Loving Vincent, A Labor of Love

What colors painted the inside of Vincent Van Gogh’s mind?

Vincent’s works offer endless wilderness that seemed to violate laws of human imagination. Exploring his mysterious mind is a tough journey indeed, if happens, mission accomplished.

An undertaking as ambitious as this—creating the world’s first feature-length painted film on a figure as captivating as Van Gogh—needs careful handling to be executed successfully, and the Oscar-winning team of Breakthru Films and Trademark Films seem poised to deliver.

Four years in the making, the 80-minute feature is composed of over 62,000 individual frames, each a unique oil-on-canvas painting created by a team of 80+ painters.

Genius

The Dutch painter’s time in this world was brief; he was just 37 at the time of his unfortunate and controversial death in 1890. Born to a religious family, Van Gogh spent a portion of his life as a missionary before his entry to the art world, not as a painter, but as an art dealer.

Of his few living years, only those towards to the end were spent painting, but those were painted with fervor. It is estimated that he created around 2,000 works in his lifetime, from his birth through his prolific final years.

Loving Vincent Movie
Loving Vincent Movie Pic Courtesy : http://www.lovingvincent.com/

Mental illness plagued Van Gogh, but it undeniably helped create the masterpieces the world appreciates to this very day. And while the world may never know exactly how he saw the world, Loving Vincent movie attempts to construct the story of Vincent’s life through interviews and letters, presented meticulously through the medium that he chose to explain his existence.

Loving Vincent Movie – A Labor of Love

The film promises to be a visual delight and the first of its kind as an animated feature presented fully through paintings in the style of Van Gogh.

The phrase “labor of love” comes to mind to describe the films in its dedication to not only the style of Van Gogh, but its use of his words and the words of those closest to him to make us not only see but also feel the story of Van Gogh’s life leading up to his eventual (disputed) suicide.

The skill and dedication of the painters involved, many of them students, is evident in every microsecond of the footage released so far, but it’s the team’s genuine love of Van Gogh that elevates it above a mere exercise in efficiency and production.

It is for this reason that a full-length film was chosen to convey the story. The filmmakers did not feel that a short production could properly dive into the life of the painter and pay tribute to his legacy, so the project now known as Loving Vincent was born. It’s all there in the title; you get a sense that everyone involved in the project truly does love Vincent.

Loving Vincent Movie – Converging Art, Passion and Technology

Dorota Kobiela, the director of the project, is a rising star among animators. Since graduating first in her class from warsaw Academy of Fine  Arts, Kobiela has gained fame for award-winning films such as Little Postman, Chopin Drawings, and The Flying Machine.

The production team includes Hugh Welchman, himself a famed animator, Ivan Mactaggart, a financier for several high-profile films for Trademark, David Parfitt, chairman of several film boards and producer of theater and film, and Sean Bobbitt, a former theatre chain founder who has collaborated with Kobiela previously on The Flying Machine.

It’s easy to see how Loving Vincent might inspire artists of the future.

We can not only honor the styles of long-gone artists using modern technologies, but we can advance, innovate, and increase our understanding of what made their works so influential in their own time.

Loving Vincent follows the age old adage of ‘showing’ rather than ‘telling’ and, in doing so, expands our perspective on the works of Van Gogh.

Hopefully the film and its 80+ artists will inspire artists to honor their heroes in the best way possible—by creating something new. We’re truly inspired.

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