To mark the release of Last Days, MOMA is screening Gus Van Sant's good-looking-corpse trilogy in its entirety. Shot in a semi-improvised style with a small crew, all three films are open-ended mysteries, radical attempts to mesh form and content with elastic manipulations of time and space. Gerry (2002), a road to nowhere that led the director out of a creative dead end, is a nightmare wilderness hike indebted to Béla Tarr, Chantal Akerman, and Andy Warhol. The Palme d'Orwinning Elephant (2003), like Gerry , watches spellbound as its protagonists walkand walk and walktoward a terrible fate, and draws on another set of influences: William Eggleston, Alan Clarke, and Frederick Wiseman. Last Days synthesizes the lessons of the first two into an organic aesthetic that is entirely Van Sant's own: It's the crowning achievement in the most remarkable career reinvention in modern movies.
Get the Film Club Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.