first_img Is Loving Vincent good?Very good.What’s it about?A loose semi-speculative biopic about the life of artist Vincent Van Gogh, specifically his last few years and the semi-suspicious circumstances of his death. The story takes place a year after Van Gogh has supposedly died by suicide, and follows a postman’s son who’s been tasked by his father with delivering a newly-recovered letter from the artist to his brother Theo after several attempts to do so by conventional means had failed. Retracing Vincent’s travels and activities over the last few months of his life, connecting with various people he’d met and interacted with, the hero soon begins to suspect that someone (or perhaps multiple people) are covering something up about how and why Van Gogh died. It’s a mystery that he becomes compelled to solve – or at least understand.So like Citizen Kane but for a painter (and a real person?)Sort of. But that’s not what makes it an interesting must-see movie.What does?The conceit here is that the whole film has been animated to look like it’s taking place in “living” versions of Van Gogh’s paintings with everything from the backgrounds to the characters rendered in his signature style. And to achieve this effect… they painted it.Come again?It’s a process called “rotoscoping,” where you shoot film with real actors on mostly bare sets, then take each frame of film and trace drawings over it, then film every drawing individually so that when you play them all back as a film you’ve got animation. What they did for Loving Vincent was that… but with oil-paintings. They turned every individual frame of the movie into 65,000 individual full-blown oil paintings created by 125 artists over a six-year production cycle and then strung them together with the original actor’s audio and music to create the finished movie. This makes it technically the first fully-painted feature-film ever made… OUT OF 65,000 INDIVIDUAL PAINTINGS.That’s… pretty wild.Right? I mean, have you ever tried to paint one oil painting? It’s not easy! Even that abstract stuff where it doesn’t have to LOOK like anything takes forever. So the sheer scale and scope of this production alone is a reason to see, just to prove to yourself that “holy shit, somebody decided to do this and then actually pulled it off!?”How is it aside from the technical achievement?The story and performances are solid if not necessarily as spectacular as the production itself – but then maybe that’s part of the charm: Seeing such a mammoth yet meticulous undertaking executed in service of such a subdued and intimate story. Besides, I’m not sure what else you’d do given the subject matter – Vincent Van Gogh didn’t exactly pain car chases, y’know? It’s interesting when it needs to be, heartfelt when it has to be and utterly charming even in the intermittent moments where you get caught up and forget just how amazing it is that this thing EXISTS in the first place.Do I need to know much about Van Gogh or art history to appreciate it?It doesn’t hurt, since there are some subtle extra layers regarding which paintings are being referenced in individual scenes and why, but overall the plot catches you up to who Van Gogh was, why he was a controversial figure in his day and why he’s considered important now pretty efficiently.So you recommend it?I do. Even if the storyline doesn’t necessarily grab you, the sheer one-of-a-kind novelty of how it was made is an event in and of itself – easily the most technically impressive animated film released in quite some time. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on targetcenter_img MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ last_img

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