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Thursday December 7th, 2017 at 7 PMEvent Website
DOROTA KOBIELA & HUGH WEICHMAN · UK/Poland · 2017 · 95 mins · NOT RATED
“A TRULY ASTONISHING VISUAL FEAST, ‘LOVING VINCENT’ DEMANDS TO BE SEEN ON THE BIGGEST OF SCREENS.”
– Melbourne International Film Festival
Stand in front of a painting by Vincent van Gogh and your brain starts to react in strange ways. Even today, more than a century after the artist’s death, the brushstrokes pack an almost psychedelic energy, vibrating with an intensity that seems to have sprung directly from van Gogh’s tortured personal life. Now imagine staring at one of these paintings for 90 minutes straight — or crazier still, watching a series of them actually start to move. Such was the vision Polish animator Dorota Kobiela had for this truly awe-inspiring portrait of the great Dutch artist that boasts the distinction of being “the world’s first fully painted feature film.” That means every one of the nearly 65,000 frames in this near-lunatic labor of love was rendered by hand with oil paints, following a style intended to mimic that of the master — which has precisely the effect you might imagine, pulling audiences into the delirious, hyper-sensual world suggested by van Gogh’s oeuvre.
The artist himself has been dead a year when the story begins, so we aren’t seeing things through his eyes so much as in ersatz homage to his style, where bold colors and thick, energetic strokes of paint transform traditional live-action footage into living tableaux, rendered all the richer by Clint Mansell’s gorgeous score. It’s an impressive conceit, and one that allows us to float through van Gogh’s “Starry Night Over the Rhone” or pop in for a drink at the “Café Terrace at Night” — just two of nearly 130 actual paintings that Kobiela weaves into the relatively conventional detective story (of all things!) that frames this one-of-a-kind work of art. --Variety
GORGEOUS. IT’S A FILM OF IMMERSIVE BEAUTY…A VISUAL MASTERPIECE UNTO ITSELF. The Globe and MailCast Douglas Booth, Jerome Flynn, Robert Gulaczyk