Director: Gus Van Sant
Year Released: 2005
Van Sant, in his minimalist state of mind, films the final days of a depressed rock star modeled after Kurt Cobain - how he struggles to make macaroni and cheese for himself, how he eats cocoa-flavored cereal, how he falls over for no real reason. There are two ways of looking at this - as Van Sant admiring the subject and Van Sant mocking the subject - but I believe it's a film of adoration rather than condescension: you wouldn't end a movie with the deceased, naked rocker climbing up to heaven (a little like Axl Rose in the "Don't Cry" video) if you thought he was a raging jerk. The trouble is, the lack of outward depth from the Cobain character turns him into a bore and his junkie peers into moronic hangers-on - and all digressions (listening to Harmony Korine at a party, listening to the Yellow Pages man) lead nowhere. To me, this mumbling mutant is a contemptuous being (and disrespectful to Cobain's musical legacy) and Van Sant's treatment of his life is filled with self-importance. I couldn't wait for the (off screen) gun blast.