Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman
UK, Poland, 2017
Principal Cast: Aidan Turner, Saoirse Ronan, Eleanor Tomlinson, Chris O’Dowd, Robert Gulaczyk
Loving Vincent is the first fully painted biographical animated film. Each of the film’s 65,000 frames is an oil painting on canvas, using the same technique as Van Gogh, created by a team of 115 painters.
In summer 1891 Vincent Van Gogh died of a gunshot wound. Why did this ambitious young artist kill himself just as he was creating some of his finest work? What was the state of his mental health, and what was going on in his private life? He didn’t leave a suicide note; he didn’t write a letter; there’s no first-hand evidence given by Doctor Gachet [his physician]. Vincent and his brother Theo spent several hours together before he died, and Vincent was fully lucid. But Theo never relayed in writing anything about the conversations that they had.”
They came up with a noirish detective story (featuring real people Van Gogh knew), set a year after the artist’s death. The film takes in the various conflicting accounts given by residents of Auvers. It also explores the not-impossible theory that Van Gogh was murdered by René Secrétan, a local 16 year-old who enjoyed ridiculing the quiet, anti-social artist, and went as far as admitting to having given him the gun. His tragic death has long been known, what has remained a mystery is how and why he came to be shot. Loving Vincent tells that story.