Van Gogh was murdered claims new film at Venice

A visitor takes a photo of a self-portrait of Vincent Van Gogh at the Winter Masterpieces exhibition Van Gogh and the Seasons in Melbourne on April 27, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 04 September 2018
0

Van Gogh was murdered claims new film at Venice

  • At Eternity’s Gate, starring Willem Dafoe as the tortured genius, was premiered Monday at the Venice film festival
  • Director Oscar Schnabel said the film was not meant to be a factual biopic, because ‘all history is a lie’

VENICE: A new film about the artist Vincent Van Gogh claims that he was murdered rather than having shot himself.
“At Eternity’s Gate” starring Willem Dafoe as the tortured genius, was premiered Monday at the Venice film festival.
In it the painter is shot after a struggle with local youths near the village of Auvers-sur-Oise outside Paris, where the artist spent his final months in 1890.
He died 36 hours later after staggering back to the local inn in the dark.
While most historians agree that Van Gogh killed himself, renowned painter and Oscar-nominated director Julian Schnabel fuels a theory that he was killed in the film.
Legendary French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere — who co-wrote the script with Schnabel — said there “is absolutely no proof he killed himself. Do I believe that Van Gogh killed himself? Absolutely not!”
“He came back to the auberge with a bullet in his stomach and nobody ever found the gun or his painting materials,” Carriere added.
“What we have been fighting against is the dark romantic legend of Van Gogh. In the last period of his life Van Gogh was working constantly. Every day he made a new work,” he said.
His final weeks, when he painted the “Portrait of Dr. Gachet” — which set a world record when it sold for $82.5 million (€77 million) in 1990 — were “not at all sad,” the writer argued.
Schnabel insisted that a man who had painted 75 canvasses in his 80 days at Auvers-sur-Oise was unlikely to be suicidal.
The theory that Van Gogh did not commit suicide was first raised in a 2011 biography of the painter by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith.
Schnabel said neither the gun nor “the painting material he had that day were ever found. It is strange to bury your shit if you are committing suicide.”
“At Eternity’s Gate” is also likely to open a new front in the row over Van Gogh’s “lost” sketchbook, which purportedly resurfaced after 126 years in 2016 and was authenticated by two eminent art historians last year.
Veteran British expert Ronald Pickvance claimed the book was “the most revolutionary discovery in the history of Van Gogh” studies.
But the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam hotly disputes its provenance and dismissed the drawings as fakes.
The book, originally a ledger from the Cafe de la Gare in Arles where Van Gogh stayed at various times between 1888 and 1890, features prominently in the film.
Schnabel and his team examined the drawings for themselves with the director pressing Dafoe’s hand down into them, he said, to “force a transmission — a connection between me and Van Gogh.”
It clearly worked, with Defoe, who looks uncannily like the Van Gogh the film, already tipped for the best actor prize at Venice.
The actor said in shooting the film in the fields around Arles where the artist painted and in the asylum at Saint-Remy where he was held, “we flirted with Van Gogh’s ghost.”
Schnabel said the film was not meant to be a factual biopic, because “all history is a lie.”
“I don’t care if the notebook is real or not real, if he killed himself or didn’t kill himself. It’s irrelevant. But in the film, it is nice to know there is another set of possibilities ...”
The film was also a chance for “me to say things about painting... and it was a lot of fun to speak through Von Gogh.”
The ebullient New Yorker also wanted to correct the “bad wrap” that Van Gogh’s friend Paul Gauguin gets from history.
Van Gogh may have cut off his ear when the painter announced he was leaving him to return to Paris, but “Gauguin really cared about him,” Schnabel said.
“He is portrayed usually as an arsehole. Anthony Quinn (in the 1957 film “Lust for Life”) played him like that, but he wasn’t.”


Kate Beckinsale flaunts Lebanese look in New York

British actress Kate Beckinsale is promoting her new series, ‘The Widow.’ AFP
Updated 23 April 2019
0

Kate Beckinsale flaunts Lebanese look in New York

DUBAI: British actress Kate Beckinsale appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” last week wearing a flirty cocktail dress by Lebanese designer Georges Chakra.

The one-shouldered, form-fitting black dress featured white ruffles on the neckline and shoulder and was styled with simple black Louboutin pumps and loose, wavy hair.  

“Stunner @katebeckinsale (on) ‘The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon’ in a #GeorgesChakra black-and-white ruffled mini cocktail dress from the 2018 Spring/Summer couture collection,” the fashion house posted on Instagram.

While on the late-night talk show, Beckinsale threw caution to wind and played one of Fallon’s long-running games, “Can You Feel It?”

The segment involves Fallon and his guest having to guess what an item is by feeling it inside a box.

The audience was in hysterics as both Beckinsale and Fallon were forced to caress a human foot in the final round of the game.

Beckinsale was on the show to promote her new show, “The Widow,” which is airing on Amazon Prime.

The series stars Beckinsale as Georgia Wells, a troubled woman whose life is turned upside down when she suspects that her husband, who she previously believed had died in a plane crash in Africa, may actually be alive.

She travels to Africa to find him and encounters countless dangers along the way.

“Georgia Wells is a really complicated character. I think of her as the unluckiest person in the whole world. She either has everything bad happen to her or nearly bad happen to her,” Beckinsale told the Los Angeles Times in a recent interview.

“It was a very emotionally intense role, a grueling six-month shoot in South Africa. People that you’re working with are seeing you sobbing and suffering hours and hours a day,” she added about the experience.

Beckinsale isn’t the only celebrity to appear on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” wearing an outfit by a Lebanese designer this week.

Canadian model Winnie Harlow was spotted wearing a deep blue mini dress by Elie Saab when she visited the show over the weekend.

The model showed off a richly hued dress, complete with an asymmetrical ruffle, from the designers ready-to-wear Autumn/Winter 2019-20 collection. She paired the dress with matching over-the-knee boots.