SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - Julian Schnabel’s 'At Eternity’s Gate' is a journey inside the world and mind of a person who, despite skepticism, ridicule and illness, created some of the world’s most beloved and stunning works of art.
This is not a forensic biography, but rather scenes based on Vincent van Gogh’s letters, common agreement about events in his life that present as facts, hearsay, and moments that are just plain invented.
'At Eternity’s Gate' tries to connect with the spirit, art and persona of Van Gogh, played by Academy Award® Nominee Willem Dafoe, and it was filmed in Bouches-du-Rhône, Auvers-sur-Oise and other areas of France where the Dutch painter spent the final seasons of his life.
“It was a real interesting process. Nature led the way…they were all places where he was. There are landscapes that we were in that are recognizable in some of his paintings. It’s a very powerful feeling," Dafoe said.
"There’s one shot I’m in where you see me kind of smiling, it was an improvisation where I’m just kind of being in the field. And I had a very strong feeling that day.
"When we finished someone said, ‘The was the field where he painted one of his last paintings.’ I found out later that he was buried about 300 yards from where I was at. So, obviously, that helps. We couldn’t have filmed it in Burbank!”
'At Eternity's Gate' opens in LA/NYC theaters Friday, November 16. It opens at Landmark theaters in San Diego on Wednesday, November 21.
Check out some of the extras from Kelli's sit down with Willem Dafoe