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zdjęcia z Doliny Śmierci i z Argentyny
~ wks
dir. Gus Van Sant / USA 2002 / 103’
subtitles: Polish


Casey Affleck, Matt Damon


Toronto IFF 2002 – visions award (special citation), New York Film Critics Circle 2003 – best cinematography

Film description

Gerry is a breakthrough moment in Gus Van Sant’s career. One of the pillars of non-Hollywood cinema took a mental trip to Hollywood in the mid-1990s, and returns here to the spirit and language of independence. After the conventional Good Will Hunting, and the pointless remake of Hitchcock’s Psycho, Van Sant began searching for his own form of expression. He would find it soon enough and make string of excellent films. First, as if to come down off the Hollywood sugar high, he made Gerry, an experiment in narration. Riffing off several avant-garde filmmakers like the Hungarian Béla Tarr, Gerry is a film about wandering.

Plot spoiler: two guys walk. It’s not that nothing else matters, it’s that there really isn’t anything else. Those who like the film see a more radical Waiting for Godot, as if waiting has gotten trite after fifty years and now they are Walking for Godot. Detractors see here existentialism for little girls, but the dispute is pointless. When the story begins with a shot of a car driving for several minutes, it is clear it’s not about the going, but about the ride.

Van Sant tests to see what remains of the narrative language of cinema, cinema of mood, and serves up a paradox: though there is constant motion and changes of scenery, it feels as if the audience stands still. Ultimately, however, the finale shows just how far the characters have come in their own minds.

Michał Chaciński

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