Starry nights and sunflowers animated

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TORTURED ARTIST: Polish actor Robert Gulaczyk plays Vincent van Gogh.

Loving Vincent

  •  Animated historical drama; Cert G; 1hr 35mins
  •  Starring: Douglas Booth, Chris O’Dowd, Saoirse Ronan, Aidan Turner, Eleanor   Tomlinson, Helen McCrory and John Sessions
  •  Director: Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman

I NEVER thought it could be done, but, finally, someone has found an even more difficult process to make a movie than stop-motion modelling.

Loving Vincent is the world’s first – and likely last – fully painted feature film. Every frame, all 65,000 of them, have been hand painted by a team of 125 classically trained painters.

Though I was drawn to this film out of sheer curiosity about the medium, I was soon so lost in the story and the sheer beauty of it that I only occasionally remember to stop and think about the craft behind it.

The film is something of a crime story, set after the death of Vincent van Gogh, apparently by suicide.

ENGROSSED IN MYSTERY: Douglas Booth plays Armard Roulin, the son Postmaster Joseph Roulin.

Against a backdrop of starry nights, wheat fields, and cafe terraces, in Arles, Auvers-sur-Oise and Paris, the story follows the journey of Armand Roulin (Douglas Booth) as he sets out on a mission for his postmaster father to deliver a returned letter van Gogh sent to his brother, Theo.

Travelling to Paris where he discovers that Theo is also dead, Armand continues to the town where Vincent died and becomes engrossed in discovering the truth behind the artist’s death.

All the characters are based on real people van Gogh painted in his lifetime.

Actors played the live action roles against a green screen then each frame was projected on a canvas and painted over in the style of van Gogh.

Written and directed by Polish artist and filmmaker Dorota Kobiela, this film is a fitting tribute to the artist who is considered the father of modern art and is certainly the archetype of the tortured artist who is only appreciated after his death.

You don’t have to be an art lover to enjoy this film, but it is impossible to watch without the artist leaving an impression.

10/10

diane.mccarthy@whakatanebeacon.co.nz

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