CHICAGO PREMIERE OF FILM DEPICTING THE TORMENT AND TRIUMPH OF PAINTER PAUL GAUGUIN IN THE SPLENDOR OF PARADISE
By Dwight Casimere
Abandoning his wife and five children in a smelly, ramshackle loft in Paris, Paul Gauguin ventured to Tahiti. Vincent Cassel, with his deep set eyes and craggy face with lines dug in like the wood block etchings Gauguin created to depict his magical new world, gives life and breath to the artist's angst and brief moments of joy .
Deluc's deft directing and sweeping panoramic lens capture the all -encompassing glory of this strange new world of Tahiti and its mystical mountains, hills, and valleys. Tuhei Adam's is luminous as the artist's common law wife Tehura.
As quickly as Gauguin discovers his paradise found it becomes paradise lost in a devolution of jealousy, poverty and Ill health. The demons that at once drove him to the brink of destruction simultaneously fueled his painterly genius. It is an arresting paradox that is captured with excruciating clarity in Deluc's captivating film.
Despite being in French and Tahitian with English subtitles, the emotions in the film are conveyed so precisely in both the scenic visuals and in the actor's expressions and gestures, the viewer quickly becomes immersed in Gauguin's troubled psyche and glorious milieu. So transparent are the emotional portrayals that almost no translation is necessary.
Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti is at once a recounting of one man's heroic journey of self-discovery and an artist's rendering of our own inner longings and desires. For showtimes and ticket information visit siskelfilmcenter