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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

The Eyes of Van Gogh (review)

Countless filmmakers are making a go of it without the involvement in any way of the corporate studios: not for financing, not for production, not for distribution. Here’s one of those superindie films.

Few ultra-low-budget films take on such an ambitious story, or tell it in such an ambitious way: writer-director-star Alexander Barnett dares to try to get into the head of painter Vincent Van Gogh during the year he voluntary spent in an insane asylum… dares to get inside his head and stay there. The artist’s madness — if it is madness, and not merely a revolt against narrow societal norms — expresses itself through dreams and hallucinations that expose his deepest fears and insecurities, the results of maltreatment as a child and failures as a lover and as a man unable even to support himself, and the result is so surrealistic that it challenges the conventions of filmic storytelling we’ve been trained to accept as inescapable givens by Hollywood movies. This isn’t an easy film to watch — a little bit of tightening in the pacing and editing probably wouldn’t go amiss — but it’s wonderful to see independent filmmakers taking tough risks and mostly succeeding. [buy from the official site/buy at Amazon/download from Amazon Unbox]

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MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
posted in:
superindies
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