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Gus Van Sant's Last Days
by Gus Van Sant
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3 entries have been written about this.

What else can I say? All apologies... — 6 years ago


Consider it a noble failure.

Gus Van Sant admirably tries to veer away from rock biopic cliches in his fictionalized account of the last days of “Blake”, a rock star loosely patterned after Kurt Cobain.

Unfortunately, the end result is a dull, pretentious mish-mash of character sketches and random scenes, from a variety of perspectives, none of which add up to a compelling storyline. Rambling conversations. Quiet moments. Near arguments. The tension is palpable — we get it. But the audience is never given a reason to care.

Worst of all, the movie feels interminably slow. There are many gratuitous shots with little to no movement, where the camera lingers on its subject, without adding anything to the narrative unfolding.

It’s a shame, really. I ordinarily respect and enjoy the work of the people involved in The Last Days. But this was just a poor effort, on all counts.

Why I recommend this — 7 years ago


It’s strange that a movie can be about someone famous and about nobody in particular at the same time, but this movie manages to pull it off, partly by having virtually no plot. I can understand why many people are turned off by it, as it defies almost any cinematic trickery. The film is an art piece that slowly and methodically evokes the mood surrounding a few days leading up to a rock star suicide, obviously referencing Kurt Cobain and a cast of anonymous hangers-on. I thought it was an engaging, distinctly successful attempt at going nowhere by design.

Dark, Beautiful and Empty — 7 years ago

I have mixed feelings about Last Days. It’s very well made with beautiful images and great sound, but after all is said and done there isn’t much there, which I guess is the point. It’s worth seeing if you’re a fan of Gus Van Sant or are interested in more challenging, non-narrative, vaguely experimental films. I watched this just after I watched Notre Musique and I couldn’t help but have Godard’s experimental meditation in mind and while Godard is more uneven than Van Sant, the highs are higher. But what works well in Last Days is the stillness and silence. There are some beautiful quiet and empty moments as we watch the last days of a rock star.

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