Loving Vincent, the only feature film to be painted entirely, depicts the life of Vincent Van Gogh, whose most famous work happens to be Starry Night.
The movie is said to be one of its kind because it broke all perceptions on how a movie should be made – it took all of 6 years to make the movie; and that too, each frame was hand painted by artists. There were over 65,000 frames that were painted, but because multiple frames were painted on a single surface, only 1000 paintings were then incorporated into the movie.
The movie is so well made, that not only is it a moving painting, quite literally, but also shows the life of Vincent Van Gogh and his last few years. It talks about how his family was a primary cause of how he turned out to be and how he had to face a lot of insults, taunts and beatings through everyone around him. He was an outcast, per se.
It is an extremely vivid and breathtaking movie, and since it plunges so deep into his life, you can’t help but feel for him and his despair as the film goes on.
The life of Vincent Van Gogh in his last years was extremely saddening to watch, and it is also beautifully captured by the makers of this movie. Some say he lost his mind, some say he was hallucinating all the time and some say he was a deranged, mental person with no sense and understanding of the things and people around him. Truth is, he was suffering from a number of mental illnesses which resulted in him not being able to differentiate between imaginary and real life.
There were talks about Van Gogh being in love with the colour yellow since it was a bright and happy colour. He resorted to eating the paint at a point of time to feel that happiness and escape his own personal cloud of depression.
The directors of this movie, Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman put in a lot of thought and effort into this movie, and received the acclamation for it too. The movie, post its release, garnered a lot of attention and critical acclaim. It won several awards, including Golden Eagle Award for Best Foreign Language Film, European Film Award for Best Animated Feature Film, Polish Academy Award for Best Production Design and Polish Academy Award for Best Editing.
The movie has a very historic feel to it occasionally, like a biopic, or like the kind of stuff you’d hear in a voiceover in a museum or so. But don’t let this fool you into not watching the movie, it is so well made that even a person not interested in museums and art history would undoubtedly watch and love it.
The fact that the film is made entirely through paint and not a single frame depicts aspects used in real life, is a fantastic approach. Imagine watching a mime film to portray the life of Charlie Chaplin or a musical to portray the life of Michael Jackson, iconic approaches to the artist’s life in their art form itself. Loving Vincent is one such film that takes on Van Gogh’s life exactly in the way that he would’ve loved it. Using his painting techniques, his combination of colours and portraying the exact emotions he went through on screen to a million viewers? What gets better than that? The research aspect of this is to be applauded, to dive into the life of a man who lived in the 1800s and to bring it back up in 2017 is what makes this film so appreciated and special.
In my personal opinion, the movie is going to be one to remember for generations now. Starry Night, his best work, is estimated to be about $80 to $100 million at this moment. Vincent may not have been praised for his work while he was alive, but the kind of detail he has in his paintings, and as shown in the movie, is clear why this is so widely loved and set as a setting stone in the world of art.
This pictorial representation of his life shows why the spirit of Vincent still lives on and why it will exist forever, in the minds of the people who truly understand and appreciate art.