Gus Van Sant
USA 2005
96 min

Last Days, the brilliant concluding chapter in the death trilogy that inspired Gus Van Sants artistic rebirth, wafts through the final 48 or so hours of a Kurt-Cobain-like rock star. Like Elephant, Van Sants Columbine meditation, Last Days zeroes in on the hallucinatory stillness of a final countdown. It shares with the earlier film a compressed time frame and aspect ratio, as well as a slippery, cosmic, almost four-dimensional sense of space and time, achieved again via remarkable technical means: Harris Savides fluid camerawork, Leslie Shatzs layered sound design, Van Sants instinctual editing. As in Elephant, the iconographic details of a mythic tragedy are faithfully reproduced, and they float by in a narcotic fog, charged with meaning but untouched by the organizing principles of conventional narrative. (Dennis Lim)

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