One of the most distinctive filmmakers of the last two decades, Gus Van Sant’s movies challenge representations of gender, class and race. He’s also part of a small group of directors to have a number of his movies featured in “1001 Movies to See Before You Die.” From “Drugstore Cowboy” to Good Will Hunting ,” his entries testify to the rich diversity of his talent.
gus van sant
“They’re all gonna laugh at…who?”
There are some truly horrid things out there that just won’t die. One is the soon-to-be-remade (again!) CARRIE, Stephen King’s exceptionally underrated debut novel (if this were required reading in every American high school, there would probably be no ‘bullying crisis’) and the brilliant 1976 Brian de Palma screen adaptation with Sissy Spacek, masseur-loving John Travolta and Piper Laurie. Laurie, it’s worth noting, made the honorable mentions in our Top 10 Mothers In Legendary Films list for Mother’s Day—and come to think of it, she deserved her own maniacal place in the list itself for this Oscar-nominated role.
My all-time favorite Buck Henry film, Gus Van Sant’s TO DIE FOR, is now out on blu-ray. Perhaps Nicole Kidman’s greatest comic/ironic performance, she strikes the perfect balance as Suzanne Stone, the overly ambitious, small town weather woman who dreams of stardom and comes to realize her pizza-slinging husband is a massive hindrance. So she does what any aspiring career woman would do: she enlists some disaffected teenagers to kill him. And it’s actually both dramatic and funny. The entire film, in fact, is an exercise in tone perfection, and that’s really, really hard to do.
The film is a balancing act between the ridiculous with the believable. Characters are…
Sundance Institute announced that Derek Jarman’s EDWARD II (1991) and Gregg Araki’s LIVING END (1992) will be shown at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival to mark the tenth anniversary of the Festival’s From the Collection category. Drawing from one of the most important archives of American independent cinema, the films exemplify the independent spirit and artistry on display at Sundance Film Festival.