In contrast to the normal Hollywood biopic of 'The Great Artist', in which Art forever takes second place to the Man, Minnelli here offers an account of the developing intensity of Van Gogh's art. Throughout Lust for Life, Van Gogh, brilliantly portrayed by Kirk Douglas as a man forever on a knife-edge, struggles to explain himself to his family and to Anthony Quinn's Gauguin. However, Minnelli, with the colours he chooses - which follow those of the paintings - and with his dramatic counterpointing of events in Van Gogh's life with his canvases, undermines all explanations. Minnelli neither explains Van Gogh's art in terms of his life or vice versa, but celebrates both. (From Irving Stone's novel.
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