Harvest of the Sun: Vincent Van Gogh Revisited
You know you’re in for a disappointing experience with Harvest of the Sun: Vincent Van Gogh Revisited (Philips Media/ E.M.M.E.) as soon as you realize that each “letter” in the letter section excerpts only a single sentence. The entire program, like the letters section, teases and then disappoints. Menus seem to be bursting with possibilities; delve a little deeper, though, and you’ll discover time after time how truly superficial the contents are. A handful of slide shows are so short and inconclusive that they may as well have been left off the disc altogether. “Was Vincent Insane?” one of them asks, enticingly. Sit back for two minutes and learn the following: Vincent was unbalanced, at times; he may have been epileptic, or he may have been paranoid schizophrenic; or maybe he just drank a lot. End of slide show. The classical music part of the disc, which purports to share the music that may have inspired Van Gogh, plays short excerpts from various pieces while running a thumbnail-sized slide show. Again, it’s over all too soon. The artwork itself is the only thing of any real value this disc, but we’d rather look at it in a book. “A whole disc devoted to Van Gogh?” somebody in our office asked, excited, when they saw Harvest sitting on our desk. We invited them to enjoy it themselves – and had it back on our desk five minutes later.
– November 1996