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Last Days 

Directed by Gus Van Sant

Last Days
Directed by: Directed by Gus Van Sant
HBO Films
Like Van Sant’s recent film Gerry, Last Days is leisurely with narrative and dialogue. With long, meandering takes and quiet mundane scenes, it’s more concerned with tone, where the form and structure are as important as the content. This can make for a strongly felt cinematic experience, but it can also seem pointless. Last Days crosses back and forth over this line. The story is loosely based on the final days of Kurt Cobain, and as Blake, Michael Pitt makes a convincing, mumbling doppelganger, though not a very sympathetic one. All the other characters are perma-stoned hangers-on, for whom one cares nothing. Sprawling, haunted mansions dominate the piece, lots of camera movement, almost all of Boyz II Men’s “4 Seasons of Loneliness” video, and strange cameos from the likes of Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon. The sound design is wonderful, full of disconnected bells, chimes, street noises and songs. Perhaps it’s all in Blake’s head? Nirvana fans will come for insight and be left with more questions. No doubt this is what Van Sant intends.
—Carsten Knox

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Vol 25, No 25
November 16, 2017

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