On Loving Vincent - And Loving Art
Loving Vincent boldly tells the story of Vincent van Gogh's last days in an entirely original manner.
It's the world's first fully-painted feature film in which van Gogh's work is brought to life. The moving images on screen were replicated after van Gogh's signature stroke by over 100 artists.
The finished product took around six years to complete. A masterpiece.
Brilliant directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman might have made something of a clumsy murder mystery in search of the reason for van Gogh's death, but the cast, narrative, artistry and poignancy prevailed.
Considering I've seen my share of beguiling films from the world of independent cinema (anyone who knows me knows I adore indies), the fact that this one stood out counts for something. This year especially, - my year of great changes, fears, and growth - I've found myself seeking out the tales of others. I guess I find it cathartic to reflect on the (often) invented stories of seemingly ordinary people.
Indies tend to be slow in nature - some would say pedestrian. I believe it's for this reason that they're forced to be intelligent, nuanced and even humorous. In many cases, the creative team succeeds in producing such an experience (or, at least, gives it a really good go). This is why I'm so loyal to the humble indie.
I've found great joy in the confined space of a cinema that has known a few decades, it's staff obliging and the snacks like entreés from a hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Like chilling at an old friend's place, a certain ease settles in me as I squish into a lived-in seat and sigh in smug, contented pleasure.
From discovering new releases like 'Loving,' 'Lion' and 'Fences,' to re-watching classics like 'Cinema Paradiso' and 'A Bronx Tale,' I know film can have the power to lift one's mood or even inspire some small form of internal change.
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But what the film did for me most was emphasise how much I love art and how crucial I believe it is to have in everyday life. Whether it's a full-blown exhibition or something more consistent like a favourite image on my iPhone, I can't seem to get enough of it.
I have a habit of taking a snap of pieces I love whenever I see a show - it's often allowed. To me, it's so worth looking like a tourist when I know I will be able to give what caught my eye another look. Of course, the replica is far less glorious, but it aids the memory in reliving the awe.