Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Best Auteur-Made Experimental Improvised Independent Film of 2002

Rob here, looking back at 2002. At the end of each year, if you're like me, you assess. Best Overall Film? Best Comedy? Best Documentary? and of course Best Auteur-Made Experimental Improvised Independent Film. Now each year that last category could have dozens of possibilities. But in 2002, the clear winner was Gerry



Gerry was the first film in Gus Van Sant's Death Trilogy and follows two friends named Gerry (Matt Damon and Casey Affleck) lost in the desert as they wander around and around.

No one is going to accuse Gerry of being the best film of 2002. It lacks a certain... gravitas that most people require for that distinction. Even though I must say as time passes those who've seen it seem to like it more and more. Best or not, Gerry is just so damn interesting, and rather charming. Among other things it's interesting how Van Sant can make the sound of rocks and sand under walking feet go from a rather pleasant ambient-noise to a slow harbinger of doom. Among other things it's charming how Damon and Affleck can pull off dialogue like that "I crows-nested up here to scout about the ravine when you Gerried the rendezvous" to explain how Affleck finds himself on the top of a huge rock formation.



In fact the more I think about Gerry, the more I ask myself things like "why shouldn't it be a contender for the best of the year?" (also "why can't I use my name as a verb?"). Heck it's enough to make me suggest that when it came to respect, recognition and accolades in 2002, Gerry got downright Robbed.
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14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awesome movie!!! I love it.

brandz said...

i loved this film.

Dean said...

I don't understand how people are able to enjoy this film at all. I'm fine with expiremental film, but it's frustrating to hear praise for it when it doesn't work or have merit as movie. Especially if it's as boring as Gerry is.

Alice said...

SUCH a great film! You think it lacks gravitas? Really? I would say it's chock full of the stuff.

Do love that rock scene too though. Alas my name shall never be a verb :(

NATHANIEL R said...

I loved this movie too. My favorite scene has to be the endless crunchy walk with their faces in profile.

but for me it's a 2003 release (US release) which meant that Gus Van Sant had quite an interesting double feature year (along with Elephant)

Jim T said...

I love that picture of Kristen Scott Thomas! Is it from a movie?

Jim T said...

Yeah, well, it's nothing, it's nothing. I'm just a little drunk. It's Famke Janssen, right?

Scott said...

If I were to try to describe Gerry, interesting would be perhaps the last word I'd use. Elephant was vastly more interesting.

Anonymous said...

Best Van Sant film. Much better than last year's Milk, imo.

Beau said...

I'm with Scott. 'Elephant' is one of the greatest films I'v ever had the privilege of viewing. 'Last Days' was as haunting and entrancing as all get out. 'Gerry' felt needless and had a languid pace that, while strangely appropriate and fitting for the other two, made this one all the more frustrating.

Alice said...

But isn't that a bit simplistic Beau? If you are appreciating them as a trilogy, then can't the thematic, visual and sound elements of Gerry be seen to evolve through Elephant and Last Days? I.e. the latter only come from the creation of the former.

chris na taraja said...

I really like this film. And these nothing out there like it.

I could see why people can find it boring, but I found it refreshing and captivating.

Cindy said...

I LOVE Gerry. I ripped the audio and it is fantastic to listen to on the ipod. The crunching walking scene is one of the best in the movie, I agree. The movie allows one to think and think I did.

Glenn Dunks said...

I still remember finding the "Wheel of Fortune" story hysterically funny.