Gus Van Sant's Last Days
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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.]]>
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie is difficult to watch - much like most of Van Sant's work which is self indulgent in the most delicious way. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Sara B
This isn't what I expected at all... and unfortunately in this case, that's a bad thing! The thought didn't occur to me that this could be about Kurt Cobain until 30 minutes in... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Bryan
I've seen the two other films in Van Sant's "Death Trilogy": Elephant and Gerry. The reason this one is worse than the others is that nothing happens in it. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Kimberley Bond
ITS ABOUT NIRVANAMAN GETTING SAD MISPLACEMENT REFUND KOCHEK.
THE PEOPLE HAVE NO POWER
Great directing, editing, and cinematography. Totally worth the money and price.Published 18 months ago by mark
I do not like how artificial all exchanges, gestures and statements appear in Gus Van Sant films - all actions feel overtly premeditated, as if rehearsed 100 times. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Matthew Bentley