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Movie review: At eternity's gate makes the poetic reality of van Gogh's hard life

Vincent van Gogh in the straightjacket of Julian Schnabels new movie is the saddest I've seen. During a period of mental ill-health he gets sent to an insane a

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Movie review: At eternity's gate makes the poetic reality of van Gogh's hard life

Vincent van Gogh in the straightjacket of Julian Schnabels new movie is the saddest I've seen. During a period of mental ill-health he gets sent to an insane asylum with the promise to continue to paint there. According to him, is painting the only thing that keeps him fairly clear in the head. Instead he becomes a prisoner. A particularly nasty priest (Mads Mikkelsen) explains to van Gogh that his art is ugly. Before then, he was also in a terrible hot tub, they pour water on him, from an inmate in the barrel, next comes the question to van Gogh what he paints:

”the Sunlight,” says the artist.

Trapped, and imprisoned for it, that is.

Willem Dafoe: ”To paint like van Gogh was scary as hell.”

've been waiting for this role all his life. He disappears into the van Gogh and van Gogh in him. It does nothing to Dafoe speaks with New York accent, interspersed with a bit of French. It does nothing to the hand-held camera sometimes is a bit unsteady. We sit with the van Gogh at his easel. It is a hassle. It is wonderful.

Director Julian Schnabel has once again managed to make a feature film of a konstnärsöde so poetic and real that it feels like you were there when it happened. So I felt with ”Basquiat” (1996), but also with the nearby ”Butterfly in the glass globe” (2007).

the Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat did the street art on the Lower East Side in the eighties and died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27. In ”the Butterfly in the glass globe” is the tidningsredaktören Jean-Dominique Bauby who, after a massive, paralyzing stroke manages to blink out a book with the same title as the film.

Photo: Scanbox

the Body, and drugs can prevent the artists, or give them restrictions to overcome, but with van Gogh's life story explores the Schnabel how the same psyche that can create so absolutely critical and scathing art can also destroy the artist.

”At eternity's gate” takes place primarily during van Gogh's 80 självförbrännande days in the southern French city of Arles, mostly in the company of his artist colleague Paul Gauguin – played by a pale Oscar Isaac (the film's weak link).

. Sometimes it feels like he walks in silence for hours. Sometimes he puts himself on a rock and fall asleep and feel fine. But mostly, he has a hell with his head. Children throw stones at him, come to us and want to destroy his canvases, Arlesborna make a petition to get him to leave town. He has only his brother Theo (Rupert Friend), who is left in Paris, and Gauguin, as when he decides to leave Vincent, triggering a wild brawl.

We get an insight in the incident when he cut off his ear. The suicide will also receive a new interpretation. And even if konstnärstragedin van Gogh is huge so attenuated here. It is not only that he never sold a painting, was poor and the afflicted. There are light. Vincent himself knew that he was a genius. In the previously mentioned discussion with the wicked priest, he says: ”I make art for people who are not born yet.”

See more. Three other films about the artist Vincent van Gogh: ”He who loved life” (1956), ”Van Gogh” (1991), ”Loving Vincent” (2013).

Read more movie reviews in the DN.

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