The Importance Of Loving Vincent’s Commercial Victory

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Loving Vincent Break Thru Films

Good Deed’s Entertainment’s Loving Vincent, the exquisite animated homage of the brilliant post-impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh, is making a killing at the indie box office. Playing on just four screens, the film managed to rake in an impressive $52,886. By comparison, Little Miss Sunshine earned $52,999 per screen its opening weekend before moving on to a wider distribution.

In addition to reviewing the film, I wrote a piece that touched on the tragic irony that defined the tortured Dutchman’s posthumous career. Like Dorota Kobiela, one half of the duo that directed the feature, I’ve spent a lot of time engulfed in the numerous, often poetic letters Vincent sent to his benefactor and brother Theo Van Gogh, granting me a greal deal of insight and empathy for the troubled artist’s feelings of self doubt and artistic disatisfaction.

The commercial victory of Loving Vincent declares a message of ambition and passion, in an industry that is all but deaf to the virtues of discipline.  

Loving Vincent is the world’s first painted animated film. The 80 painters that helped bring the project to life arduously crafted 66,960 frames of oil paintings to realize the vivid and distinct brushstrokes of Van Gogh’s work.

Inspired by a cocktail of personal trauma and the lack of faith of others, Kobiela authored a piece of art truly marvelous to behold. I’ve seen the film several times now, reveling in the breathless wonder that takes the friends who accompany me.

Marrying a sober commentary of mental illness and an unmistakably painstaking appreciation of the 94 paintings that inspired the character models was an expert choice. It was suggested to Kobelia that she render the entire feature length film with CGI animation. She refused, as that could not adequately convey “the spirit” of the subject at its center.

Though it pains me that a work this impressive is relegated to a couple of art house theatres, I’m glad to know it's garnered some considerable buzz, for the sake of Vincent, who famously never got to enjoy the fruit of his labor, and for the sake of the living artists that devoted so much time and effort to honoring him.  

If you find the time, I implore you to see Loving Vincent. Let’s do all we can to make sure projects keep getting made.

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