He’s one of the world’s most famous artists and now he’s getting a rather splendidly designed biopic…
Spoilers may follow.
What’s it about?
There can be few who have even just the most passing awareness of art that have not heard of Vincent van Gogh.
A celebrated artist now, the Dutch post-impressionist painter of the late nineteenth-century met little acclaim in his own day, selling just two of his latterly priceless artworks.
Loving Vincent tells the story of how the man who would go on to become one the most famous artists in the world ended up, on July 27, 1890, staggering down a street, to his death, in the French country town of Auvers, dripping with fresh blood from the bullet to his stomach.
The film is set in the Summer of 1891 when a Armand Roulin, a waster, is given a letter by his father to be delivered to Paris and the brother of his father’s friend, Vincent van Gogh. It is a journey that will lead him to Auvers-sur-Oise, to the villagers who knew him and the feuds that rule them.
At the end of it may well be the truth of how and why Vincent Van Gogh met such a vastly fate.
Who’s in it?
Van Gogh is played by Polish theatre actor Robert Gulaczyk (his first ever film role) in Loving Vincent, a performer who had been told of his likeness to the artist, for the first time, just two years ago. In the film, however, the main role – that of Armand Roulin – is played by Douglas Booth, most recently seen in The Limehouse Golem.
The stars of the BBC drama Poldark, Elizabeth Tomlinson and Aidan Turner reunite in the film to play the innkeeper’s daughter, Adeline Ravoux, and the boatman respectively.
A starry ensemble is completed by Jerome Flynn’s Doctor Paul Gachet, Saoirse Ronan, as his daughter Marguerite, Chris O’dowd, John Sessions and Helen McCrory.
Each member of the cast has been captured in Van Gogh’s painterly style and all are drawn from original portrait’s within the artist’s work.
Who’s made it?
Motion capture eat your heart out. Loving Vincent was first shot as a live action film with the actors, before being hand-painted over frame-by-frame in oils by a team of 125 artists from across the world, retrained as painting animators. The world’s first fully painted feature film, Loving Vincent is made up of an astonishing 65,000 hand painted oil frames.
Each of these frames has been painted on a canvas, sized 67cm by 49cm and captured at 6k resolution on a Canon D20 digital stills camera. For every movement in the film, the previous frame has been painstakingly recreated, as with stop-motion animation.
Many of the original paintings (only 1,000 of the 65,000 survive, due to the necessity of scraping each frame clean after shots with a spatula) can be purchased from lovingvincent.com – but they don’t come cheap! An exhibition of a further 200 is to be arranged.
Behind the scenes, Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman are the masterminds directing and writing the film, which is a Poland-UK co-production.
Piotr Dominiak led up the crew of artists as Head of Painting for the production, whilst the score is by High Rise and Black Swan composer Clint Mansell.
When’s it out?
Loving Vincent premiered back in June at the 2017 Annecy International Animated Film Festival and is set too to tour a number of art galleries ahead of its wide release.
In the UK, the film is to screen at the National Gallery on October 9, as part of a special London Film Festival event broadcast into cinemas nationwide.
A full release with follow on October 13.
Watch the trailer here: