Loving Vincent

France in summer 1891. Armand is given a letter by his father, postman Joseph Roulin, and told to hand-deliver it in Paris. The letter is addressed to Theo van Gogh, the brother of his father’s friend Vincent. Armand is none too pleased with the mission, for he is embarrassed by his father’s associations with Vincent – a foreign painter who cut off his ear and was committed to the local asylum. Nevertheless, he resigns himself to father’s wish and embarks on his journey. Although his search for Theo fails, Armand’s curiosity and admiration for the artist increases from day to day.

The British-Polish coproduction by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman transforms Vincent van Gogh’s artworks into intoxicating scenes and illuminates the tragic events surrounding his death. Dorota Kobiela and a team of European artists developed a total of 377 base images, inspired by 94 original paintings by Vincent van Gogh. Stylistic elements and parts of another 31 paintings by van Gogh were integrated into the base images. Subsequently, life action shootings with actors began to bring to life the scenes based on the reference images. One hundred twenty-five artists from all over Europe painted the live-action footage in oil on canvas by means of adapted rotoscoping and photographed each individual frame with a digital camera. This exceedingly time-consuming process resulted in more than 65,000 hand-painted frames, whose light temperature and vividness were carefully synchronised in postproduction to ensure ultimate visual continuity.

Shortly before his death, Vincent wrote to his brother: “Ces toiles vous diront ce que je ne sais dire en paroles” (“We cannot speak other than by our paintings”).

“Loving Vincent” received standing ovations and was honoured with the Audience Award in Annecy. (ml)

> Watch making-of-video: vimeo.com

> News & extras: lovingvincent.com

  • DirectorDorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman
  • CountryPLGB
  • Production year2017
  • Duration1 hour 35 min
  • Language (subtitles)English (German/French)
  • Age rating10+