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Van Gogh's lust for life




I had the pleasure of watching the movie, Lust for Life, recently. Vincent Van Gogh's life rolls in front of our eyes with crisp colours and sharp chiaroscuro all around. I was just amazed that the filmmakers actually managed to bring out the characteristics of Van Gogh's painting into the movie itself, and this was back in 1956. The entire movie is weighed on the dialogues that flow quite poetically, and Kirk Douglas's Vincent Van Gogh, Anthony Quinn's Paul Gauguin, and James Donald's Theo Van Gogh are apt and convincing in their roles.

The warmth and love between the brothers, Vincent Van Gogh and Theo Van Gogh, the conversations and conflicts between Vincent Van Gogh and all other real-life  characters (Paul Gauguin in particular), the narration of the letters from Vincent to Theo in the background, the representation of Van Gogh's real paintings and more, everything adds to a delightful experience. 


Paul Gauguin's sarcasm and quick mockery of Symbolism adds to the lighter moments in the movie whereas Van Gogh's unfortunate tumble into a self-mutilating, hallucinating being is quite horrifying.

A well-made biography!


~ RN

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