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Gus van Sant, Last Days

Even by arthouse standards of disengagement and snobbish distance, this film is a milestone in heavy-going, artless emptiness. I can't think of anything as mind-numbingly arch and failed and overextended except for maybe Brown Bunny, which has much in common here. A completely impenetrable lead character; a state of complete narrative sloth and breakdown; a hopeless cast (with the exception of Michael Pitt's accurately hunched shoulder blades); and a blandly perspectival play on repetition which begs 2x and then 4x fast viewing. If this film didn't have the clear Kobain-suicide context it'd quite possibly be the worst tripe ever filmed; that said, the context is far from sufficient to extricate this mess into coherent meaning and feeling. The same scenes and set-ups, the same unmoving shots, the repetitive putting on of clothes, the lamely sycophantic hangers-on, and even a totally-beside-the-point homoerotic scene which (even by van Sant standards) is in incredibly poor taste (as though he couldn't help himself, as though there was no other way to suggest depth and complexity and deliberate disadherence to Kobain-reality). The only nice touch, the only welcome relief from the glaring monotony was a guest spot by Kim Gordon as a record executive. Again, why not cast her as Kim Gordon, musician? Also, Asia Argento has some lovely tats, Gus, why couldn't you focus on them? I mean, your Kurt was so reductive and clearly damaged and incoherently aloof (sans explanation, source, drugs) you could just as well have spent all that film on Argento and her wobbly, g-stringed arse.

posted by rino breebaart  # 1:10 pm
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