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A Refreshing Reinvigoration of Poetry Movie: Loving Vincent

Loving Vincent, the renowned oil painted animate movie about the great artist Vincent van Gogh, has been on theater for more than a week. Perhaps you have already watched the movie, thrilled and fascinated by the 65,000 canvas art-video and the story of Van Gogh. But if you aren’t a fan of art, you may be still strolling through a bunch of movie review websites, considering whether it’s worth the hype to watch it. Afterall, it’s just a movie with art, right?

Loving Vincent is more than an art, a biography, or oil painted movie; the fact that it’s also a form of poetry movie might be a mystery to many. Animation and fine art painting come together in poetry movie as in Loving Vincent, bringing the genre alive that has long been misinterpreted as dull and academic.

You may wonder why is Loving Vincent a poetry movie, given there is no-one citing poems throughout the 95-minute video. Let’s take a look at Van Gogh’s art work — it balances between a poetry and realism, dream and reality. Coupled with the tenderness of the story, the impeccable painting, the quality merits Loving Vincent as an one-in-a-lifetime masterpiece in not only the genre, but in movie and art itself.

Both movie and painting are a primarily visual language, with poetry meaning in art-work, the hint of poetry is, hence, presented as an actual picture. Poetics is an integral of art; it rhymes, it moves, it warms you. Incorporating it in movie accordingly amplifies its touch to audience.

Maya Deren, a filmmaker dedicated to poetry movie, once said,

Film, I believe, lends itself particularly to the poetic statement, because it is essentially a montage and, therefore, seems by its very nature to be a poetic medium.”

Poetry movie isn’t  new in experimental genre, it was actually born in 1920s by French Impressionists Germaine Dulac, Louis Delluc, Man Ray, Hans Richter, and others. Among famous poetry movies, the classic one would be “Assassination Raga” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1968. The movie merged images of death, slow sitar music, and Ferlinghetti’s spoken word poem about the assassination of the Kennedy.


The genre has slowly gained its weight in movie, with poetry film festivals rising up, its significance synchronizes around the globe. U.S., Germany-Berlin , Austria-Vienna, India-New Delhi, and more countries hold the festival annually, highlighting the creative meld of two art forms,  fine art and poetry at their intersection of movie.

Loving Vincent presents itself in the form of art, yet the poetic statement behind symbolizes a greater meaning that moves audience deeply. Poetry movie, as represented by Loving Vincent, deserves more spotlight.

“The truth is, we cannot speak other than by our paintings with a handshake.” — Van Gogh

What can the intersection of movie, fine art, and poetry speak to you then?

 

 

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