Van Gogh: Brush With Genius

Found this documentary on Netflix Instantly.  After receiving the feelings of curiosity, I clicked on it and watched.  With permission of the Musee D’orsay and the Van Gogh Museum, filmmaker Francois Bertrand shot a 39 minute film of the artist’s art and the places he visited and painted.  To top this all off, a narrator with a thick French accent plays the part of Vincent commenting on his fame and telling his life.  That part?  Does not come out well.  If they wanted to make a documentary on how people take care of the Post-Impressionism’s work, then they should have done that.  If they wanted to have Van Gogh speak for himself, then have someone narrate his letters.  This combination just makes this documentary a slight mess.  With footage of the director shooting places and paintings, it felt less about Van Gogh and more about him and his crew.  It felt out-of-place.

On the other hand, they created very pretty footage.  The sweeping grandeur of the locations that inspired the Dutch painter exudes a haunting, sacred quality.  I felt as if I walked in Van Gogh’s footsteps.  Not to mention the cool up close shots of his paintings.  I loved seeing the thick paint that accented the artist’s unique style.  Finally, his suicide never fails to tug at the heartstrings.  The narrator captured it so well that I felt a little misty eyed from listening to a man crushed by loneliness.

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