IMDb > Van Gogh: Brush with Genius (2009)

Van Gogh: Brush with Genius (2009) More at IMDbPro »Moi, Van Gogh (original title)

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Van Gogh: Brush with Genius -- Trailer for Van Gogh: Brush With Genius

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7.3/10   82 votes »
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Release Date:
25 March 2009 (France) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Dive into the heart of Van Goghs paintings. For the first time, discover in IMAX the fantastic colors and passionate brushwork of a great genius as they take on a new life before our eyes. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Different Strokes See more (2 total) »

Cast

 

Jacques Gamblin ... Vincent Van Gogh (voice)
Peter Knapp ... Lui-même
Hélène Seuzaret ... La conservatrice

Directed by
François Bertrand 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
François Bertrand  writer
Peter Knapp  original idea
Marie Sellier  dialogue

Original Music by
Armand Amar 
 
Cinematography by
Vincent Mathias 
 
Film Editing by
Anne-Marie Sangla 
 
Production Design by
Jean-Jacques Gernolle 
 
Production Management
Jean Manuel Vignau .... production manager
 
Sound Department
Dominique Gaborieau .... sound re-recording mixer
Cyrille Richard .... assistant sound editor
Francis Wargnier .... sound designer
 
Visual Effects by
Eric Gravel .... digital effects artist
 
Camera and Electrical Department
David Aïm .... first assistant camera
Renaud Garnier .... gaffer
Clementine Peron .... assistant camera
Sylvain Viricel .... second assistant camera
 
Editorial Department
Michael Di Luzio .... english translation editor
 
Music Department
Camille Adrien .... orchestrator
Thomas Jamois .... soundtrack producer
Emilie Ruby .... assistant music mixer
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Moi, Van Gogh" - France (original title)
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Runtime:
France:40 min
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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
Different Strokes, 3 August 2009
Author: tedg (tedg@FilmsFolded.com) from Virginia Beach

Seen in IMAX at the Melbourne Festival.

Its hard to mess up any project that shows Van Gogh's work. So let's talk about why you need to see this. You must of course visit the man's paintings at least once. You need to spend at least two hours on each one, especially the post-Arles ones where the mania took control. But even in the best of settings, you can only get so close. There is a mystery to them, like there is with Shakespeare. His plays work amazingly well in performance and they were clearly designed for that. But they take on a whole new dimension when read and studied. So it is with Vincent's paintings. But it is virtually impossible to study them.

Here you can get a feel for the energy in them because details can get blown up to 20 feet. There is a device that is used here that annoys, but is ever so useful: you see a painting from the side, while the focus is pulled from near to far in a line that advances over the texture. You can see the depth, the energy, the layers of color. You can see why his brushes had to be custom made. Why his paints were delivered thick and then unevenly thinned on the spot. Why his strokes resemble his handwriting. How you can see the fatigue in the energy at the end of the project. For merely the possibility of this, you must see this if you can.

But otherwise it is an abomination. The rough form is that we have a filmmaker. He makes a film about him making this film. It is narrated by a faux Vincent who says that he really likes this filmmaker, that the filmmaker truly understands his work. This alone deserves corporal punishment. This, and a similar set of episodes about a woman scholar who probably is the filmmaker's girlfriend occupy probably a third of the film.

Another third shows an amazing set of misunderstandings. We are taken to settings that are, or are like the ones that Vincent painted and shown them in relatively lovely Imax, with an annoying pan. The assumption is that seeing "the real thing" somehow informs knowledge of the paintings, or the man. The paintings have little to do with the location, and everything to do with the experience, about which we learn nothing. There is the device here of time-lapse shots of cities where there is the effect of motion in stillness and that is something. The paintings have a static peace in the large and a panicked yearning of motion in the small, something I guess like time-lapse. But its not connected, so is wasted. Merely a filler.

Finally we are given some history of the man, nearly all wrong or misleading.

We are not told of the influence of drugs. Vincent's introduction to absinthe in Paris by Lautrec because it enhances the yellow. And Vincent's fall into porphyry, the extent of which is controversial. But surely it is why he turned manic in such a visibly spiritual and golden way. We are not told that Gauguin was well into an opiate addition by the shared time in Arles (because of the purples) and that the two men argued constantly and violently. It is not mentioned that it is now considered likely that Gauguin injured the ear in a near- unconscious tussle. We are not told about the destructive influence of Theo's wife and that she lobbied to cut off Vincent's allowance, triggering the suicide. (She would become immensely wealthy through the paintings.)

In fact, though the letters are mentioned and some of them partly read, we get none of the passion from Vincent and the intelligent, detailed, theoretical feedback on each painting from Theo. They were a powerful team and this is lost here.

So, please try and ignore this disgusting filmmaker and his attempts at self-validation and his history. But do go for the texture of the work.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.

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