September 02, 2009

Aural Hallucinations in the film The Eyes of Van Gogh


In my film The Eyes of Van Gogh, the audience first becomes aware that Vincent van Gogh is hearing voices when Dr. Peyron, played by Roy Thinnes escorts him to his room in the insane asylum at St. Remy.
Vincent absorbs the atmosphere of the room like a sponge. He finds it desolate. He can feel it, taste it - almost hear it. When he hears the voices of his mother and father he reacts very much as he did at the time as a child. He is, in turn, startled, confused, and ultimately trembling in fear and anticipation.
Those voices began to torment van Gogh the night he threatened Paul Gauguin with a razor and continued after Gauguin left Arles. They are insidious and ugly yet, perversely, irresistible.
Throughout the film, he has no control over them. When they occur he feels transported to another world. Voices and sounds in the present are barely heard. He reacts to them, not retrospectively, but rather in relation to what they meant when they took place. He lives in the moment they occurred and takes the audience with him.

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