April 23rd, 2018

Loving Vincent – animated, and nominated for Best Animated Feature.  This one is recently added to Netflix and its claim to fame really is the use of hundreds of artists who made real paintings used in the film.  It took years for the pictures to be painted, and this film is remarkable in showing the Van Gogh masterpieces set within a fictional story.  The fictional story is a letter that is addressed from Vincent to his brother.  The Van Gogh brothers exchanged many letters over the years.  The story here is not significant.  But rather the visual splendor that is Van Gogh paintings and how they weave their way through the film.   There are actors here, and those you will know from Peaky Blinders and Game of Thrones and Saiorse Ronan too.  They provide voices, but are animated in a way and style that shows who they are.  The black and white flashbacks too a lot like the technology for the animated music video Take On Me.   Full disclosure, I like Van Gogh paintings, and I have been to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam.  I have also seen his works in Chicago and Paris and other cities.  It is remarkable to me that this troubled soul did not sell a painting during his lifetime (this is a debatable fact, but the number would be minuscule), and his brother had the foresight and means to recognize his talent and unique gift.  Here is yet another genius (like Mozart) who left the world too early, but made a last impression that is still felt today.

For those who are interested in how this was made, see this YouTube on it:

Kodachrome – is recently released on Netflix as well and stars Ed Harris, Jason Sudeikis and Elizabeth Olsen.  This is a well worn story about a dying man seeking out estranged children to head out on a road to do or find something.  A couple years back it was Nebraska with Bruce Dern.  This is formulaic and so the value in watching is really on the performances.  Here Harris plays the dying well-known photographer/journalist who was a lousy husband and father but was known for his pictures/images.  He insists that his pictures be put on celluloid and there is one Kodak location left in Parsons KS that can develop his film, some film that he had taken many years before.   The rest unfolds predictably but it still has some emotional impact.  The music includes Pearl Jam and the band Live which is discussed at length.   The Paul Simon song, ironically enough, is NOT included here.  Still worth a look, and make sure you are prepared for emotional side in the fourth act.

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