Vincent Van Gogh is an enigma. Perceived by many as the “mad artist” whose best creations were conceived in a moment of frenzy or panic, Van Gogh is one of the most influential artists of all time whose tormented and troubled self finds voice in his paintings. Although his career spanned a short time and this trailblazing artist left early, he is celebrated for his bold and intense vision, deft use of colours and poignance of his art.
To celebrate his indelible extraordinaire through his life and legacy Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman created a Polis-UK experimental film, titled Loving Vincent. The film was nominated for the Best Animated Feature at the 90th Academy Awards.
Although the film was initially supposed to be a seven-minute-long film in 2008, Kobiela studied the profound impact of the artist and his story via his letters to create this animated biographical drama in 2017.
The film employed 125 artists from around the world to oil paint on canvas the 65,000 frames within the film, using Van Gogh’s artistic style.
Interestingly enough, the film celebrated the legacy of yet another artist, Helen McCrory as it was her last film role before her untimely demise in April 2021.
Loving Vincent is set a year after Van Gogh’s suicide when a postman’s good-for-nothing son is sent to deliver a letter from the late artist to his now-dead brother. After the postman’s son visits Van Gogh’s close companion to complete his chore, he comes across many people who knew Vincent, modelled for him and inspired his art.
Increasingly fascinated with van Gogh’s art, psyche and tragic fate, the boy begins to delve deeper into the troubled artist’s ingenious mind and appreciate his work that would become posthumously successful through his tragedy.
Melancholic and one of is kind, the brilliant visuals of the film along with a compelling tale of artistic tragedy and despair, the film uses a form of rotoscoping to create a striking visual masterpiece.
Clint Mansell, known for his brilliant production in films like Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan etc., creates mournful and haunting compositions for the film. The entire soundtrack of the film comes to a complete circle with Lianne La Havas’ soulful rendition of ‘Starry Starry Night’ which pays the ultimate heartfelt tribute to the late artist.
Now, Loving Vincent is available for streaming on Netflix US.