At Eternity's Gate

Release Date:November 15, 2018
Review Date:November 28, 2018
Reviewer:Blake Leath
Genre(s):Biopic, Drama, Independent & Artsy

Gorgeous but dizzying. Literally. Filmed with a handheld, so very jumpy.

And they weave from English to French, which is weird.

Oh, and the music is jarring: It plays, then stops abruptly.

In light of these stylistic oddities, it's a bit difficult to consume, but it's also visually stunning whilst being equally melancholy. Precisely like Van Gogh's work and mind, which I gather is the intention.

It ends with a few fascinating factoids about the painter, not the least of which is that he completed a whopping 75 paintings in his final 80 days, plus the now-debunked claim that 65 of his final sketches (made in Auvers-sur-Oise between May and July 1890, with a self-fashioned reed pen, no less) were found in some rinky-dink storage room in Auberge Ravoux (where he dwelled and died) in 2016, 126 years after his death.

If true, yep, that woulda been the discovery of the century, but Amsterdam's own Van Gogh Museum (and dozens of reputable scholars since) have determined, unequivocally, that these sketches are fakes...forgeries...fraudulent. If you wanna dive deeper into this rabbit hole, continue here and here.

So troubled, Vincent died at the age of 37. His brother, Theo, placed numerous paintings around Vincent's casket at V's funeral...many for the taking. Can you imagine? It's hard to. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and sometimes it's difficult separating truth from fiction.

I think that describes much of Vincent's world, though, and we are the better for it. "More alive," one might say, by immersing him or herself in a painting of flowers. "The flowers will die, as all living things do, but art is forever."