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Introspective artist Blake is buckling under the weight of fame, professional obligations and a mounting feeling of isolation. Dwarfed by towering trees, Blake slowly makes his way through dense woods. He scrambles down an embankment to a fresh spring and undresses for a short swim. The next morning he returns to his house, an elegant, if neglected, stone mansion. Many people are looking for Blake--his friends, his managers and record label, even a private detective--but he does not want to be found. In the haze of his final hours, Blake will spend most his time by himself. He avoids the people who are living in his house, who approach him only when they want something, be it money or help with a song. He hides from one concerned friend and turns away another. He visits politely with a stranger from the Yellow Pages sales department, and he ducks into an underground rock club. He wanders through the woods and he plays a new song, one last rock and roll blowout. Finally, alone in the ... Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Rock star's last days, lost, desperate, & alone, beautifully filmed
Gus Van Sant, just as he had done in Gerry and in Elephant, has taken a real-life mystery, and filled in some of the trivial missing parts with his imagination. I haven't seen Gerry or Elephant, but this time he has created a masterpiece.
The movie follows Blake, an isolated young rebel, who is a "rock-and-roll cliché", during the last days of his life. We see him mumbling to himself, and he seems incoherent, unable to stay awake. He is constantly running away, pursued by everyone, but unable to face his obligations. He is dragging himself through life.
The atmosphere of the whole movie is determined by the characters' state of mind. Every single element conveys the despair and pointlessness of Blake's existence, and the blurry thoughts that might be going through his brain. But these ugly days are filmed with an unsympathetic, contemplative and poetic eye. Every shot has the rare beauty of a renaissance painting. All the other elements fit together in perfect harmony: the music, the sounds that have no apparent source but the inside of Blake's head, and Michael Pitt's song "From Death to Birth" sent shivers down my back. The song, and all the actors' performances are authentic, personal and uncompromising.
Another thing: it was a very pleasant surprise to see a movie about the death of a rock star that's not filled with trashy violence aimed to shock and move viewers.
Forget about who Kurt Cobain was, and about his legend, this movie is not about him. Forget about the critics and the Cannes Film Festival, it's not about them either. Last days is a sincere and personal movie by people who apparently respect Kurt's memory. At least enough to tell a touching and aesthetic story inspired by his ordeal.
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