COLUMN: Why you should watch ‘Loving Vincent’

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Ian Stobaugh, Columnist

Not many people have heard of the movie “Loving Vincent.” I didn’t hear about it until a month before it came out in 2017. My art teacher in high school showed my class the trailer, and I was instantly in love.

I don’t entirely know what draws me to Vincent van Gogh, but he is most definitely one of my favorite artists. I would read biographies about him in high school, and my wallpaper was a set of his paintings at one point. I knew a lot about him, and let me just tell you that it blew my mind to see his paintings move on the screen.

The entire movie is animated with oil paint. The movie took six years to produce, and over 65,000 paintings to animate. The producers first recorded the movie as a live-action, with actors in front of green screens. Then, about 125 different painters were hired to paint in van Gogh’s style and create a scene in which the actors were immersed in his paintings.

The movie also has an interesting story – it follows the main character, Armand, as he tries to deliver a letter to van Gogh’s brother, Theo van Gogh, a few weeks after Vincent’s death. As he is searching for Theo, Armand meets many people that knew Vincent during his life. He begins to learn so much about this man that he had never heard of, and almost every side of him – both the good and the bad. The stories get played out on the screen: both the stories Armand hears about Vincent, and Armand’s journey to deliver the letter.

Personally, I watch the movie more for the visual aspect. To me, that’s enough. Usually, I don’t pay too much attention to a movie’s animation style, and more to the story. And while the story of “Loving Vincent” isn’t bad, the visual aspect is so much more enticing to me. It still bewilders me that what I’m watching was hand painted by so many people for so long, and it turned out amazing. The fact that the crew could so closely imitate van Gogh’s painting style is also shocking. As an artist myself, it was hard enough to find my own style of painting. I can’t imagine emulating someone else, especially a famous artist who’s been gone for over a hundred years.

So, if you’re looking for a new movie to watch, I recommend “Loving Vincent,” especially if you love art. It’s hard to not appreciate the work that went into it. It’s also difficult to keep your eyes off the screen with the perfectly balanced colors, tones and moods throughout the movie. It’s one of my favorite movies of all time, and it could be one of yours too, if it sounds like it’s up your alley.

Ian Stobaugh is a freshman German major. He can be contacted at 581-1812 or [email protected]