Gus Van Sant (USA, 1952) debuted with the homosexual drama Mala Noche (1985).
Drugstore Cowboy (1989) is a nice portrait of a drug addict, although not much of a thriller or a social analysis.
A young man, Bob, is lying down in a bed and tells us that he used to be a
"dope fiend" (a drug addict) with his wife Dianne,
his business partner Rick, and Rick's teenage girlfriend Nadine.
The camera moves back and shows us that the bed is actually inside an ambulance:
Bob is being taken to a hospital.
A flashback shows the four walking into a pharmacy.
While Nadine distracts the staff pretending to have an epileptic fit,
Bob steals a lot of medicines. Then Nadine calmly walks away.
They drive home and indulge in the most powerful drugs they have.
A neighbor who lives across the street, David, knocks at the door.
They welcome him with guns, fearing a dangerous visit.
David too is a drug addict.
Bob talks him into trading speed for morphine.
Bob tries to cheat David but Nadine doesn't let him.
Instead of being grateful, David asks how much speed Bob wants for sex with Nadine.
Diane buries the drugs in the ground outside the house.
She then tries to seduce Bob but Bob is focused on planning a bigger robbery in a hospital.
Suddenly, cops break the door and start searching the place for the drugs
stolen from the pharmacy.
The detective, Gentry, knows Bob and Diane well, and is sure that Diane
hid the drugs somewhere.
By the end of the police search, the aparment is thoroughly destroyed.
They decide to move to another apartment.
Bob and Diane stop at the house of Bob's mom. She hides her pills in a hurry,
afraid that Bob will still her medicines. Bob wants his clothes. Mom lectures
Diane that they can't spend their lives doing drugs and robbing pharmacies.
Meanwhile, Gentry and another cop are watching them: Gentry wants to catch them
after a robbery so he can send them to jail for good.
An elderly female neighbor notices them and knocks at Bob's door to report a sex maniac. Bob guesses that it must be Gentry.
Bob figures out a way to get rid of the cops. He informs a violent neighbor
of two creepy men wandering around the neighborhood. The neighbor arms
himself and, when he sees a suspicious person climbing to the roof, shoots him
and wounds him: it's Gentry's assistant.
The next day Gentry shows up with other cops and beats up Bob.
The four decide to move. They start driving across the state, sending their
drugs ahead of them in suitcases transported by regular buses that they pick up
whenever they reach a bus stations.
Bob, Rick and Nadine rob a drugstore. When they return to the hotel room where
Diane is resting, they discover that they stole very expensive drugs.
Bob dislikes Nadine, who is clumsy and unreliable. Nadine dislikes Bob's
Bob feels that he is in a lucky streak and decides to rob a hospital.
Rick and Diane ceate a diversion outside the hospital so that Bob can break into a room of the hospital.
The diversion attracts most of the staff outside, but one nurse hears Bob
breaking the safe with the drugs and he is almost caught.
Bleeding from the forehead, he hides in a stall of the women's restrooms.
Rick and Diane wait for him the whole night.
Assuming that Bob has been arrested, in the morning they return to the hotel.
Nadine, who has been excluded from the robbery, has overdosed and is lying
dead on the floor.
Bob returns to the hotel room when Rick is still in shock about the death of
his girlfriend. Bob insults the dead Nadine and Rick almost hits him.
Bob and Diane find a way to hide Nadine's body in the attic above the hotel room.
The hotel's manager comes to inform them that they must check out because the
whole hotel has been reserved for the participants
of a sheriff convention.
Bob puts Nadine's body in a bag and buries her in the forest.
Bob decides to enroll in a drug withdrawal program and splits from Nadine and Rick.
Bob takes a bus by himself, takes a room in a poor neighborhood,
and enrolls in the program. There he meets Father Murphy, an
elderly priest from his childhood, who too is a drug addict.
Bob also finds a job in a factory. He has cleaned up.
Gentry finds him. This time he doesn't come to harass him: he comes to warn
Bob that Gentry's assistant has lost his job after being shot by Bob and wants
to make Bob pay for it.
Bob makes another enemy when he humiliates his old buddy David who is terrorizing a crying teenager who owes him money.
Dianne shows up, puzzled about Bob's sudden redemption.
He offers her tea and tells her that he has a humble job
Bob reveals that when Nadine died he made a deal with God to clean up if
God helped him to bury Nadine and avoid the sheriffs.
Bob invites Dianne to stay but she tells him that she has a new boyfriend: Rick.
And they still live the old life of drugs and crime.
