Moving through the second third of the Van Gogh, I focus on this, which is an example of the rumbling, contentious rhythm of Pialat's single-take dialogue scenes I had mentioned in my previous analysis. And the rippling water is the perfect visual as the inner turbulence of both characters comes to the surface. I consider this the film's emotional turning point. Up to this point Van Gogh has seemed normal if a bit eccentric and nothing suggesting suicidal. Now we see what sets him off, and the line readings feel internal, neutral until action comes out of nowhere. Nothing is the same afterwards, even though the others laugh it off as just another eccentric artist episode in life's amusing cavalcade.[youtube]vxYVYiF9Jig[/youtube]
This extended dialogue with the camera tracking them at a diagonal, framing them to their backs resembles a similarly shot scene that takes place early in Mizoguchi's Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (TSPDT #184).