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Paul Cox (written by)
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Release Date:
31 July 1988 (USA) See more »
This documentary on the life of artist Vincent Van Gogh is told through his letters to his brother Theo from 1872 until his tragic death. We gain first hand insight into the man, his motivations and his humanity. | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
The Definitive Van Gogh See more (1 total) »



Directed by
Paul Cox 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Paul Cox  written by

Produced by
Tony Llewellyn-Jones .... producer
Original Music by
Norman Kaye 
Cinematography by
Paul Cox 
Film Editing by
Paul Cox 
Sound Department
James Currie .... sound

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:105 min
Sound Mix:

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Movie Connections:
Featured in A Journey with Paul Cox (1996)See more »


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26 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
The Definitive Van Gogh, 27 September 2005
Author: Zen Bones from USA

I can only imagine how pleased Van Gogh would be at seeing his work articulated through Paul Cox's lens. Interspersed with countless images of Van Gogh's original work, are cinematic images of the landscapes, the still-lifes, the town, and the people that Van Gogh knew so well. Cox unassumingly uses real people and costumes in an almost dream-like fashion; they exist along the edges of the film, in a sort of blur; as if we were living directly in Van Gogh's dreams and memories. What's most astounding though, is that I never knew what an incredibly gifted writer Van Gogh was. The entire film is narration of Van Gogh's words, in letters written to his brother. His passion, idealism, and frustration are articulated in ways that are so tangible … it makes all other works about frustrated idealists seem downright silly. It took me a while to warm up to John Hurt's narration because I kept envisioning him instead of Van Gogh, but after a little while I got lost in the words just and concentrated on the feeling that Hurt was evoking. By the end I was in tears. It's the best film about an artist that I've ever seen.

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