World-famous artist and film director, Julian Schnabel, talks about his latest film “At Eternity’s Gate” that centres on the final years of Vincent van Gogh, portrayed by Willem Dafoe, who won the Venice Film Festival’s Coppa Volpi for this role.
Mart Engelen: Everybody knows and has an opinion about Van Gogh. Did that put extra pressure on you to make the movie At Eternity’s Gate or, on the other hand, did it allow you to be more relaxed and free to make your own interpretation?
Julian Schnabel: That’s a good question. Hmm, we thought it would be impossible to make a movie about Van Gogh because everybody thinks they know everything about him. He’s the most documented artist who ever lived. So why do it? I guess after thinking about making the movie, and thinking about it for a while, you realise that maybe on the one hand I felt that everybody always gets it wrong. And it doesn’t make the chasm between the artist and society or between the artist and the audience any closer. In fact, it makes it more obscure.