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Big screen classics

Lust for Life

Kirk Douglas paints a vivid portrait of Van Gogh.

Image from Lust for Life

USA 1956
Dir Vincente Minnelli
With Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, James Donald
Certificate PG

Boasting a magnificently intense performance by Douglas as Van Gogh, this is one of the best Hollywood films about creativity. Shooting in carefully chosen locations, Minnelli and producer John Houseman contextualise the painter’s pictures with regard to his life: though the protagonist can barely elucidate his work, the film itself, rich in visual resonance, is eloquent in suggesting how the pictures came about.


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