Thursday, September 15, 2011

Van Gogh a classic and vintage documentary by famous film director Alain Resnais

video topic: art
entry type: documentary

video title: Van Gogh

artist featured: Vincent van Gogh
director:Alain Resnais
run time: 20 min
size:  mb
release date: 1948


description and preview:
(click "read more" below)

Running a mere two reels, Van Gogh was fledgling filmmaker Alain Resnais' first effort in his documentary series about famous artists. Produced by Pierre Braunberger, who would underwrite most of Resnais' classics of the 1950s and 1960s, the film won several international awards. Concentrating on Van Gogh's paintings, Resnais charts the artist's self-destructive streak and descent into madness -- and at the same time celebrates his brilliance and "lust for life." The narration was written by G. Diehl and R. Hessens. The music, which many reviewers felt was the film's strongest asset, was by Jacques Besse.


The key events of Vincent Van Gogh's life are narrated (by Claude Dauphin in the French version, and by Martin Gabel in the English), and illustrated by the paintings, with appropriately heightened music score attached. That's it...and that's certainly enough, given the extraordinary interconnection of this particular artist's private life and his career. I have to say that it's extremely puzzling, not to say disturbing, that the entire film is in black-and-white, as if Van Gogh had made only charcoal sketches or woodcuts. Here's a short that cries out to be remade: Digital would make it easy to replace the B&W footage with color photography of the artworks, and both narration and score could remain as is. I was also dismayed that though the film has credits attached, Resnais's name does not appear on the English language print owned by UCLA and screened at the Motion Picture Academy last night. The audience seemed interested and moved, but surely they would have been more so if they'd known that this was an early work by the man who later employed many of the same techniques to memorable effect in "Last Year at Marienbad."

screen cap:

sneak peek:

download: Gogh (Alain Resnais, 1948).avi


Subs castellano:

(Gracias a Paragunt├Čn de Patio de Butacas)

English subs:


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