This biographical film, based on the life of French artist Paul Gauguin (Donald Sutherland), follows the painter as he returns to Paris after a long stay in Tahiti and must confront his ...
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This biographical film, based on the life of French artist Paul Gauguin (Donald Sutherland), follows the painter as he returns to Paris after a long stay in Tahiti and must confront his wife, his children, and his former lover.Written by
I studied art and painted much of my life. I tracked down every art film I could get my hands on for many years. The copy I saw, I rented from a Blockbuster store on VHS, under the title, Wolf at the Door. The other reviews are correct in that this is visually beautiful. The music is a little heavy handed in places. Sutherland is very believable in the title role. The women are very young and with slender bodies. There is not much to Gauguin to like. He has zero emotional ties to anyone in his life. His return to Paris creates little interest from the art community. And soon he longs to return to a life of ease in Tahiti.
I have read very little on Gauguin and I'm not foolish enough to believe film biographies. So I have nothing to compare this to. This is a very unflattering portrait of Gauguin. One of the girls in the film is very young. A teenager perhaps 16. Gauguin has his deepest relationship with her. She is infatuated with him and wants to be his lover. Gauguin delivers many artsy, lovely speeches in a husky whisper. These imply a sophisticated complex personality. But just what is the film trying to say? I never knew who Gauguin was, other than a man who wanted to return to Tahiti. Strange little film. Certainly worth a look if you don't mind 1980's art house films.
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