Loving Vincent

Loving Vincent celebrates the work of artist Vincent van Gogh; his famous paintings and characters come to life in the film. It is a creative work of love and devotion from directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman. The story revolves around the speculations about van Gogh’s death in 1890 at the age of 37. Was it suicide or was it inflicted by another? The story is set two years after van Gogh’s death. The posthumous delivery of a letter Vincent wrote to his brother Theo prompts encounters with several of the subjects of van Gogh’s paintings in the search for the truth about his death.

But the murder mystery plot is just a vehicle for this amazing masterwork of a film. Loving Vincent is the first fully painted animated feature film in history. The film was seven years in the making, a process that garnered intrigue and publicity as it neared completion. It involved 125 painters, and nearly 65,000 frames, all rendered in traditional oils.

The actors, working in authentic costume in front of green screens, were painted into the landscapes. Every movement of character, light, and atmosphere is a stroke of paint. The result is a moving canvas that requires whole field viewing. Every centimeter has been intentionally painted and, like van Gogh’s originals, each stroke contributes to the whole and is noteworthy.

The credits at the end of the movie, showing actors and their corresponding paintings, roll by too quickly. Many video clips about the process are available on YouTube and are worth watching before and after viewing the film. Blog posts on the film website demonstrate the way they incorporated paintings into the film. Loving Vincent is a movie to be savored; viewing it more than once is recommended. The film is slowly making its way through theaters in the U.S. and Canada. (Good Deed Entertainment)

About the Author

Jenny de Groot is a teacher/librarian in Langley, British Columbia.

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