Loving Vincent

The painter Vincent Van Gogh continues to fascinate, his popularity seeming to grow every year. His creativity came at the price of much misery and madness, and led to his eventual suicide at age 37 in 1890. He had produced approximately 900 paintings but sold only one during his life—and that was to his brother. It has been speculated that he suffered from bi-polar disorder, or possibly a type of epilepsy, and was able to work between episodes of delusion.

These few words do an injustice to someone who suffered so greatly while producing art in a new and unique style that has sold for as high as $82 million for a single painting.

Several years ago work began on a motion picture titled Loving Vincent, which uses paintings done in the style of Van Gogh to create its visuals. 

The film's website has an entirely different trailer, which allows us to see the characters speak.

And because you should be wondering how a film in which Van Gogh's paintings come to life to narrate his own story was made, there is a video on that very subject.

One could write at length about all of this, but the videos convey more than words.

Something interesting, to me at any rate, is the music used during the making-of video: part of it comes from the soundtrack from the science fiction film Moon.

Directed by Duncan Jones (son of David Bowie) and released in 2009, it is a painful meditation on what it means to be human. Not an easy question to answer, particularly within the context of the film. The sole actor for most of the movie is Sam Rockwell, doing gut-wrenching work in the depths of unspeakable melancholy. It's quite wonderful and was well-reviewed. The late lamented Roger Ebert wrote, "Moon is a superior example of that threatened genre, hard science-fiction … The movie is really all about ideas. It only seems to be about emotions. How real are our emotions, anyway? How real are we?" Not getting the attention it deserved was the film's score by Clint Mansell (he also scored Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan, among others). It is his music which you can hear behind the director's voice in the making-of video for Loving Vincent. It is perfectly chosen. Van Gogh, too, struggled with what it meant to be human.