiny. Plume/Penguin published both Dear Theo and When the Rainbow Goddess Wept.

In the mid-1990s, Penguin was bought out by Pearson Publishing and the new managers remaindered (got rid of) a long list of books, including When the Rainbow Goddess Wept and Vincent Van Gogh's Dear Theo.

I was upset when my book was remaindered but felt consoled that I was in good company with Vincent Van Gogh. (Let me add that fortunately the University of Michigan Press picked up When the Rainbow Goddess Wept and the book remains in print with them.)

Going back to the movie, Loving Vincent.  It's in select theaters and won't be showing for long, so if you love art, movies, Vincent Van Gogh, go see it.  You will probably find it enchanting as I did.

And just for fun, here's Don McLean singing "Starry Starry Night", a version of which is played at the end of Loving Vincent. 

Tags: #movie #vincent #art #LovingVincent #Review #Film #moviereview

Read also

Cecilia's Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Little England From Greece

Movie Review: The True Story Behind Remembrance (Dei Verlonere Zeit)

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