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Gus Van Sant's Last Days

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Pitt, Lukas Haas, Asia Argento, Scott Patrick Green, Nicole Vicius
  • Directors: Gus Van Sant
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: April 28, 2009
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AYEL10
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,746 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Gus Van Sant's Last Days" on IMDb

Special Features

  • The Making of Gus Van Sant's Last Days
  • On the set of Gust Van Sant's Last Days: The Long Dolly Shot
  • Exclusive music video - "Happy Song" by Pagoda
  • Deleted Scene 38X

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

An official selection in the 2005 Cannes Film festival, GUS VAN SANT'S LAST DAYS is inspired by the final hours of Kurt Cobain. The film introduces us to Blake (Michael Pitt, The Dreamers), a brilliant, but troubled musician. Success has left him in a lonely place, where livelihoods rest on his shoulders and old friends regularly tap him for money and favors. The film follows Blake through a handful of hours spent in and near his wooded home... a fugitive from his own life.

DVD Features:
Deleted Scenes
Music Video:"Happy Song" by Pagoda
Other:The Making Of
Outtakes:On the set of Gus Van Sant's Last Days: The Long Dolly Shot


Gus Van Sant's Last Days is a film about the death of Kurt Cobain. While the name of the main character has been changed from Kurt to Blake and the setting of the suicide changed from a greenhouse in Seattle to a greenhouse in upstate New York, there's no mistaking this film is the product of Van Sant's imagination pursuing the final, lonely moments of the great '90s icon. Rock biopic fans seeking a traditionally gratifying plot should run as fast as they can from this movie and see Rock Star or Sid and Nancy instead; Gus Van Sant's methodology is all about the slow, oppressive creep of time. One shot lingers excruciatingly long on some random foliage outside Blake's (Michael Pitt, The Dreamers) mansion. In another, he makes cereal. Then he sits on a bench for awhile. Or mumbles dialogue to a Yellow Pages ad salesman played by a real-life Yellow Pages ad salesman. Or gradually collapses while watching a Boyz 2 Men video. Meanwhile, Blake's parasitical hangers-on are slightly more animated, occupying his chilly house and clearly on their way to becoming as existentially destitute as he. Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon appears, pretty much reprising an interventionist role she must have played with the real-life Cobain, but this rock star is far beyond rescuing from the brink. Later, when Blake ventures into town to see a punk show, he is cornered by an acquaintance played by Harmony Korine, who tells him a hilarious story about playing Dungeons and Dragons with Jerry Garcia. Where the accumulation of small moments like these don't add up to much drama, they create a pervading sense of dread and sad inevitability. In his life, Cobain railed against all that was phony and hyped; by crafting a visual poem resolutely defiant of rock star spectacle, Van Sant honors the late singer as sincerely as he can, by keeping it real. --Ryan Boudinot

Customer Reviews

One of the worst movies, if not the worst movie I have ever seen.
Hawthorne Whitman
There is an interesting story about the life of Kurt Cobain that would make a half decent film if made by even the most cack-handed of directors.
Bug DeLug
This movie is for those few dorks who like things that everone else hates, just cause it makes them feel cool or hip.
David Ward

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

104 of 125 people found the following review helpful By Daniel McInnis on September 8, 2005
Format: DVD
A few weeks ago I had an interesting experience. Trying to escape my family, I decide to spend the afternoon at the theater, catching up on some of the movies I've missed so far this summer. I began with Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the Brad Pitt-Angelia Jolie action/comedy, and followed that up with Gus Van Sant's latest, Last Days. Smith had shoot-outs, car chases and fight sequences galore while in Last Days, well, nothing much seemed to happen. Yet one film had me bored to tears (literally!), while the other kept me riveted to my seat. Want to guess which is which?

If you don't know the answer, I suggest a little experiment. Rent both films when they're released on DVD (Last Days comes out the 25th of October) and just try sitting through the inane, incoherent Mr. and Mrs. Smith after having just watched what I consider to be the best film of the year so far. That being said, though, I strongly recommend seeing Last Days on the big screen. So much of my appreciation of this film comes from it's photography as Blake, a thinly disguised version of Kurt Cobain (played by Michael Pitt), is swallowed up by the vast, empty space all around him. This is a film about isolation, mood, setting, not story, and that's just what's conveyed in it's telling.

