Monday, July 18, 2016
Van Gogh (1991) A Film by Maurice Pialat
"In 1956's Lust for Life, Vincente Minnelli captured Vincent van Gogh's antisocial mania and his harum-scarum dealings with the mainstream art world. With 1990's Vincent & Theo, Robert Altman fixed his attention on the swirl of meretricious forces surrounding the doomed artist, and in typical Altmanesque fashion, the ways in which the talons of commerce make fools of those with integrity. French filmmaker Maurice Pialat evidently found both approaches too dramatic. His own fictionalized account of the Dutchman's waning days, 1991's frankly titled Van Gogh, leeches late-19th-century France of sensationalism, barely treating it different than he would one of the drab modern locales of his contemporary dramas. In doing so, van Gogh's neuroses and shortcomings end up looking much like those of Pialat's standard anti-hero, a man driven to let his worst self gradually overshadow his best."
Full review here.