Tonight I was lucky enough to go to the one night in the UK of the animated film, Loving Vincent. I left weeping.
Vincent, of course, is Vincent Willem van Gogh, the Dutch artist, known as being the father of modern art. He started painting at a moderately late age, (28) and yet, in around a decade, painted over 800 oils, plus leaving behind drawings and sketches.
“An animated masterpiece! An absolutely stunning film that not only does justice to the art of Van Gogh, but also to the art of movies. I have never seen anything on screen like it before. You will be amazed and lifted by this extraordinary film.”Pete Hammond, Deadline
He also left behind numerous letters. He would write at least one a day to his beloved brother, Theo, whilst they were apart, which after Theo’s death, his wife Johanna would go through and collate. Without her we may not have such a wonderful true history of this mans life.
Loving Vincent is the story of one such letter, found a year after Vincent’s apparent suicide, and the journey the Postmasters son, Armand Roulin, is sent on to hand it direct to Theo. Armand lived just around the corner from the ‘Night Cafe’ and the ‘Yellow House’ in Arles, France. His father Joseph was one of Vincent’s closest friends when he lived there. We can see many portraits of the family which Vincent painted in his time near them including one of Armand.
Armand however is a troubled youth, and a bar fighter. He sees no reason to deliver a letter from a dead man, let alone one who has been dead so long. His father however is a responsible man and he dealt with all of Vincent’s mail when he was alive. He asks Armand what he would want if the letter was from him, and he had died.
So begins a journey of discovery for Armand as he meets the people who were with Vincent in his last days and weeks.
I thought there was nothing that could really be said in this film that we did not already know but they managed to surprise me and, by the end, I found myself really caring for Vincent more than I had when I entered the cinema. Just like Armand who had not actually liked the Vincent he knew, I too grew to feel for Vincent and to actually feel protective over him.
It painted a picture of Vincent the man, rather than just Vincent the artist we mainly talk about. It also showed Armand growing up as he learned more about the man he had despised when alive.
The film was created with around 65,000 paintings and 125 artists. It was written and directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, and was produced by Hugh Welchman and Sean Bobbitt of BreakThru Films and Ivan Mactaggart of Trademark Films. The development was funded by the Polish Film Institute, and re-training of professional oil painters to become painting-animators on the film was partially funded through a Kickstarter campaign. The film is being sold by Cinema Management Group and financiers include RBF Productions, Silver Reel, Doha Film Institute, Polish Film Institute, Sevenex Capital Partners and City of Wrocław, European Capital of Culture in 2016.
The quality of artwork, storyline, and direction are absolutely amazing. The film is colour but throw back memories are in black and white. and it works!
I do not want to say any more. I really recommend you seeing this film for yourself.
Directors: Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman
Writers: Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman |
The leading cast:
Robert Gulaczyk as Vincent van Gogh
Douglas Booth as Armand Roulin
Jerome Flynn as Dr. Gachet
Saoirse Ronan as Marguerite Gachet
Helen McCrory as Louise Chevalier
Chris O’Dowd as Postman Roulin
John Sessions as Père Tanguy
Eleanor Tomlinson as Adeline Ravoux
Aidan Turner as Boatman
We are a collection of artists, photographers, writers, who like to share our knowledge, or stories, or art.From life through to tips and tricks, we will share it all.
Will you join us?