Artists on Film series focuses on van Gogh
“Van Gogh on Film: Searching for the Real Vincent”
Hosted by film historian Marion Wolberg Weiss, Ph.D.
Fridays in September at 7 p.m.
Pollock-Krasner House, 830 Springs-Fireplace Road, East Hampton
Admission is free, no reservations required
Made possible by the generosity of our members
This year’s fall film series examines the life and art of Vincent van Gogh, as imagined in four feature films and one short. The search involves various cinematic styles and memorable characters, landscapes, locales and cultures. Yet, is the puzzle involved in van Gogh’s existence and contribution to art ever solved? He himself said he loved a “mystery,” and the series proves him right: the expressionistic Loving Vincent (the first fully painted animated film); the abstract/impressionistic Vincent: The Life and Death of Vincent van Gogh; the realistic Van Gogh; and the surrealistic At Eternity’s Gate. These works not only bring the painter to life, but illustrate compelling and provocative examples of how art and film become one.
Loving Vincent, 2017 (95 min.)
Directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman
Van Gogh’s Bedroom, 1977 (3 min)
A short film by Christa Maiwald
Loving Vincent, a Polish-UK co-production, is an animated film featuring hand-painted images in oil on canvas, composed of 65,000 frames and executed by over 100 painters from around the world. Voice-overs trace van Gogh’s life, especially seeking the truth about his relationship with women and his suicide.
Van Gogh’s Bedroom, made by local artist Christa Maiwald nearly 42 years ago, was ahead of its time, using an animated technique called “keying” along with miniature and human scale. Searching for answers about van Gogh’s life is part of the theme, coincidentally similar to Loving Vincent.
Vincent: The Life and Death of Vincent van Gogh, 1987 (105 min.)
Directed by Paul Cox
Vincent also features experimental techniques, using only the voice of the painter (John Hurt). Although it is an expressive documentary, it has been called the most profound exploration of an artist’s soul ever to be put on film (Village Voice).
Van Gogh, 1991 (159 min.)
Directed by Maurice Pialat
Based on the last 67 days of the artist’s life, Van Gogh is imagined in a realistic way by well- known French director Maurice Pialat. The film’s star, Jacques Dutronc, won the Cesar Award (French Academy Award) for Best Actor.
At Eternity’s Gate, 2018 (96 min.)
Directed by Julian Schnabel
The film shares much in common with Schnabel’s earlier films, Basquiatand Before Night Falls, in which the director examines the lives of societal outsiders. Protagonist Willem Dafoe plays the painter as more ambiguous than insane and kinder than usually perceived. He is the perfect van Gogh.