Kalliope's Van Gogh Biopic Seeks Director

by Sophia Savage
September 27, 2011 6:34 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood

The rich, dramatic story of Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh--who has his own museum in Amsterdam-- hasn't been brought to life (in English, anyway) in a feature film since Robert Altman's underappreciated Vincent and Theo (1990), starring Tim Roth. Vincente Minnelli's 1956 Lust for Life memorably starred Kirk Douglas as Van Gogh; Anthony Quinn won the supporting actor Oscar as Paul Gauguin. Australian Paul Cox also directed a 1987 documentary on the painter, featuring John Hurt reading his letters (clip below).

Now Kalliope Films wants to do the full soup-to-nuts biopic treatment: Van Gogh. They plan to shoot the film throughout Europe (Belgium, France, the UK and The Netherlands), using restored locations where Van Gogh actually lived. Kalliope CEO Kira Madallo Sesay is producing from her own screenplay and seeks a director. More details and trailers for past Van Gogh films are below:

Kalliope EVP Emiel Pijnaker has spent several years doing extensive research on Van Gogh. "We have traveled to all of the diverse locations where Van Gogh resided and interviewed numerous people while investigating his story," he says, and have "finally unraveled some of the mysteries of Vincent's intriguing tale.” He consulted with the head of the St. Remy asylum where Van Gogh was institutionalized, Dr. Jean Marc Boulon, on the painter's mental illness, as well as Van Gogh expert Bernadette Murphy on the time spent in Arles, France (where he cut his ear) and Dominique-Charles Janssens, an expert on Van Gogh's last days, which ended in suicide.

Robert Altman's 1990 Vincent & Theo

Vincente Minnelli's 1956 Lust for Life

Maurice Pialat's 1991 Van Gogh

Paul Cox's Vincent: The Life and Death of Vincent Van Gogh

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More: Genres, IN THE WORKS, Independents, Biopics

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  • biopic_guy | September 29, 2011 3:47 AMReply

    i think that Hugh Laurie should play Van Gough

  • Brian | September 27, 2011 7:49 AMReply

    I'm hesitant to upgrade many titles to Blu-ray--DVD is just fine for most--but LUST FOR LIFE would be a definite candidate as the movie I'd most want to see on Blu-ray. They put a lot of Van Gogh's actual canvases on camera for that film.

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