Directed By: Gus Van Sant
Cinematography: Harris Savides
Written & Edited By: Gus Van Sant, Matt Damon & Casey Affleck
Cast: Matt Damon, Casey Affleck
Two friends that call each other Gerry decide to hide in the wilderness in order to see something. However, they do not find what they’re looking for. They decide to return to the car but they get lost in the desert, without water, supplies or a compass. Now they have to walk, trying to find the road to survive.
This is the first in a trilogy. Only not based on a true story. As the trilogy are all about shocking acts of violence. A death trilogy The other films being ELEPHANT and LAST DAYS.
We learn very little about the characters from before the film. There are no flashbacks or Informed history. Mainly two random characters who slowly find themselves in life or death situations. The characters are clearly friends not enemies nor do any former issues come up to make The situations a thriller or melodrama just an open despair.
The film has plenty of beautiful shots of landscapes. When the characters separate that is when we majorly see these well formed shots. So much so when alone we feel As alone and appreciative of the sights as the characters.
This is the film Where Director Gus Van Sant started using Long Shots and takes because of his love of the films of Director Bela Tarr. Even as most of his film Have been avant Garde but more interested in observing characters and story in a natural element.
This is a film of long takes as scenes and also one that feels at peace with itself. Like the scene in the middle of the film which takes a lot of time for a simple quick outcome. That is rather unsatisfying taking a jump off of a huge rock. The character takes it’s Time building up a nest for him to jump into in reality then jump happens then we move on
The hike they are on seems like Lord of the rings. Comparing the distance and a lot of walking, but unlike that movie. Here there is no action and these characters are not on a journey more Of a hike and keep getting lost. As we watch them slowly breakdown and trying to survive lost and with no water slowly dying trying to survive.
This feels like a Terrence Malik Film only less forceful and not as structured. Nor as distracted. This is the type of film you can study or experience but feels Like You have to do more than just watch.
When it comes to death scene it’s the only time the camera moves away From characters and action as well as time lapse but comes in for us to see last breaths, By the end asks was it worth it when so close.