Loving Vincent

vincent van gogh

“The film brings the paintings of Vincent van Gogh to life to tell his remarkable story. Every one of the 65,000 frames of the film is an oil-painting hand-painted by 125 professional oil-painters who travelled from all across the world to the Loving Vincent studios in Poland and Greece to be a part of the production. As remarkable as Vincent’s brilliant paintings, is his passionate and ill-fated life, and mysterious death.”

Directed by husband and wife duo- British Animator Hugh Welchman, and Poland born artist Dorota Kobiela, the movie follows a young man who wants to deliver Van Gogh’s final letter to his brother Theo, but discovers that he's dead too. He then charts on a journey to meet all those people the artist has ever painted, to find what really took place a few weeks before Van Gogh's death, and whether there’s any possibility of it being a homicide. There's much mystery that shrouds his life and death, which serves as the subject of the movie.

vincent van gogh
Wheat field with crows (WikiCommons)

And the surprising part here is Vincent Van Gogh remained undiscovered and unappreciated in his short lifetime, but years later he was considered an artist par excellence. He is one of the most famous and influential artistic figures in the Western world. And he started painting only at the age of 27. He, perhaps, took his own life after an extended period of poverty and episodes of mental health problems at the age of 37. This movie is as much about his life as it is about his death.

All of the 65,000 paintings if laid on the ground would be enough to cover the entire London and Manhattan, as per the enthusiasts. Making a completely painted feature film, without the use of digital paintings, was a huge project in itself, was considered impossible at first. The animation process was a long arduous process too. There was live action provided by the actors, visual effects and digital tweaking of animation, which was then a reference for the oil paintings. So there were video frames converted to oil paintings by specialists. And they imitated Van Gogh's painting style of small brush strokes as is in the famous painting of The Starry Night. It gave a sense of motion and free flow from one frame to another.

vincent van gogh
The Starry Night (WikiCommons)

It all started with a short film, which got such rave reviews, that the production team proceeded to create the entire movie from then on. Selecting passionate artists from around the world was tough as well. Each imagined how Vincent could have painted a particular scene, and recreated that imagination. They also repainted some of his own works too. The actors had a physical resemblance to the paintings, and their facial emotions were well expressed on the canvas too. They used color for depicting the present, and black tones for the flash backs.

vincent van gogh
Wheat field under thunderclouds (WikiCommons)

The movie is a visual treat in true sense. There are seasons, places, people, color and monochrome and all are soulfully created with brush strokes. It's a art lover’s delight to be able to witness such a daring, yet successfully executed work of art. Indeed it left me speechless. A unique overwhelmingly and deeply satisfying cinematic experience. A befitting and heartfelt tribute to the artist.

I am participating in the #AToZChallenge with #BlogchatterA2Z and I am sharing posts themed around Art for this entire month of April. Share and connect with me on social media.
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Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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