Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Loving Vincent

Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 18th October, 2017

Loving VincentVincent Van Gogh (1853-1890), the Dutch post-Impressionist painter, is today recognised as one of the fathers of Modern Art, though in his day his work was derided by all but a few devoted supporters, including his brother and the subject of one of his finest portraits, Dr Gachet. He sold precisely one of his 800 or so canvases before dying from a gunshot wound to the chest, usually presumed to be self-inflicted. But in the extraordinary hand-painted full-length feature film, Loving Vincent, now on release in the UK< the directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, an alternative explanation of the artist’s demise is the centre of speculation: that he was accidentally shot by a gang of boys who had been tormenting him for some time. But what is truly original in this film is the way that an essentially new genre of hand-painted animated film using actors and backdrops of Van Gogh’s own work has been created. Apparently it took seven years to make, with a hundred painters working on it — a genuine labour of love. It is also a wonderful example of European film cooperation — with Poland in the lead — underlining just how valuable such transnational work within the EU can be. The film is visually seductive, sensitively handled and the provincial English and Irish accents of several of the lead performers give an added flavour of alternative authenticity.

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