Panorama | Special Presentations
Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman’s remarkable animated work—"the world’s first fully painted feature"—brings to life the paintings of Vincent van Gogh via a kind of rotoscoping technique similar to the one used in Richard Linklater’s Waking Life but with an obsessive attention to detail never seen before. To wit: the film took seven years to make, and each of its 65,000 frames was hand-painted by one of 115 professional oil-painters.
More than 130 paintings by van Gogh serve as the initial backgrounds for a kind of detective tale wherein Armand Roulin (Douglas Booth), the son of the postmaster in Arles, tries to understand how the painter (Robert Gulaczyk) could go from the tranquil artist he knew to a suicide in only six weeks. Travelling from Arles in the south, where van Gogh produced some of his most amazing work, to Auvers-sur-Oise, near Paris, where the painter died and is buried (alongside brother Theo), Roulin questions those close to van Gogh in his quest for knowledge. And all the while, he is immersed in the world of the master’s paintings—and so are we…
"A truly awe-inspiring portrait of the great Dutch artist… [that pulls] audiences into the delirious, hyper-sensual world suggested by van Gogh’s oeuvre… Mere photography couldn’t possibly capture van Gogh’s paradoxical nature, and indeed, previous biopics have tended to pick one facet and stick to it. By contrast, this one embraces his complexity, withholding a clear view of Vincent… until the very end—a tactic that reinforces the notion that we can only truly understand him through the work he left behind."—Peter Debruge, Variety
Best Animated Film, Best Director, Shanghai 17