Lily Gavin/NYFF
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August 01, 2018 at 12:38 PM EDT

The New York Film Festival has painted a tempting portrait of cinematic greatness with the announcement of its closing night feature.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center revealed Wednesday that Oscar-nominated filmmaker Julian Schnabel’s latest feature At Eternity’s Gate, a biopic about the final days of famed artist Vincent van Gogh (played by Willem Dafoe), will conclude the annual festival’s 56th edition on Oct. 12 at Manhattan’s Alice Tully Hall.

A FSLC press release calls this film a “tactile and luminous” look at van Gogh’s last living hours, and “in the process revivifies our sense of the artist as a living, feeling human being” through “sensual” and “emotional” elements. Oscar Isaac costars as fellow artist Paul Gauguin, while Rupert Friend, Emmanuelle Seigner, and Mads Mikkelsen have supporting roles.

The film marks Schnabel’s first feature in eight years, the last being the 2010 drama Miral — his only scripted movie since his The Diving Bell and the Butterfly earned four Academy Award nods in 2008 — starring Freida Pinto. Its NYFF premiere will be its first screening in North America, as it is currently set for a global debut at the Venice Film Festival in early fall. At Eternity’s Gate will be released in November by CBS Films.

“I would like to say thank you to Kent Jones and the NYFF selection committee on behalf of Willem Dafoe, who is Vincent van Gogh in the film, and the cast and crew, who I have been so privileged to work with, for choosing At Eternity’s Gate for Closing Night,” Schnabel said of the move in a press statement. “It is a profound honor to be included with the other films and to be part of the history of Closing Night films that came before us. Looking forward to sitting in the audience with everybody.”

The 2018 New York Film Festival, also set to include showings of awards hopefuls like Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma and Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite, runs Sept. 28-Oct. 14. Tickets are available now.

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