Willem Dafoe puts paint to canvas in the first trailer for At Eternity’s Gate, the Vincent van Gogh biopic from director Julian Schnabel.
“I can’t do anything else, and believe me I’ve tried,” Dafoe’s van Gogh tells Mads Mikkelsen.
The film, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival this week, also stars Oscar Isaac, Emmanuelle Seigner, Amira Casar and Niels Arestrup. It focuses on the final days of the iconic painter’s life and career, before he shot himself in 1890.
The title of the film is derived from a painting by van Gogh, “Sorrowing Old Man (‘At Eternity’s Gate’),” which features a man sitting with his head buried in his hands in van Gogh’s famous Postimpressionist style, finished the year of the artist’s death.
“Sometimes they say I’m mad, but a grain of madness is the best of art,” Dafoe intones in the trailer.
The Dutch artist struggled with mental illness in his life, and the trailer features moments of Dafoe’s van Gogh dealing with personal demons and his place in the world as an artist.
At Eternity’s Gate opens in select theaters Nov. 16.