This week, t'was Matt Man meets Van Gogh (whose actor actually looks FREAKISHLY like the real thing). Something that was weird about this episode was that it was so so genuinely heartbreaking, but not in a o hai i can haz ded alian civelizatin? way but because it emphasized the awwwful awful tragedy of Van Gogh's life and work. It was quite suprising to see the work that was put into this character, like it wasn't just an actor putting on a straw hat and a title to make a cute cameo in a science fiction series. The actual scope of the artist's 'madness' and complex loneliness was so prevailing and just RIGHT in order to portray him accurately. Even the way he swoooooshed his hands around when talking about colour and paint was both passionate and violent; two emotions which were very much hand-in-hand until his suicide. Then the ending, where he's brought to the modern-day Museo D'Orsay to see the impact he made on the art world/world by Bill Nighy, in all his 50s glasses and bow tied glory. With an Athlete song playing in the backround and the insane likeness between the actor's eye, clothes, hair..everything with Van Gogh's portrait, it was HEARTBREAKING. I mean, seeing a man being that emotional is beautiful anyway but it was so poignant just because this never happened. He never knew the greatness he achieved and portrayed in his work, instead keeping his billion-dollar-paintings strewn around a messy french house. The camera shot that goes around his famous bedroom really highlights that; I mean pieces like Starry Starry Night and Café Terrace at Night and Irises thrown around the same dingy room was surreal, almost ridiculous. Its just incredibly unfair and futile that one of the world's greatest artists was never loved or praised in his time but is so much now. UGH. I just think the pure emotion shown at the end really put it into context for me. But maybe if he had been he would have become a modern publicity whore like Picasso or Dalí, I dunno. I mean, there IS romance to him there.
Then there was the monster itself which kept in tone with the whole Impressionist/paint what YOU see thing. Only 'Vinny' could see the blindegyptianparrotsnail because his mind was so open and, wait for it, IMPRESSIONABLE. In his words: "It seems to me there's so much more than the average eyes allow to see. I believe if you look hard there are more wonders in this universe than you could ever have dreamed of". So The Doctor had to get a solid mechanical thing to fight something that would usually be easy for him. Also it was classs the way he had to turn his back on a crazy alien to fight it a la Blink.
So the conclusion? Art Is Power. Kudos to Richard Curtis. And gingers unite. :)