Van Gogh – On the Threshold of Eternity by Julian Schnabel | Review
Also wanting to forget, Loving Vincent, which came out only last year and too much detail, for technique and inventiveness, to be forgotten, the Van Gogh museum, the cinema has been told many times, to come from some of the best directors and actors of the TWENTIETH century. Vincent Minnelli and George Cukor directed Kirk Douglas in Lust for Life (1959), Robert Altman has done the same thing with Tim Roth in Vincent & Theo (1990), and even Akira Kurosawa in Dreams gave him the part of the Dutch painter, Martin Scorsese, while in more recent times also Benedict Cumberbatch (tv movie Van Gogh – the Letters of the Madness of Andrew Hutton) launched on the part: comes with Van Gogh – On the Threshold of Eternity, Julian Schnabel to Willem Dafoe, are to be found in front of a challenge double, because somehow the film to have its own raison d'être would have to either distinguish themselves from the previous, but especially to support any comparison.
The movie, while not without flaws, succeeds in the business in a particular way, triggering, i.e. a short circuit rather ingenious and painting a Van Gogh literally on the threshold of eternity, that awaits him after death: to Dafoe is a Van Gogh, a film different from all those that preceded it, because it is enlightened, gentle, reflective, contemplative, knows how much his art will be appreciated by future generations, and despite the melancholy that entails the awareness of being able to be appreciated only when no longer in life, avoids in every possible mythological emotional turbulence, and behavioral – to the limits of madness that both seasoned the biographies of post-impressionist painter.
Set during the last years of the troubled life of the artist, Van Gogh – On the Threshold of Eternity tells of the friendship with Paul Gauguin (Oscar Isaac), the famous cutting of the ear, to the frustration of not being able to earn from those paintings that he knows to be so avant-garde and priceless, until you get to the moment of death, here described as a homicide, although it is widely believed that Van Gogh has taken the life of (perhaps, seeing how this Van Gogh is projected towards the future/eternity, the suicide would have had a taste of a more peculiar).
Obvious son of the cinema of Terrence Malick, the film takes on the traits of the dark and ecstatic, dreamy, watery, starting from this great idea idiosyncratic (emphasizing the calmness in the almost hagiographical in relation to dramatic events), and gives the best of itself when it should show a little less when it is having to tell and/or explain: the dramatic part, in fact, never fails to leave its mark, the fault mainly of the dialogues is not just brilliant, the screenplay (written for four hands by Jean-Claude Carrière and Schnabel) which, however, the interpretations of the actors (also worth mentioning is Mads Mikkelsen in the role of a priest) can almost always be overcome.
Of course, all the strokes of the film are to portray him, Willem Dafoe, whose face is so wrinkled and dry it is adorned with these blue eyes wet from head to toe, and this cut a jaunty, seems to be a reincarnation hyper-realistic iconic self-portraits vanghoghiani.
Van Gogh – On the Threshold of Eternity by Julian Schnabel | Review of MangaForever.net