Panida hosts animated masterpiece ‘Loving Vincent’

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The Sandpoint premiere of “Loving Vincent” comes to the Panida Theater for a three-day limited run starting Dec. 14.

Unreservedly hailed as a masterpiece of cinematic originality–the world’ first fully painted feature film–“Loving Vincent” unveils the mystery-shrouded death of Vincent van Gogh.

Critics are eloquent in their astonished admiration for this original work: “An animated masterpiece!” says Tomris Laffly, Film Journal International; “A one-of-a-kind work of art,” according to Variety; and “hypnotic and beguiling,” in the opinion of A.O. Scott of The New York Times.

Drawn from meticulous research and inspired by Van Gogh’s masterpieces, subjects, and 800 personal letters, “Loving Vincent” portrays the vivid world of Van Gogh in a cinematic experience like no other. Six years in creative development, the film features 65,000 frames painted by 125 professional artists. The artists painted the first frame as a full oil painting on canvas board, and then painted over that painting for each frame until the last frame of the shot. The vividly fluid, expressive result is mesmerizing.

Directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, “Loving Vincent” is the heart’s work of Dorota. A graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Dorota’s passion for animation and film, and her direction of live action and animated shorts, culminated in “Loving Vincent,” her sixth project. At first determined to paint the entire film herself, Dorota chose to direct the artists who would paint it, frame by frame, when the project became a full-length feature film.

The film features a stellar cast, with Polish actor Robert Gulaczyk as Vincent. Asked to audition because of his remarkable resemblance to Van Gogh, Bulaczyk’s depth of talent made itself known as, with a day’s notice, he read movingly from a script in English — a language he had barely spoken since leaving school. The cast includes Douglas Booth, Jerome Flynn, Helen McCrory, Chris O’Dowd, Saoirse Ronan, John Sessions, Eleanor Tomlinson and Aidan Turner.

Tickets are available online at panida.org and at the door starting 30 minutes before each showing. Dates and times are Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 15 at 5:30 p.m. and special time on Sunday, Dec. 17 matinee at 1:30 p.m to allow for the Panida staff to host a volunteer party at MickDuff’s Beer Hall at 4 p.m. Film rating: PG13.

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