A story of amour fou. Walt is madly in love/lust with a young illegal Mexican immigrant. However, the object of his unrequited affection doesn't even speak any English and finds Walt really... See full summary »
This story has elements that call to mind a real misadventure that ended with one person murdering another under very similar conditions. The murder of David Coughlin by Raffi Kodikian in New Mexico in 1999 occurred while both were lost together in Rattlesnake Canyon. Written by
Having spent time in the desert makes a difference
I have spent a lot of time in the desert and I think what Gus Van Sant was trying to portray (and maybe not very effectively) is that space/time warp you experience when you find yourself in a place where your attention span must go from 1/2 second to a billion years, where one's sense of the passage of time becomes almost irrelevant. The human brain, especially in this age of MTV, cannot fathom the slowness of geologic change in the desert, and has trouble fathoming the change of perspective, where everything seems closer than it really is. I have "walked that walk" where the object you're heading toward keeps receding into the distance, and the tendency is to walk as the two Gerrys were walking in the slow shot of the sides of their heads, and hear nothing but the measured crunching of your footsteps. The long shot was perfectly appropriate. Maybe one has to spend time in the desert to "get it", but I thought the film was dead right-on with the music, the visuals and the pacing. I loved the film and will watch it again and probably again.
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