She leaves him a packet of drugs as a gift.
Bob gives the packet to Father Murphy, who is grateful.
David shows up with another man and beats him up convinced that Bob is hiding drugs. Realizing that he will not get anything from Bob, David shoots him.
Gentry arrives when the ambulance is taking the dying Bob to the hospital.
Bob doesn't reveal who shot him. In the ambulance he is thinking everything
that we saw in this film, and he hopes that he will survive.
My Own Private Idaho (1991) is a picaresque film that tells the
adventures of two unlikely knights, one belonging to a rich family and one
belonging to a poor family, in their quest for the meaning of life.
The rich one is trying to escape his father, the poor one is trying to
escape the road of his childhood. They are both trying to escape from
Their parable is set in the slums, among misfits and bums. They both become
male prostitutes, the ultimate form of self-degradation. They both go back
to their roots, they both take on the personas that they have tried to hard
A young hitchhiker, Mike, is waiting for a car to pass by on a long straight
road in the middle of nowhere, Idaho. He drops to the pavement in a narcoleptic
fit and has a vision of his mother caressing him during one such crisis.
Mike reaches Seattle and makes a living as a male prostitute, for both men
and women. One of his customers is a man full of himself who gets excited
watching him clean the apartment. Another customer is a sophisticated lady
who needs three men to get excited. Alas, she reminds him of his mother,
a fact that is almost certain to trigger a narcoleptic fit. The other two kids
drag his body into the street. In the morning, Mike wakes up and is offered a
ride by a German pervert, Hans. Mike refuses, but has yet another fit.
When he wakes up, Mike is in Portland. It turns out that Hans loaded him into
the car and drove him to his friend Scott, another male prostitute, albeit
a classy one, and Hans gave both a ride to Portland.
In Portland Mike and Scott share an abandoned building with other misfits,
who are led by a legendary character, Bob, older than them. Bob is also a
former lover of Scott, and Scott's mentor and tutor. It turns out that Scott
is the son of a wealthy man, heir to a fortune. He and Bob talk as if they
were reciting Shakespeare. One night the squatters, dressed like Tibetan
monks, rob a group of kids. Scott and Mike have fun robbing them of the loot
and then ridiculing Bob who ran away without fighting but tells the story of
a heroic fight. The police break into the building looking for Bob, but
Scott helps him hide. The police officers know who Scott is and politely tell
him that his father is looking for him, although they caught him in bed with
Mike. Later, Scott faces his father and denies all the accusations against
him. Scott is clearly still interested in inheriting his father's fortune.
Scott and Mike steal a motorcycle and ride all the way back to Idaho.
They get stuck on the same road that Mike was trying to leave behind.
A police officer helps them fix the motorcycle. They reach the house of
Mike's father. He feeds them and tells Mike about his mother: she ran away
with a gambler when she was pregnant of him, Mike, and then one day she
killed her lover at a drive-in. Mike's father even tries to convince Mike
that the gambler was his real father, but Mike knows better.
Mike decides to follow a clue to where his mother might be. He and Scott ride
the motorcycle to a hotel, where they are told that Mike's mother moved to
Italy. Mike is disappointed, but Scott finds a way to continue the chase:
the German pervert, Hans, is staying at the same hotel, and pays to have sex
with them (still images of the three naked bodies) and to purchase the
motorcycle. With the money, Scott and Mike fly to Rome and track down the farm
where the woman fled. They meet a cute Italian girl, Carmela, who falls in love
with Scott, but Mike's mother has already gone back to America. Scott and
Carmela have sex all the time, while Mike is both desperate (he has lost his
mother one more time) and jealous. Eventually, Scott and Carmela leave together
to get married. Scott has received a telegram informing him of the death of
his father: he is now very rich.
Mike prostitutes himself around the Colosseum, but eventually flies back
to Portland, where he joins Bob's gang again. One day the gang spots Scott
and Carmela, all dressed up, entering a fancy restaurant. Bob does not
hesitate to enter the restaurant, thinking that Scott will share his good luck
with his old friends. Instead, Scott asks him to leave, turning his back to
him and facing Carmela, who is now his elegant fiance`. That night Bob dies
of a heart attack while he is sleeping on the terrace of the abandoned building.
When Scott and a small crowd of relatives buries his father, the gang buries
Bob not far from them. Scott's funeral is as formal as Bob's funeral is noisy
Mike travels back to Idaho. Same road, same fit. A truck stops and two men
descend from it and steal his bag and his boots. A car stops a little later
and takes him away.
