Over the last three decades, Gus Van Sant has created an extraordinary body of film work. His first long-form films of the late 1980s and early 1990s, known as the “Portland Trilogy”, feature rebellious characters on the fringes of mainstream society who yearned to form new communities. The films became instant cult classics, earning Van Sant acknowledgment as one of the most talented and imaginative filmmakers of the indie film renaissance. Over the next decade, he directed a number of films that brought him critical and commercial success (the hugely popular GOOD WILL HUNTING and his bold remake of Hitchcock’s PSYCHO), before embarking on a re-evaluation of his artistic process and a return to his early indie roots. This later remarkable group of films features innovative visual style and groundbreaking sound explorations. Along with this survey of his films, we offer an exciting selection of works by filmmakers that have influenced the Van Sant’s film practice, including works by Stanley Kubrick, Werner Herzog, and Béla Tarr.—Mario Falsetto.
Mario Falsetto, Professor Emeritus in Film Studies at Concordia University, Montreal, and author of the just published “Conversations with Gus Van Sant,” is teaching “Essential Gus Van Sant,” an eight-session non-credit course April 25—June 20. See nwfilm.org/School for registration information for the class and nwfilm.org for the dates and showtimes of the film series. Enrollment in the class allows for free admission to all films in the Essential Gus Van Sant exhibition program.