Last week, I had the pleasure to see the film “Loving Vincent.” This film was on my radar for months, as it was the first film made completely from oil paints. Me being the art history buff I am, I could not resist seeing a work that uses over 60,000 hand-painted frames done by over 100 artists to depict Vincent van Gogh’s life, in his post-impressionist style.
The second I heard that Sun-Ray Cinema was screening it, I went to Five Points with my mom to grab tickets as soon as possible. When the lights came down and the opening credits began, I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed. The film opens with swirling paints and designs as the credits roll in, slowly morphing into the first sequence of the film.
*Disclaimer: I’m going to keep this #SpoilerFree, so no distinct plot point will be disclosed.
In a nutshell, the plot follows one year after the death of Vincent van Gogh. Vincent’s postman Roulin requests that his son Armand personally deliver Van Gogh’s last letter to his brother, Theo, after previous attempts to mail the item failed. Armand isn’t fond of Van Gogh, but to appease his father he agrees to give the letter, traveling across Europe to do so.
Throughout Armand’s journey, the audience meets individuals Van Gogh interacted with and did portraits of. The film recreates these portraits perfectly, even the actors had a similar likeness to the real people they portrayed. The colors, brush strokes and animation cultivated a beautiful environment for Van Gogh’s story to be told. The team of artists worked hard to make the paintings look like Van Gogh did them himself, and the screenwriters captured the story of Van Gogh beautifully and did extremely detailed research on his life.
Overall, the film was heartbreakingly beautiful and inspiring. The medium of oil paint made you feel like you were walking through a museum, you could see the texture of every brushstroke. Each transition felt like stepping to the next painting in a sequence. The amount of skill and dedication to create a film like this is truly impressive.
Moreover, the story of Van Gogh’s life will leave you feeling wonderfully melancholy. Van Gogh was an artistic revolutionary who never realized he was one. A man who made over 800 paintings and only sold one, yet posthumously became one of the most celebrated artists in history. Even if you don’t enjoy Van Gogh’s artistic aesthetic, Vincent van Gogh is one of the most iconic names in art.
If you get the chance, go out to Sun-Ray and see “Loving Vincent.”