Big Movie Zone Blog Press Releases Teacher's Guides Community
Features and Reviews

BMZ Review: Van Gogh: Brush With Genius
By Ann Coates

bigImage

Van Gogh: Brush With Genius
Written by: Ann Coates
Source: Big Movie Zone
Date: March 23, 2009

     

Category: Reviews

Literally an art film, Van Gogh: Brush With Genius is an intimate look into the artist's paintings told through a beyond-the-grave narration from "Van Gogh."  Tracking his short artistic career, the film travels through the Netherlands and France revealing the artist's source material for many of his works.  The life of Van Gogh as described within the film tends towards the sugar-coated -- though it does on occasion have its witty moments -- the drama of his paintings comes through despite the cheer found in the narration.

The core of the film is the intense focus on Van Gogh's paintings.  The camera comes incredibly close to his works revealing hard, thick brushstrokes, where at times, the paint still appears wet and new.  The film refuses to critique his paintings or their relevance in art history, only uncovering the source material from which Van Gogh drew upon.  It is a challenging approach allowing the audience to fashion their own understanding, or rather feelings, on his paintings simply as they are.  But after 40 minutes of intense visual scrutiny of his work, it would have been nice to have at least a bit of scholarly understanding of Van Gogh's art.

The film does reveal Van Gogh as a workaholic painting non-stop for 9 years, culminating in over 900 paintings in his short artistic career.  Compelled to paint, the film exhibits his obsession with color, particularly with the "high yellow note" which so frequently appears in his art.  Despite the intensity with which he worked, the overall feel of the film lacks this sense of torment and passion with which he painted.

An atypical, strange Giant Screen film, Van Gogh nevertheless is a bold step out of traditional Giant Screen filmmaking.  Like Van Gogh's paintings where high horizon lines allow the viewer to feel surrounded by the painting, the film Van Gogh dives into the work of the artist in exhaustive and detailed intimacy.

Agree/Disagree With This Review?

Post Your Own Review | Read User Reviews | Check For Outside Reviews

Additional BMZ Reviews of Van Gogh: Brush With Genius

Van Gogh: Brush With Genius by Ross Anthony

Movie Reviews by Ann Coates

Amazing Mighty Micro Monsters
A Beautiful Planet
Asteroid: Mission Extreme
National Parks Adventure
Wild Africa
Living in the Age of Airplanes
Journey to Space
Humpback Whales 3D
Robots 3D
Antarctica: On The Edge
The Great Apes 3D
Dark Universe
Tiny Giants 3D
Antarctica's Penguin Emperors 3D
Galapagos 3D: Nature's Wonderland
Walking with Dinosaurs: Prehistoric Planet 3D
Penguins 3D
Space Junk 3D
Dinosaur Passage to Pangaea
Flying Monsters 3D
Rescue (3D)
Cosmic Journey: Through Hubble and Cassini
Born to Be Wild
My Dream 3D
The Little Prince
Tornado Alley
Waking the T. Rex: The Story of Sue 3D
Magic Journey to Africa (3D)
Furusato: World Heritage Sites Viewed from Space
Legends of Flight 3D
Inception: The IMAX Experience
Arabia 3D
The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest
Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey
The Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D
Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience
Molecules to the MAX!
Monsters vs. Aliens: An IMAX 3D Experience
Under the Sea 3D
Van Gogh: Brush With Genius
Journey to Mecca: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta
Animalopolis
Mysteries of the Great Lakes
The Dark Knight: The IMAX Experience
Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk (3D)
Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure (3D/2D)
Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia (3D/2D)
Dinosaurs Alive! (3D/2D)
The Alps
Hurricane on the Bayou
Ride Around the World
Greece: Secrets of the Past
Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France
Deep Sea (3D/2D)
Vikings: Journey to New Worlds
Mystic India
Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag

Articles Archive: Newest to Oldest


Reviews Archive: Newest to Oldest