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World's first fully-painted feature film "Loving Vincent" to screen with Ryder Film Series



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The film "Loving Vincent" features the mystery surrounding Vincent van Gogh's death in 1890 France. This painting is titled, "Self-portrait with Felt Hat" (1887-88). Tribune News Service Buy Photos

“Loving Vincent,” the first ever fully painted feature film, will be screening at various venues around Bloomington throughout March as part of the Ryder Film Series.

"Loving Vincent" is a biopic about the influential painter Vincent Van Gogh, that also focuses on the mystery surrounding the circumstances of his death.

The film was also nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at this year's Academy Awards.

The film will be screened multiple times every weekend through March 25, with the first screening taking place at 7 p.m. Friday, March 9, at the IU Fine Arts Building. 

A full schedule of screening times and locations is available on the Ryder’s website. Tickets to all single screenings are $6.

Each frame of the film's hour-and-a-half run time was painstakingly painted in the style of Van Gogh.

According to the Ryder’s website, the film took roughly four years to complete. Initially, it was shot with actors on greenscreen, and then painted over by a team of classically trained painters.

Michelle Facos, an art history professor at IU, said the film is an important celebration of an important artist.

“He is important because his expressive way of painting paved the way for Expressionism in the 20th century,” Facos said. “He is one of the few artists in the 1880s who sought to make his personal response to nature visible to the viewer.”

More importantly, she said, the film is beautifully made.

“It’s a wonderful film,” she said.

IU freshman Tanner Chaille said he thinks the film’s style and subject matter create an interesting interplay.

“I think it’s a pretty cool idea,” he said. “Van Gogh’s style is pretty influential, and I think taking it into the film medium is an interesting concept, because it kind of creates art and film in a pretty literal way that people can appreciate.”

Chaille said he thinks it’s important to celebrate Van Gogh’s art and acknowledge his struggles.

“I think Van Gogh’s life represents a lot of struggles that people go through on a daily basis, like isolation and depression,” he said.

He said he thinks the portrayal of such things in a biography about Van Gogh is evergreen in terms of relevance. 

“His life ended pretty tragically," Chaille said. "So I think bringing more of his story rather than just his artwork into popular culture is pretty important because it shows that even revered artists have struggles like we all do."

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