Art and Experience: It’s the world’s first feature film animated by oil paintings.

The “art” film has a new meaning with the arrival of Loving Vincent, a new animated movie composed of nearly 57,000 oil paintings in the style of Vincent Van Gogh.

The film brings Van Gogh’s artistry and personal history to life; over 100 painters have animated fictional interviews with the characters from his paintings. The result is an unprecedented 12-oil-paints-per-second sight to behold.

The film’s production company, BreakThru Productions, based in Poland, invented and patented animation work stations in its studio to facilitate the process. Each shot consists of an entirely new oil painting, and movement is added in brush strokes. Academy Award-winning producer and co-director Hugh Welchman has aptly termed the process “stop-motion painting.”

For some scenes, the Loving Vincent crew shot live-action footage with an actor. It was filmed and projected, frame by frame, onto a canvas, where painters then interpreted the action with their brush.

Only one similar feat has been accomplished. In 1999, Aleksandr Petrov won an Oscar for his stunning 20-minute adaptation of The Old Man and the Sea, which he created with pastel oil paintings on glass.

Loving Vincent, directed by Dorota Kobiela and Welchman, and starring Aidan Turner, Saoirse Ronan and Helen McCrory, marks the first feature film of its kind.   

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