i think willem dafoe's central performance is terrific, and i think he — there was moments when i really did believe he was the artist. schnabel‘s really interesting because what he's done before is things like the diving bell and the butterfly, jean—michel basquiat. so he has done biographies, because he is an artist who turned to film—making. i think there are occasions when the drama meanders a bit, when it becomes a series of conversations that kind of attempt to explain how it is that the artist is seeing the world, but at its best, it is — it's a film, it's a cinematic experience, as i think you saw from that clip, schnabel is definitely trying to put you in the mind of the artist and say this is how he saw the world. not entirely successful, but it's a good try. a good try. there you go, that's the verdict.
so this is willem dafoe, oscar—nominated willem dafoe, as vincent van gogh towards the later period of his life. i went to the museum in amsterdam. i said vincent van gogh? so we get his real life and his tussles with madness and with incarceration, but also julian schnabel is attempting to show us the world he saw through his paintings visually represented. here's a clip. i'm telling you, you have to look inside. you keep saying look inside, i get it, i do. you keep repeating yourself. what do you think i'm doing? i don't invent the picture. i don't need to invent the picture. i find it already in nature. ijust have to free it. all right. i'm just saying first think about your surface and how the paint will sit on it. get control over what you're doing. maybe you should work inside more. i spent all my life alone in a room. i need to go out and work, to forget myself. i want to be out of control. i need to be in a feverish state. it's called the act of painting for a reason. all right, calm down. i don't want to calm down. the faster i paint, the better i feel. i can't stay here, vinc
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