About the film
Release Date: Feb 14, 2019
Director: Julian Schnabel
Actors: Oscar Isaac, Rupert Friend, Willem Dafoe, Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Mads Mikkelson"This is a film about painting and a painter and their relationship to infinity" - Julian Schnabel
Direct from competition at Venice comes one of the most eagerly anticipated films of the year. American painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel (Basquiat, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) brings us his impressions of the last days of Vincent Van Gogh.
Written by Schnabel and the legendary Jean-Claude Carriére (The Tin Drum, Belle de Jour), this beautifully crafted drama stars Willem Dafoe as the great Dutch artist. Schnabel has stated that this is not a forensic biography. It is about what it is to be an artist. 'The only way to describe a work of art is to make a work of art,' he says. Schnabel's words come wonderfully to life as we witness Van Gogh's days with his brother Theo (Rupert Friend), fellow artist Paul Gauguin (Oscar Issac) and Madame Ginoux (Emmanuelle Seigner), subject of Van Gogh's famous portrait series. Benoit Delholmme's cinematography is a work of art in itself.
For authenticity, Dafoe learned to paint. Schnabel taught him how to hold the brush, make marks and organize his materials – which was necessary for one scene in particular in which cinematographer Benoit Delhomme chronicles Van Gogh painting his shoes.
“At first, it doesn’t look like the shoes but it deeply captures the soul of those shoes. You experience it,” Dafoe says. “Benoit was my biggest acting partner. It was just me and his fluid camera. We say what has to be accomplished and Julian lets us do it.”
Willem Dafoe is an inspired Van Gogh in Julian Schnabel’s impressionistic masterwork
An unbridled portrait of the painful but productive final years in the life of Vincent van Gogh, a role inhabited with the acrid lucidity of madness by Willem Dafoe.