Cultural Depictions of Vincent Van Gogh - Film and Television

Film and Television

  • Lust for Life, the 1934 novel by Irving Stone was adapted into a film of the same name. It was directed by Vincente Minnelli and George Cukor and produced by John Houseman. The 1956 film starred Kirk Douglas as Vincent van Gogh and Anthony Quinn as Paul Gauguin. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, including best actor and best supporting actor, for which Anthony Quinn won.
  • In 1948, Alain Resnais made a documentary Van Gogh. Resnais’ black-and-white film featured only Van Gogh’s canvases. According to art and film historian John Walker, "the artist’s personal crisis was inscribed in the images on screen by means of accelerated montage."
  • Mai Zetterling and David Hughes made the 1972 documentary-drama Vincent the Dutchman, with Michael Gough in the title role, following in Van Gogh's footsteps and re-visiting the actual locations where live and died.
  • Australian director Paul Cox made a film called Vincent (also known as Vincent: The Life and Death of Vincent Van Gogh) in 1987, consisting entirely of readings of passages from Vincent's letters (read by John Hurt), and accompanied by scenes of the actual locations where he painted. The entire film is claimed to be seen through Van Gogh's own eyes, including his final suicide.
  • Director Alexander Barnett The Eyes of Van Gogh, a film about the 12 months Van Gogh spent in an asylum at St. Remy. web site blog
  • Abraham Ségal produced a 70-minute color documentary Van Gogh ou la Revanche Ambiguë (Van Gogh or the Double-edged Triumph) in 1989. This documentary examines the "cult" and "myth" of Van Gogh. It is described as an "intelligent account" of the phenomenon, including scenes of the New York auction of Van Gogh’s Irises, of 100-year celebrations in Arles, St. Rémy, Auvers and Amsterdam, as well as interviews with people in Arles, a medical expert, Kirk Douglas, Johan Van Gogh, writers and artists "obsessed" with the artist.
  • Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa paid homage to Van Gogh in the 1990 film Dreams. The film was based upon Kurosawa's own dreams and included a vignette entitled "Crows" based on the painting Wheat Field with Crows, which starred the American director Martin Scorsese as Van Gogh.
  • Michael Rubbo directed the 1990 family film Vincent and Me.
  • Director Robert Altman portrayed the life story of Vincent van Gogh (Tim Roth) and of his brother Theo van Gogh (Paul Rhys) in the film Vincent & Theo (1990).
  • Maurice Pialat's Van Gogh (1991) starred Jacques Dutronc in the title role. The film earned a record twelve César nominations and Dutronc won the award for best actor.
  • Van Gogh appeared as a guest star on the MTV animated series Clone High. His clone is very neurotic and paranoid.
  • The Yellow House. Van Gogh and Gauguin in Arles. The Yellow House, Channel 4 TV
  • A 2010 episode of Doctor Who entitled Vincent and the Doctor featured Tony Curran as the artist. He reprised his role at the beginning of The Pandorica Opens.

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