179 Great Directors: Gus Van Sant

“I have this new theory about films. It’s almost like astrology, where if we started on a Tuesday the film will be different than if we started on a Wednesday. Not because of the planets. It’s that sometimes you start with the wrong balance and the whole thing gets messed up.”

What Got This Director Here?
: My Own Private Idaho.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: My Own Private Idaho.

What Did I Watch: A rewatch of Good Will Hunting, which I’d only seen on an airplane prior to this.

Where Does He Fit: As someone who thinks Dead Poets Society is absolutely awful, Good Will Hunting really doesn’t appeal to me on paper or practice, but with Gus Van Sant wowing me with My Own Private Idaho, I decided I owed this another chance. I still don’t like it much, with the script being all the most annoying cliches you could imagine, but the direction of said script really is about as good as you could possibly get considering the Weinsteins are jumping all over it. It just looks very easy on the eyes, and Van Sant keeps us at a distance when critical information like Damon writing on that board is doled out. Affleck is horrible but Damon/Williams/Driver are all surprisingly decent even if I wouldn’t nominate any of them.


Most Valuable Asset: Application of influences.
Most Excited For: Gerry.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes.

Coming Up Next: Portuguese legend Manoel de Oliveira.

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