November 4, 2003

"We can easily believe that Gus Van Sant is worth ten Greenaways."


Gus Van Sant's the center of the universe, you see, or you will see, by the end of this post. [Before, I'd been forced to the alarming conclusion that the universe revolved around Norman Mailer, so you'll understand if i'm eager for a replacement.]

Anyway, if you were dazzled by my groundbreaking interpretation of Gus Van Sant's Elephant and Gerry you'll be double-dazzled by Scott Macaulay's excellent interview in Filmmaker Magazine with Van Sant on the inspiration, ideas, and making of Gerry, which was published, oh, in December 2002.

Gerry Still, Savides/Van Sant, image: filmmaker.com

GVS talks about the film's connection to video games, especially the appeal of the camerawork and sound design of Tomb Raider (GVS hittin' it home: "In some ways, Gerry is BČla Tarr fused with Tomb Raider!" Not quite "Dude, where's my car? by Samuel Beckett," but still a good quote.) Turns out he cut dailies together in the desert using iMovie and edited the film on FinalCutPro, one of the first 35mm projects to do so.

But even more than the video game visual language, GVS talks about the the cut and editing's relation to the "industrialization of cinema," to the codification of a process of storytelling. Sounds a bit like Peter Greenaway to me. Except that while Greenaway's preaching, Van Sant's moving things forward.

According to the gracious Steve Gallagher, there's also a Macauley-on-Van Sant interview in the current issue of Filmmaker, but it's not online. I'm scheduled to have those insights in about a year. Stay tuned. The moral here, kids, is don't let your subscription lapse, or you'll end up like me, writing on movielit's third base, thinking I hit a triple.

A nice seque for my next topic, GWB. MoveOn.org's sponsoring a presidential campaign ad contest called Bush in 30 Seconds. Make a TV ad about George W Bush, and if it wins the popular voting--and passes muster with the celebrity jurors--MoveOn Voter Fund will air it nationwide around the time of the State of the Union address. Among the jurors: Gus Van Sant.

filmmaker mag coverThree ways to subscribe to Filmmaker, which, as you know, is published jointly by IFP/NY and IFP/LA (and which enters my Sofia Coppola magazine cover collection as #2:

  • Subscribe for $18.00 through Amazon (and throw a couple of quarters into my guitar case)
  • Subscribe for $18 and buy back issues (like Winter 2002) directly from Filmmaker (and throw all your quarters at the mag that deserves them).
  • Join IFP/NY, and your sub is included (the more quarters the better).

  • Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

    Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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    greg [at] greg [dot ] org

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