Loving Vincent

Loving Vincent does the exact opposite of what made Vincent van Gogh‘s art great. He tried to capture his own perception of one single moment in time as short as possible. He tried to fixiate what that moment looked like to him, what it appeared to be and what it felt like. Loving Vincent shoves some actors in front of a green screen and lets an army of painters brush over the captured images in an art style that is not their own and as if they were working in an assembly line. They pressed one year worth of moments in 95 minutes.

Storywise it felt a bit like they didn‘t know what else to do with this amazing idea of painting a movie. It had to be the art of Vincent van Gogh, because impressionist paintings are still concrete enough to portray people and physical objects and basically the only ones which can be produced in a relatively small amount of time. Vincent van Gogh lead an interesting life and is the most important and famous impressionist painter, so he was the ideal choice.

For all of its flaws, Loving Vincent still touched me. Not only, because the amount of work put into this movie is so ridiculously high, but because I think it captured parts of what made Vincent van Gogh the person he was. I felt connected to him, although he isn‘t even the protagonist of this movie. When I left the cinema, I took a look at the stars and realized these weren‘t the stars van Gogh painted back then. Not only because I was in a different place of the world or light pollution, but because that moment when he painted those dots in the sky is gone forever. The only remaining evidence this moment even happened is a painting by a poor, suicidal dutchman. This is, what art does for me as well: capture and preserve my view on the world at that particular point in time.

This is, what movies do as well: layering moment after moment until something starts moving. So, maybe a film made up of 65,000 oil paintings representing those moments before and after the death of Vincent van Gogh isn‘t the worst idea.