Gus Vant Sant: Exclusive Interview
Interview by Clint Morris
Interview with director Gus Van Sant
Directed the movie Gerry.
He has directed some of todays finest, but most incongruent
movies My Own Private Idaho, To Die For,
Good Will Hunting, Elephant and now Gus
Van Sant returns with another film determined to break the
cinematic mould, Gerry. Clint Morris talks to the illustrious
director about the new film, as well as his plans to remake
A third remake of Psycho?
Van Sant is very interested
Van Sants renowned for forming movie ideas on the spot,
but he says he cant take all the credit for this latest
Its something I got involved in by just talking
to Matt (Damon) and Casey (Affleck) one night. We just decided
to give it a try.
Matts great, and Ive got to know Casey
quite well we live next door to each other in New York.
We all wrote it. Matt and Casey wrote like all the dialogue
and I worked on the structure.
Gerry tells the story of two men, both called Gerry
(Damon and Affleck, younger brother of Ben), who visit a national
park searching for 'the thing'. They get lost.
Gerry (Affleck) gets stuck on top of a rock but jumps down.
They walk until they find themselves dehydrating in a desert.
And apart from a last-minute dramatic event, that's it.
Van Sant says he hasnt made a film as low-budget and
as art-housey as this in quite some time. I actually
havent done a film on this scale since My Own Private
Idaho, which was 10 years ago. Theres probably less
pressure, and not as much need for it to make a lot of money.
I like to work on limitations.
Van Sants speaking of course about Psycho, the
highly panned remake he did for Universal. Despite the battering
it got, the director says he feels he did the best job he
could with the film. Im happy with all my films.
Psycho was great, a huge kind of grand experiment project.
Very trial-by-fire. It met with a lot of criticism
but we managed to keep afloat, I think we broke even.
Would he ever want to remake something as classic again?
I wouldnt remake another movie again, however,
Im thinking of remaking Psycho again. Doing a
The idea this time is to really change it were
talking about doing a punk rocker setting. Viggo Mortensen
suggested it. He knows all the right people to get involved
all the right punk rockers etcetera so he would
definitely be involved if we go ahead.
Van Sant says it might never happen though theres
many films over the years that hes wanted to do that
just didnt get off the ground. There have been
films that have just fallen apart. We were in pre-production
on the John Travolta picture Standing Room Only and
it came apart financially it was a bit shaky. Well
possibly do that again sometime.
Is any of this an indication that Hollywood isnt doing
big guns at the moment? Yeah. Its not healthy.
There are all these big companies with divisions who just
want to make simpler movies. They seem to think
that families love the action movie, so that just seems to
be everything that they make, action.
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