Written, Edited & Directed By: Gus Van Sant
Cinematography: Harris Savides
Cast: Michael Pitt, Asia Argento, Lukas Haas, Harmony Korine, Kim Gordon, Ricky Jay, Nicole Vicius
A Seattle musician’s life and career are reminiscent to those of and Based on the last days of musician Kurt Cobain.
This film comes off as a cinematic still life of sorts. An artistic look or portrait where we More are just following the characters around though here we have more of a definite lead. Leaving the film to be kind of formless but definitely realistic.
Nothing much happens in the film and that seems to be the film’s ways of dealing with it. As there are theories but no actual reasons that came out after Cobain’s death. So with the character based on him. It pretty much is the same here as we watch “The Rocker” aimlessly carry out his day. In a series of long takes.
The film is a meditation of sorts where we watch and explore the more mundane parts of his day and life. As this film ends up not being the bio film some thought or hoped for. As it ends up not in name but similar locations, lifestyle and addictions.
As we watch with tension as the rocker constantly Walks around with a rifle. Kind of waiting for that final moment. The film feeds an audience hungry For it, but doesn’t give them what they thought band want especially as by the end it lacks answers.
This is not the first time director Gus Van Sant has used this style of storytelling. As he has done the same with the films GERRY and ELEPHANT. Where as in this one and ELEPHANT. We watch with tension, as we know what will eventually come. As they are based on True stories and events. Where as GERRY is more a random story that has a surprising ending all it’s own. (They all end in violence of a sort) a kind of trilogy experimental and not aiming for box office. As these film seem to come as artistic breaks in between director Gus Van Sant’s more mainstream films.
This film easily could have been accused of being pretentious. Though guided through Van Sant’s vision it feels like it is trying to communicate more then anything else. This is not a film I would say one would watch repeatedly but you won’t easily forget it either. Even as time seems to jump around. Most of the film has natural sound not real music score.
The film is experimental standing as a piece of art that has pop culture appeal though definitely not for mass audiences. As they might find it very slow. As other then his interaction With the yellow pages salesman The rocker barely speaks throughout the film. The other characters More or less do with one another and a noteworthy scene where they have interactions with Mormons.
The film takes place in a gigantic house that is full of people but it seems haunted and he is the poltergeist. As it is open yet full of emptiness and space so that he could be of spirit, care, emotions and love. And leaves plenty of places to hide from himself and others.
Though time to time we see what his band/entourage/hanger on’s are up to as half the time they and him seem to seek to avoid one another. Like a ghost they all know is there and inhabits the place and might have to deal with. But seek to avoid, hoping he will go crazy just as he seems scared to even deal with or acknowledge them.
We don’t see or are spared the final act, we still see glimpses of the aftermath. As a fan his core, friends and hanger on’s who have acted like they were already pleasing and feeding off of him. Abandon and runaway no questions, thoughts or emotions.
As the film almost feels like it takes place in real time, but made in moments. Michael Pitt truly gives his all In the leading role. Which seems more physical.
There is a Music sequence towards the middle other the that an extended scene where the camera stays on a television screen playing a BOYZ II MEN video. It ends up being a scene that doesn’t necessarily lead anywhere except maybe to place a time period on the film. As the film definitely has the sound of a time period down music worse.
Though we literally see his soul leave bus body and seems to go up the stairs