Repertory Series!

A Taste Of Van Sant
Monday, June 11 - Thursday, June 14 , 2007

Plus Gus Van Sant's MALA NOCHE: Fri 6/15 - Thu 6/21, 2007

In celebration of the re-release of his first feature film (MALA NOCHE), we offer a by-no-means-comprehensive survey of the work of Gus Van Sant. Van Sant is one of the great directors to come out of the 1980s American independent film movement. His breakthrough features DRUGSTORE COWBOY and My Own Private Idaho are two of the defining works for a whole generation of movie-goers. His career from that point on is seemingly uneven as it travels from dark-comedic pulp-fiction (TO DIE FOR) to crowdpleasing Oscar winners (GOOD WILL HUNTING) until it finally lands in his current stage of arty experimentation (LAST DAYS). But, for all his seeming ups-and-downs, Van Sant is always a deliberate and inspired craftsman who injects his films, no matter what the subject matter, with a visual lyricism and beauty that is impossible to dispute.

Cinemental Presents: On Wed 6/20 at 7:30, Cinemental presents their second Brattle event: Gus Van Zant's MALA NOCHE, with selected shorts and a discussion led by author, historian and cultural critic, Michael Bronski. Join Cinemental for drinks and more discussion following the event. Tickets are $10.

Film Descriptions, Dates & Showtimes

Monday, June 11 at 5:00, 7:15, 9:30

Drugstore Cowboy
(1989) dir Gus Van Sant w/Matt Dillon, Kelly Lynch, James LeGros, Heather Graham, William S. Burroughs [100 min]
" Everything in "Drugstore Cowboy," the new film about a gang of small-time junkie thieves, is steeped in a kind of narcotic hilarity...Van Sant gives his material shape and an invigorating, syncopated style. It keeps coming at you in surprising, dazzling ways. It jazzes you." - Hal Hinson, Washington Post

Tuesday, June 12 at 4:30, 7:00, 9:30

Good Will Hunting
(1997) dir Gus Van Sant w/ Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Robin Williams, Minnie Driver, Stellan Skarsgard [126 min]
" What saves this film from being a cloying "Dead Poet's Society" is the cynical, outrageously funny portrayal of the life of a gang of 20-year olds from South Boston. This paves the way for Williams to slam open the door on Damon's defenses and display what makes him tick. There are no villains in this story, only personal demons and no one is beyond being taken down a peg." -Ron Wells, Film Threat

Wednesday, June 13 at 5:00, 7:15, 9:30

To Die For
(1995) dir Gus Van Sant w/Matt Dillon, Alison Folland, Nicole Kidman, Joaquin Phoenix [106 min]
" TO DIE FOR, sparked by a volcanically sexy and richly comic performance by Kidman that deserves to make her an Oscar favorite, is prime social satire and outrageous fun. Director Gus Van Sant sets up the media as a poison piñata, and screen-writer Buck Henry, adapting the 1992 novel by Joyce Maynard, whacks at the target with the sharp edge of his wit, spilling the contents for observation and rude laughs." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Thursday, June 14 at 10:00

Last Days
(2005) dir Gus Van Sant w/ Michael Pitt, Luka Haas, Asia Argento [97 min]
" Van Sant again considers an era-defining tragedy in youth culture with LAST DAYS, his sad and unconventional reverie on the events leading up to Kurt Cobain's suicide...an unexpected and delicate approach to the Cobain story, which seems destined for some future kitchen-sink melodrama that captures none of his complicated spirit." - Scott Tobias, Onion AV Club

Friday, June 15 - Thursday, June 21 at 5:30, 7:30, 9:30 (+Sat & Sun at 3:30; Tue 6/19 at 9:30 only; Wed 6/20 at 5:30, 7:30*, 10:00)

Area Premiere Reissue!
Mala Noche
(1985) dir Gus Van Sant w/Walt Curtis, Doug Cooeyate, Ray Monge [78 min]
Gus Van Sant’s first feature film, MALA NOCHE is an adaptation of the cult autobiographical 1970s novel by Walt Curtis. Walt is a young, out, gay man in Portland, Oregon where he runs a convenience store in an area populated mainly by bums and homeless immigrants. Despite himself, Walt falls into an ‘amour fou’ with Johnny, an illegal Mexican who doesn’t speak a word of English and is barely 18. Walt is fully aware of his folly but pursues his romantic quarry nonetheless, while trysting on the side with Johnny’s more-willing friend, Pepper.

Shot in black and white 16mm, MALA NOCHE is a little like a Pacific Northwest echo of Jim Jarmusch’s Stranger Than Paradise but is also a piece all of its own. Van Sant skirts the grim side of life with subtle humor and a lyrical visual style reflected in the rest of his films. He is helped considerably by the low-key and charming performance of Tim Streeter as Walt – “one of the most realistic, likable gay characters seen in years,” according to PlanetOut.com. Never fully distributed in the U.S. and available only in bootleg VHS copies, this reissue features a fully restored and newly struck film print and represents one of the first opportunities for Bostonians to see this film in the way it was meant to be seen.Cinemental Presents
Join Cinemental on Wed 6/20 at 7:30 as they present their second event at the Brattle Theatre. Event includes screening of MALA NOCHE and a selection of shorts, plus discussion led by author, historian, and cultural critic Michael Bronski. Tickets for this event are $10. Visit TruthSerum.org for more information on this event.

“Written and directed by Mr. Van Sant with sardonic humor … Tim Streeter, who looks a bit like Richard Gere, gives an exceptionally intelligent performance as Walt, a man who is tough as nails up to a point and, beyond that, conniving, selfdestructive and forlornly romantic.” – Vincent Canby, The New York Times (1986)

 

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