It's Gus Van Sant's Birthday!

It's Anna Paquin's birthday today too, but I know Van Sant's filmography better, so he's who I'm going with.

Happy Birthday to the King of the looooooooooooooooooooooooong takes.

Favorite Film: Milk Van Sant is one of those directors I just love. I'll see anything directed by this guy, even though some of his films are duds. Milk is my favorite because of it's phenomenal cast. Oscar Winner Sean Penn (whether you like him or hate him) was perfect as Harvey Milk. The supporting cast of James Franco, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, Joseph Cross and Alison Pill were the icing on the cake. I also loved the music in the film. It fit so well. It told a great story.

Least Favorite: Psycho This was a toss up between this and Elephant. (FYI Aussie film 2:37 is better, everyone always compares the two.) A masterpiece like Psycho didn't need a shot for shot remake. Even the decent cast couldn't save this mess.

Most Bizarre/Random/Fun: Paranoid Park A word that I noticed that gets tossed around with this movie is "Art House Film." That's a pretty broad description. This little seen film was about a skateboarder that accidentally involved in a security guard's death. While I think Van Sant over used the "long shot" in this one, it was definitely different from most of his prior work. It was darker, shakier. It was obvious most of the cast had never acted before. Hell, one of the actresses in the film stares at the camera EVERY time. Maybe the imperfections are what sets it apart.

Most Underrated: My Own Private Idaho This is my other favorite Van Sant film. It was a tricky story for it's time and had wonderful performances from Keanu Reeves and the late River Phoenix. Watching this film now makes me a little sad. I can only imagine what kind of actor Phoenix would've been had he not died of a drug overdose. Would he have cleaned up and been today's Leonardo DiCaprio? Maybe.

Film to See: Drugstore Cowboy I've never gotten around to seeing this film. I feel like I should, I've seen more of Van Sant's later work than his older. I also need to re-watch The Last Days. It's been awhile, and I really enjoyed Michael Pitt in it.

What are your favorite/least favorite Gus Van Sant films? Any film suggestions for me?


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