Gus Van Sant
My Own Private Idaho (1991)
This film marked the beginning of New Queer Cinema and Van Sant’s global career: The director transfers Shakespeare into the sex work milieu and allows River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves to reach great acting form by sending them on a journey to themselves. The two actors were among the most sought-after young stars in Hollywood at the time; Keanu Reeves went on to make a global career with films such as »Matrix,« River Phoenix died in 1993. As an iconic on-screen couple, they made film history with »My Private Idaho« (original title: »My Own Private Idaho«).
Gus Green Van Sant Jr. (b. 1952) is an American filmmaker, painter, screenwriter, photographer and musician from Louisville, Kentucky. With films in both independent and mainstream cinema, Van Sant has become one of the most prominent film auteurs in the world over the past 35 years and is considered an outstanding representative of a New Queer Cinema movement. In addition to the Palme d'Or in Cannes and two Academy Awards, Van Sant has won numerous awards. His best-known films include »My Own
Private Idaho«, »Good Will Hunting«, »Finding Forrester«, »Elephant«, »Last Days«, »Milk« and »The Sea of Trees«. Also running at the Summer Festival this year is TROUBLE, Van Sant’s first production for the theater and a Summer Festival co-production.
More films by Gus Van Sant at Alabama Kino as part of the Kampnagel Summer Festival:
TUE 8/23: Milk (2008)
WED 8/24: Last Days (2005)
»Gus Van Sant Jr. made a big bold leap to join Jim Jarmusch and the Coen brothers in the front ranks of America's most innovative independent film makers.«THE NEW YORK TIMES