Now as anyone familiar with Van Sant's work is sure to tell you, his interest in linear film-making has been waning in recent years, a welcome respite after his two most 'mainstream' films (Good Will Hunting and Finding Forrester) failed to live up to the potential of his previous career best, 1991's My Own Private Idaho. And with Last Days, he's finally made his masterpiece, a film for which his two prior efforts are likely to be remembered as dry runs and little more.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on September 24, 2006
Format: DVD
Remember the days when Gus Van Sant made pictures with actual dialogue? I do. I remember them fondly. "Drugstore Cowboy" is a movie I fell in love when I saw it in the theater, it still has a place in my heart. "My Own Private Idaho", while deeply flawed, was so ambitious. And "To Die For" is a sublime, sly comedy.

I think it's fair to say that Van Sant has been on a minimalist streak in recent years: minimal dialogue, minimal plot, minimal action, minimal narrative drive. His last three pictures were characterized by all this and filmed in loooong, stagnant shots. There was "Gerry", then "Elephant" and now "Last Days".

I will never criticize a filmmaker for working outside the mainstream and for developing a unique visual perspective. But it is easy for me to see why so many people hate these movies! But it's also easy for me to see why some people hold them in such high regard. And I won't say either group is wrong. With these films, it is largely a matter of taste. "Gerry", to me, was a crashing bore and an utter failure. "Elephant", I'm surprised to say, was a movie I found tremendous. And "Last Days"? I guess I'd split the difference. While it didn't have the emotional resonance of "Elephant", it wasn't nearly as tedious as "Gerry".

But I wouldn't necessarily recommend any of these films to the "average" movie goer. To most mainstream audiences--"different" is not a good thing. That's why Van Sant's "Good Will Hunting" is his most popular work--it's a genial crowd pleaser. Only seek out "Last Days" if you know what you're getting into--and don't come to get any insight into Kurt Cobain (it's not a biography).

Michael Pitt is a talented young actor, and I admire his work here.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mooseville on November 2, 2005
Format: DVD
This film drips with pretension. I nodded off during one scene, then awoke to find the same locked-down shot playing out to no consequence. I do understand what was intended here. The mannered pacing is supposed to engage our senses in an unconventional way. If Van Sant wasn't a name director, however, people wouldn't give it a second glance and read into it what isn't there. But that's how it goes... certain artists are given license to bend the rules and sometimes it gives a medium a needed break from the conventional (uh, like Nirvana, irony of ironies). But there are other times when people get fooled by the contrived weightiness of a vehicle without a core, as in "Last Days", to not just see it as weak. This is weak.
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Format: DVD
From Smother Magazine smother.net:

It's obvious that this movie is supposed to follow Kurt Cobain's last moments on Earth before he commits suicide. What's not obvious is how badly this movie views. While I'm all for creative art films and I've liked many that most find obnoxious or outright boring, I can't stand movies that forget that we're supposed to be entertained. What director Gus Van Sant ("Elephant", "Good Will Hunting", "Drugstore Cowboy") does well is attach the state of loneliness, depression, anxiety, and societal indifference that Kurt must have been going through in his last moments. And certainly that would make this movie special-if it hadn't been dragged out for the entire movie. There's a lack of anything really going on. We watch as he swims in a stream in the opening, then makes a campfire, and then in the morning wanders back to his big house. And just as isolated as he indeed is after his escape from the detoxification center so is the audience. You sit there aimlessly watching a main character be aimless, knowing and anticipating the conclusion, but bored in the wait. Perhaps that's the irony isn't it? Our heroes can just be boring dorks that seem oh so majestic when the media props them up but when we peel back the layers we expose them for the sorry excuse that they truly are. It's just a shame that you have to sit through a movie this intensely boring to figure it out.
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