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993) was an adaptation of Tom Robbins's novel.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx) |
Se sei interessato a tradurre questo pezzo, contattami
If English is your first language and you could translate my old Italian text, please contact me.
To Die For (1995) is a mix of black comedy and crime thriller with satirical overtones and the format of a documentary... narrated by a dead person.
La storia e` raccontata con una serie di flashback, uno della protagonista
(Nicole Kidman), uno della sorella della vittima, uno di un carcerato, uno
dei genitori. Tutti stanno raccontando la sua storia davanti a una cinepresa.
La donna, avvenente ma un po' svampita, alla Marylin Monroe, incontra un
giovane italo-americano, i cui genitori sono amici di mafiosi e possiedono
un ristorante. I due si innamorano e si sposano. Sposatasi, la donna manifesta
il desiderio di entrare nel mondo della televisione. Si fa assumere come
segretaria a una piccola stazione televisiva del paese e poco alla volta
riesce a imporsi come l'annunciatrice delle previsioni del tempo. Non le basta:
cerca di convincere il capo a lasciarle fare un documentario sui ragazzi
del liceo. Ottiene il permesso e comincia a lavorare arduamente con tre ragazzi,
tutti e tre un po' disadattati. Diventa amica della ragazza grassa, si
conquista la fiducia di un mezzo psicopatico. Il marito pensa pero` ad
ereditare il ristorante di papa` e un giorno trova il coraggio di dire
alla bella moglie che e` ora di accantonare i suoi sogni di fama.
La donna sembra accettare, ma subito dopo organizza un incontro con la
ragazza grassa e lo psicopatico e si fa sedurre da questi sotto gli occhi
della ragazza. Inizia una relazione in cui lei lo droga sempre piu` con il
sesso. Un giorno lo convince ad uccidere il marito. Lui accetta e coinvolge
la ragazza grassa e l'altro studente. Mentre lei fa la sua trasmissione,
lo psicopatico penetra in casa e fredda il marito.
La polizia sospetta pero` qualcosa e la tiene d'occhio, finche' la vede
incontrarsi con lo psicopatico. Sequestrano i nastri del suo documentario
e scoprono allusioni dello psicopatico alla sua donna. Sempre piu` insospettiti,
scoprono infine la verita'. Il punk crolla e la accusa. Lei imbastisce una
storia incredibile e riesce a cavarsela, accusando il marito di essere
un drogato cacciatosi nei guai. La famiglia dell'uomo non la perdona pero'
e un sicario la fa scomparire sotto una coltre di ghiaccio. Lei scompare,
e la ragazza grassa e` l'unica in liberta` a poter godere della pubblicita'
destata dal caso. La sorella del morto, che l'aveva sempre odiata,
pattina sul ghiaccio dove lei e` sepolta.
I vari flashback sono praticamente il documentario che lei voleva fare e
che nei suoi sogni l'avrebbe lanciata nel mondo di Hollywood. Soltanto che
lancia invece la ragazza. Nicole e` invece vittima della mania di diventare
famosa, di finire in televisione.
Good Will Hunting (1997)
Will Hunting e` il janitor di una prestigiosa universita`. Viene da un ambiente
di orfanotrofi e correzionali
e ha come amici altri giovani della piccola borghesia.
In segreto studia matematica e sa di essere un genio. Un giorno scrive
sulla lavagna la soluzione a un difficile teorema che il professore
ultra-premiato dell'universita` ha assegnato agli studenti. Dopo giorni di
indagini, il professore riesce finalmente a scoprire il genio misterioso.
Ma Will vive in un mondo violento ed e` appena stato arrestato per una rissa,
e ha una fedina penale terribile.
Il professore gli offre la liberta` in cambio di aiuto nella ricerca matematica.
Il giudice impone pero` a Will anche di farsi vedere da uno psicanalista, e
Will manda in bestia tutti finche' il professore non chiede aiuto all'amico
Sean McGuire, un suo compagno di studi che ha rinunciato alla carriera e
alla gloria preferendo un umile lavoro di insegnante di psicologia.
Sean riesce poco alla volta a farsi amico Will. Tanto che alla fine difende
il suo spirito indipendente e ribelle dalla personalita` ambiziosa e
strutturata del matematico. Will ha trovato una ragazza e potrebbe anche
avere un lavoro di tutto rispetto come matematico. Sembra che decida di
condurre una vita borghese. Gli amici del bar gli regalano un'auto assemblata
alla buona. Lo psicologo conclude la sua terapia e decide di cambiare aria.
