Artists bring Van Gogh paintings to life in “Loving Vincent”
Vincent van Gogh left behind more than 2,000 paintings in his short and intriguing life, and what better way to honor that life than with a groundbreaking animated film using paintings?
Van Gogh, born March 30, 1853, lived to be 37 before dying controversially in 1890. To tell the story of this tragic artist, filmmakers are using 62,000 paintings by 85 artists, all done in the style of Van Gogh, to create “Loving Vincent,” a feature-length film about the artist.
Each frame of the film is an oil on canvas painting created with the same techniques the Dutch Post-Impressionist used. The film features 94 Van Gogh paintings in original form and references 35 of his other paintings, utilizing the characters within them to provide dramatic reconstructions of the events leading to Van Gogh’s death.
According to Newsweek, director Dorota Kobiela is a classically-trained painter whose master thesis was about Van Gogh. She blended her passions for art and animation and came up with the concept for “Loving Vincent” after re-reading letters written by Van Gogh.
Originally, 40 artists were hired to create the paintings, but the filmmakers expanded it to 85 to increase production. The company turned to Kickstarter to raise the funds needed for training the painters.
The film was created by film companies Breakthru Films and Trademark Films, with the concept formed in 2011 and production beginning in 2014. The film is expected to be released in autumn 2016.
This isn’t the first time Van Gogh’s unmistakable style was utilized in a movie. In “Dreams” (1990), the director, Akira Kurosawa, pays homage to Van Gogh in a segment called “Crows.” In it, an art student explores a world reminiscent of Van Gogh’s artwork and meets Van Gogh, played by famed director Martin Scorsese. The visual effects for this segment of “Dreams” were provided by Industrial Light and Magic, the special effects group of George Lucas.