Loving Vincent


This week I received three suggestions for the library’s Fall Movie Challenge, which I chose “Groundbreaking” for my challenge. One of the films chosen for me was Loving Vincent, an animated film that investigates the end of Vincent Vah Gogh’s life.

The film was made from Van Gogh’s paintings and oil paintings inspired by his style. It’s a visual feast. The story is engaging. The hero is a young man whose father was a good friend of Van Gogh’s and the village postman. The father sends his son on a mission to take a letter of Van Gogh’s to the artist’s brother Theo. Soon the hero learns that Theo is dead so now the hero doesn’t know what to do with the letter and embarks on a journey to discover what exactly happened to Van Gogh at his death.

The film then goes back and forth in time  with black and white flashbacks of what took place at the time of Van Gogh’s death and shows how murky the the interpretation of what really happened is.

With Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson of Poldark, Chris O’Dowd of Moone Boy and Saoirse Ronan, the film stars Douglas Booth, who was new to me, but who does a great job as a stubborn young man learning to figure out life as he puzzles out what to do about this letter from a dead man to his dead brother.

Below there’s a short video on how they made this groundbreaking film.

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American Toby Jug Museum

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As part of the Open House Chicago 2018 event, I discovered the American Toby Jug Museum. I had no idea what a Toby Jug was and learned that:

A Toby Jug is a figural ceramic pitcher modeled in the form of a popular character, historical, fictional or generic. It can be a person or animal. The original Tobies date back to the 1760’s. The first Tobies, made in the form of a seated jovial, stout man dressed in the attire of the period, wearing a tri-corn hat, puffing on a pipe and holding a mug of ale (stingo), are referred to as “Ordinary Tobies.” The tricorn hat forms a pouring spout and a handle is attached to the rear. Many derivations of the original Toby Jug have evolved over two and one-half centuries, most notably into the Character Jug. Mullins, 2006)

The museum’s collection consists of thousands of jugs, mugs and even umbrella stands in the shape of people, animals, fish, birds and more. They’re charming with a dash of kitsch.

Steven Mullins became an avid collector aver getting introduced to Toby jugs while at summer camp. Currently there are over 8,000 items in the museum including jugs that look like royalty, Shakespearean characters, the Beatles, scientists, U.S. Presidents, cartoon characters, athletes, mythical figures, dictators, etc. I’m so glad that Open House Chicago 2018 helped me discover these jugs.

I see that you can buy Toby jugs on eBay for as little as $15. Some are priced up to $1200, but I don’t see the need to pay that much.

The museum is open Weds – Friday and the first and third Saturday of the month. It’s a block north of the Main St. CTA station and there’s metered street parking.

Reference

Mullins, S. (2006). Toby Jugs. Retrieved from https://www.tobyjugmuseum.com/toby-jugs on October 15, 2018.)

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

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Moody Church Chicago

If we were having coffee, I’d rave about Open House Chicago, where visitors can choose from 250+ sites of architectural significance, many that are not usually open to the public. On Saturday I went with a friend to a dozen or so sites in the Gold Coast neighborhood, including St. Chrysostom Church, the Graham Foundation, Moody Church, The Palette and Chisel art center and several others. On Sunday I volunteered at the First Methodist Church of Evanston and beforehand saw American Toby Jug Museum, a distillery and an architectural firm housed in a one time horse stable. The weather this year was ideal, sunny and a bit crisp. Volunteering was fun and allowed me to meet some new people. In addition, as a volunteer I got two tickets for Chicago Architectural Foundation’s walking tours (worth $25 or so). This week I’ll share posts on each significant site.

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At the American Toby Jug Museum

I just got home from my October Great Books Discussion Group. On the one hand it was great that we had a large group, 15 (which might be a little too big). We read Genesis this month and I’d looked forward to a lively discussion. There are many very sharp people in this group. However, the leader spent about 35 minutes expounding on background information, unaware that a lot of the people there knew much of what he shared. It was quite exasperating. Then when we did get to talk we just went around the table sharing impressions. By the time everyone had shared their impressions, rather than talking about the text as is the point of Great Books we had a lot of ramblings and digressive commentary. We flitted from one person to the next, never coming to the few questions people raised about the text when we went around the table. Such a waste of time. A couple people had joined and seemed to just want a platform to talk about irrelevant ideas. The leader occasionally broke in with more background, which we’d heard before. Not our best meeting.

I’d also say I was captivated by the animated film Loving Vincent, which uses oil paintings and the subjects of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings to tell the story of the last weeks of his life. Amazing!

Visit Eclectic Allie’s blog for links to other Weekend Coffee Shares.

 

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