Il ragazzo scappa con la ragazza.
Lungo e noioso, dialoghi patetici.
Psycho (1998) was a pointless remake of Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece.
Gerry (2002) is a philosophical allegory that basically transposes
Ingmar Bergman and
Andrej Tarkovsky to the desert.
There are only two characters (save for a few extras who play a few seconds
here and there). They talk, walk and get lost. The "getting lost" is most of
the film. The landscape is the third protagonist: a hostile, infinite,
silent, empty desert. They are looking for something (that we never learn) and
they lose their way. They cannot come back. As fear mounts, tempers flare.
Very little happens. The landscape is what really happens.
This is one of the slowest and most uneventful films ever made in the USA.
A long, steady shot follows a car that is driving up a narrow road in the
desert. There is no traffic. There is no town. There is no life. Just the
car advancing in the desert. Two young men are in the car, and they don't
say a word. They park and start hiking. They call each other "Gerry".
Soon, they are alone in the wilderness.
Next morning the landscape has mutated into a white empty desert.
They are looking for a "spot". They split, hoping to increase the chances
of finding it. One of the two climbs a boulder and can't get down. The other
one tells him to jump. He jumps and, miracolously, does not get hurt.
Lengthy camera shots scor the static, silent landscape for a sign of life.
They follow animal tracks, hoping that the animals are heading towards
water, but soon lose them. They walk up sandy dunes, and into
windy canyons. They are now completely lost. As fear sinks in, and
hallucinations further hurt their morale, they begin
to get on each other's nerves. They also walk at night, slower and slower.
A giant white sun rises in a yellow sky.
They finally find themselves in a huge, flat field of salty dust. Here they
collapse and eventually start fighting. One of the two strangles the other.
Ironically, they were close to the road: the survivor hears the noise of a
truck and then sees the distant shapes of the vehicles on the highway.
A family gives him a ride, and he watches the desert pass by.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da Laura Tosi)
Gerry (2003) è un’allegoria filosofica che essenzialmente è la trasposizione di Ingmar Bergman e Andrej Tarkovsky nel deserto. I personaggi sono soltanto due (se si esclude qualche comparsa che fa la sua apparizione qua e là per alcuni secondi). Parlano, camminano e finiscono col perdersi. Il "perdersi" costituisce la maggior parte del film. Ma c’è anche un terzo protagonista, il paesaggio: un deserto infinito, vuoto, muto, ostile. I due sono alla ricerca di qualcosa ( ma non sapremo mai di cosa si tratta) e si smarriscono. Non possono tornare indietro. La tensione sale, esplode la collera. Non succede quasi niente. Solo il paesaggio è veramente attivo. Si tratta di uno dei film più lenti e privi d’azione che siano mai stati prodotti negli Stati Uniti.
La telecamera segue con sguardo fermo e insistente un’automobile che sta percorrendo una stretta strada nel deserto. Non c’è traffico. Non ci sono città. Non c’è vita. Solo l’auto che avanza nel deserto. Nell’auto ci sono due giovani che non dicono una parola. Fermano la macchina e iniziano ad esplorare a piedi la zona. Ognuno si rivolge all’altro chiamandolo "Gerry". Presto si ritrovano soli circondati da un territorio selvaggio. La mattina seguente il paesaggio è diverso: un vuoto, bianco deserto. I due stanno cercando un "posto". Si separano nella speranza di avere maggiori possibilità di trovarlo. Uno dei due si arrampica su un masso e non riesce più a ridiscenderne. L’altro lo incita a saltare giù. Questo salta e miracolosamente rimane illeso. A lungo la telecamera scandaglia l’immobile e muto paesaggio in cerca di un segnale di vita. I due seguono le impronte lasciate dagli animali nella speranza che questi si stiano spostando verso l’acqua, ma ben presto ne perdono le tracce. Camminano per dune sabbiose e attraverso canyon battuti dal vento. Adesso si ritrovano completamente persi. Con il passare del tempo iniziano a non sopportarsi a vicenda. Camminano anche durante la notte. Sempre più lentamente. Un enorme sole bianco si leva in un cielo giallo. Alla fine si ritrovano in un’enorme, piatta distesa di polvere salata. Qui crollano ed iniziano a lottare. Uno dei due strangola l’altro. Colmo d’ironia, erano vicini alla strada: il sopravvissuto sente il rombo di un camion e scorge in lontananza le sagome dei veicoli sull’autostrada. Una famiglia gli offre un passaggio ed egli osserva il deserto sfilargli accanto.