It was a night filled with wine, bacon fries and of course, Van Gogh. On Monday, at 6pm, I found myself on the top floor of House 6, sipping on a glass of red wine with a few friends. But that was only the early stages, and the night was still young.
The Visual Arts society had organised a “Paint ‘n’ Sip”, followed by a trip to the Savoy in order to see the UK and Ireland premiere of “Loving Vincent”. Although there wasn’t much painting, everybody was still in high spirits, as the wine, jellies and crisps continued to be passed around. After an hour of chattiness and general excitement, we left campus, and began to head for the Savoy Cinema on O’Connell Street.
“The film captures the spirit of Van Gogh’s work, while also providing us with the illusion of intimacy with the artist himself”
I’ve always had a soft spot for Vincent Van Gogh and his work. However, I don’t think that I was the only one who was genuinely looking forward to the film. If the heart-wrenching reality of Van Gogh’s death wasn’t enough to garner interest, then the revolutionary cinematography certainly was. The 95-minute film is set a year after Van Gogh’s death.
It follows Armand Roulin, a young Frenchman (Douglas Booth), on a journey to deliver a letter addressed to Van Gogh’s brother, written by Vincent shortly before his apparent suicide. Along the way, the audience are introduced to a series of characters (all of whom Van Gogh had painted during his lifetime), and the entire film is animated in the style of Van Gogh.
“It took over 100 artists, each replicating Van Gogh’s brush strokes, in order to bring this story to life”
I cannot recommend the film enough. It was a great insight into the life (and death) of Vincent Van Gogh, as well as being incredibly emotional. The film captures the spirit of Van Gogh’s work, while also providing us with the illusion of intimacy with the artist himself. It hits Irish screens this Friday, October 13th.
After the film was over, there was a brief interlude before a live stream came from the National Gallery in London, where there was a Q&A with members of the cast, crew and creative team. “Loving Vincent” was a film that was 6 years in the making and involved over 900 canvases and 65,000 image frames being used throughout the entire film. It took over 100 artists, each replicating Van Gogh’s brush strokes, in order to bring this story to life. As the artist himself said, “great things are done by a series of small things brought together”, and this film is nothing if not striking evidence of how true this is.