Dir. Maurice Pialat. 1991, 158 mins. 35mm. With Jacques Dutronc, Alexandra London, Bernard Le Coq, Gérard Séty. Considered one of the greatest films about a painter ever made, Pialat’s Van Gogh is less a homage to the misunderstood genius than an evocation of the entire era, bringing the Belle Epoque to life on screen. Dutronc stars as the artist, a cranky pain who won’t allow himself to be helped by brother Théo (Le Coq) or benefactor Dr. Gachet (Séty), whose daughter (London) he takes up with. Pialat began as a painter, had Van Gogh quoted in We Won’t Grow Old Together, and with this vividly-realized period epic, reached his apotheosis as a filmmaker. Preceded by Van Gogh (1966, 7 mins. Digital projection).
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