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Lust for Life

Cordelia Swann
1983
16 min Colour VHS

Lust for Life

"A reworking of LUST FOR LIFE (with the vivid colours of VHS drop out enhancing the already lurid Minellian/Van Gogh technicolor effect) that divides Van Gogh's life into implied chapters that include 'Vincent And His Art', 'Vincent And Paul (Gauguin)', 'Vincent And Women', 'Vincent, Paul And Women', 'Artists Who Name Drop'." - C.S.

"In a precursor to scratch video, 'Lust for Life' (1983) goes to town with Vincent Minelli's overblown take on 'high' art. Kirk Douglas' rather extravagant portrayal of Van Gogh, the archetypal zany modern artist, is subjected to the scratch treatment. Repetition, syncopation and disruption of syntax serve to accentuate less the almost mythical intensity and 'madness' of Van Gogh but, rather, mainstream culture's interpretation of it. Several of the more purple and high adrenaline scenes from the film - Vincent gearing up to cut off his ear, or in heated debate with his friend Paul Gauguin - are simultaneously relished and ridiculed from within with Swann's helping hand, and the result is both astute and quite hysterical." - Sotiris Kyriacou

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