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Posts Tagged ‘Gus Van Sant’

Happy 15th Anniversary of Gus Van Sant’s PSYCHO!

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

tn_psycho15thYes it’s true, 15 years ago ago today Universal unleashed the remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s PSYCHO from the director of DRUGSTORE COWBOY. I didn’t really pay attention but I’m sure everything turned out okay with that. And I see no reason why this new Village Voice piece of mine in which I write positive things about the movie should go over poorly.

I’m spending my evening planning a shot-for-shot-ish remake of the TV movie BATES MOTEL, hopefully with DJ Qualls in the Bud Cort role and with Vince Vaughn’s stunt double (or Jon Favreau) as Norman Bates. How are you celebrating?

Psycho (remake)

Monday, November 9th, 2009

tn_psychoremakeIn Gus Van Sant’s 1998 remake of PSYCHO they tried to recreate Hitchcock’s filmatism, they had Joseph Stefano only slightly re-word his old script, they re-recorded Bernard Herrman’s score and made it sound basically the same. So the success or failure of this version mostly falls to the one element Hitchcock claimed to not give two shits about: the actors.

That’s trouble though because it was easy to predict that nobody could withstand comparison to Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates. It’s interesting to see someone else try to put a different spin on it, but I doubt you could find anyone who prefers Vince Vaughn or even thinks he comes a close second. I’m not sure who the miraculous casting choice who would work as Norman even though he’s not Anthony Perkins would be, but Vaughn ain’t the guy. (read the rest of this shit…)

Elephant

Friday, January 23rd, 2004

Who the fuck knows what to make of Gus Van Sant? Fierce independence and idiosynchricity or whatever for many years. Openly gay independent filmatist working out of Oregon, adapting underground literature and hanging out with Burroughs and shit. Suddenly out of the blue he does this huge hit studio movie with no gay people, but Robin Williams and a math genius garbage man or whatever the fuck that movie was about (I never saw it). How bout them apples I guess is what a guy says in it, I don’t know. So suddenly Van Sant is a mainstream super star and he can do whatever he wants… so what he does, he announces that he’s gonna do a shot for shot remake of Mr. Hitchcock’s famous picture PSYCHO. With the same score and everything. And hire the same screenwriter just to change like ten or fifteen words in it.

Now I know I am against the wheat grain on this one but for me, that was the thing that SOLD me on this Van Sant, not the thing that lost me. Sure, DRUGSTORE COWBOY was a great one and there was some good business in his other pictures, but it was the day he cashed in his mainstream clout to do something THAT fucking ridiculous that made me think this was a guy I could really respect. Nobody else would get the chance to try something like that, nobody else would WANT to try something like that, and anybody, including him, is not likely to get out of that one unscathed. It was a god damn kamikaze mission, or “homicide bombing” as our friends at Fox “news” call it in their unending quest for a new, less accurate form of speaking. (read the rest of this shit…)

Drugstore Cowboy

Monday, January 1st, 2001

If you want a good picture about junkies this is it. This is not a western like you may think it is the story of Matt Dillon, his lady and another couple who travel the Pacific Northwest region knocking down drugstores to score various pharmaceuticals. As someone who has known these type of people I can GUARANTEE you they do not have prescriptions for these items. They are addicts.

What I like about this one in my opinion is that it is an anti drug movie that doesn’t stack the deck. It makes it clear that drugs are fun when you are doing them, they make the world happy and the cowboy lifestyle as they call it is exciting. So then after being honest it goes on to deal with the negative side. (read the rest of this shit…)