Apr 19, 2021
On the podcast this week, Steven and Sean are trying to make a postal delivery from the late, great Vincent van Gogh, but end up getting caught up with solving quite the mystery with the 2017 film from Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, Loving Vincent.
Man, we feel wiped out just watching this film. How impossibly exhausting must it have been to create all the thousands upon thousands of hand-painted oil works that make up this astonishing thing? I mean, sure, the artists who worked on this one must have enjoyed doing the work. It’s not like they were forced to paint an entire film at gunpoint.
At least, I hope that’s not what happened. Those poor artists, if that was the case. But it probably wasn’t. Maybe.
Technical stuff aside for a moment, this film is a clever way to introduce people to the life and story of now-über renowned artist Vincent van Gogh. In his time, though, he was hardly known, save for a small handful of people who were either delighted by his eccentric personality or disgusted by it. He painted so much beauty, but never sold any of it. He lived a tragic, painful life that ended all too abruptly. It’s a shame that’s how things ended for him given how appreciated he became.
We get to experience all this through the eyes and travels of one Armand Roulin, whose father, Joseph Roulin, was Vincent’s postman and friend. Joseph tasks Armand with delivering one final letter to Vincent’s brother, Theo. While trying to find Theo, Armand meets an assortment of unique people who knew Vincent, whom all tell stories about his life. Through these interactions we learn more about the person Vincent was, and not just the legend he became.
It’s a lovely, melancholy story told in such a unique fashion: the entire damn film is done in oil paint! Every single second. Every single frame! It’s all a living, moving work of painted art. It really is phenomenal, and is something that everyone should experience. We tend to think of animated films as something that’s drawn with a pencil or molded with a computer, but this one is crafted by a brush.
It’s special, engaging, and worth your time.
(Recorded on March 01, 2021)
Links to Stuff We Mentioned:
(Richard Curtis wrote this episode and Sean thanks him very much. Richard’s got a nice French-style double cheek kiss coming his way in the future.)