At Eternity's Gate
Other filmmakers from Vincente Minnelli (Lust For Life) to Robert Altman (Vincent and Theo) to the recent animated feature Loving Vincent, have explored Van Gogh's short, torturous life in considerable detail. With At Eternity's Gate, director Julian Schnabel (Basquiat, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) offers a new perspective on the last days of the master, creating a ravishingly tactile and luminous film which attempts to revive our sense of the artist as a living, feeling human being.
Schnabel devotes much of At Eternity's Gate to the act of creation itself, presenting the Post-Impressionist master's artistic process as a visceral and internal experience while Willem Dafoe, as Van Gogh, conveys the strenuous physicality of painting. The result is a kaleidoscopic and immersive film about being alive and reaching, through art, for the eternal ' and about the beauty and wonder Van Gogh left behind, unaware of the profound impact it would have.
Schnabel; his co-writers Jean-Claude Carrière and Louise Kugelberg, also the film's editor; and cinematographerBenoît Delhomme strip everything down to essentials, fusing the sensual, the emotional, and the spiritual. A stellar ensemble cast including Oscar Isaac as Gauguin, Rupert Friend as Theo, Mathieu Amalric as Dr. Gachet, Emmanuelle Seigner as Madame Ginoux, and Mads Mikkelsen as The Priest add to the pleasure here. But without a doubt, the pulsing heart of the film is Dafoe's shattering performance: his Vincent is at once lucid, mad, brilliant, helpless, defeated, and, finally, triumphant.
Information published by Leisure and Culture Dundee.