Over the weekend, I had the extreme pleasure of seeing Van Gogh: Brush with Genius at a local OMNIMAX theatre. The film by Peter Knapp and Francois Bertrand, brings to life the words and works of Van Gogh on a larger than life scale. Narrated though the words of Van Gogh, as taken from his letters, the film tells Vincent’s story largely in his own words.
Some of the most interesting commentary was on Van Gogh’s shift from his darker early works which use little color to his later works in which he embraced color and often demonstrated the dramatic effects of using complementary colors. These effects became even more apparent seeing each yellow and violet brush stroke paired together on the big screen. One such painting, besides the most obvious example, Starry Night with its vibrant yellows against violet, is the painting of the Bank of the Oise at Auvers on the left.
Another enjoyable facet of the movie was seeing the real life places, which still exist today, where Van Gogh lived and that he captured in some of his most famous paintings. Following his life from the early years in the Netherlands to Paris to Arles and Saint-Remy and finally to Auvers-sur-Oise, Van Gogh becomes less of a myth as you experience his homes and landscapes through viewing their present day counterparts.
If you have the opportunity to see Van Gogh: Brush with Genius, you will have a chance to experience Van Gogh’s life and work in a way that even he could not. If you have already seen the film, share your comments about it here.