Matt Damon and Casey Affleck lost in the desert and an unforgettable cinema experience: Gerry by Gus van Sant is on view this Wednesday, for a re-release in a restored version. Don’t miss this theatrical experience!
What is it about ?
Two friends lost in a desert area try to find their way back. Discouragement, dehydration and fatigue test the bond that unites them…
An immersive experience!
Get ready for a one-of-a-kind experience with Gerry from Gus van Sant. This feature film made 20 years ago comes out in a restored copy this Wednesday. Preceded by a very good reputation, film acclaimed by critics, how to explain that gerry be so celebrated 20 years later?
Gerry is a film that could be described as immersive, much more “minimalist” in its budget than other films by its director (such as Will Hunting, his greatest success in France). Gerry is a film whose shots stretch, giving pride of place to silence and the beauty of the landscapes, magnificently filmed by the cinematographer, Harris Savides.
Few dialogues, long shots, a tenuous plot… Are you afraid that this will evoke boredom? Think again ! Gerry should be approached as a cinematic experience, as one would embark on a dream or a form of waking dream. When traveling, for example, we all let ourselves go during those moments when we gaze into the landscape, letting ourselves be carried away by our thoughts. Gerry is getting closer to this experience. Admire the beauty of nature and savor the moment.
“We had a few scenes on paper but Gus [van Sant] systematically left the camera rolling to stretch them. At first, I had trouble understanding why. We talked a lot about this idea of plans that never end. This belief that, if you let the camera roll, once the audience puts aside their impatience, their frustration, something really profound happens. This is how Gus saw his film“, explained Matt Damon, one of the actors alongside Casey Affleck.
And if the plot is not talkative or rich in twists and turns, this does not prevent the film from keeping in suspense, thanks to the mystery which hovers over this duo formed by Matt Damon and Casey Affleck. “We didn’t want the public to systematically understand what they were saying. One of the tragedies of the arrival of sound in cinema is that dialogue takes the lion’s share. In Gerry, the dialogues are really linked to the protagonists, not to the story“, had indicated Gus van Sant to explain his gesture.
We can also see Gerry as a declaration of love to his actors. This project indeed goes beyond professional collaboration, and gives pride of place to a form of professional friendship. “[Gus van Sant] love [les acteurs] to the point of letting a film become something else to satisfy their desire, write Stéphane Bouquet and Jean Marc Lalanne in the book they dedicated to the filmmaker, released in 2009 by Cahiers du Cinéma. This love, strangely, is not at all harmful to the aesthetic power of the works: it is even the strength of this singular cinema to reverse the trend: not subjecting the actors to the interests of the film, but subjecting the film to the existence of the actors. “let the boys play” could be the motto and method of GVS“, they shout.
A film influenced…
Gerry is also known to moviegoers for the references that influenced his director. Gus van Sant evokes many influences in the note of intent accompanying this release: “I thought of films and filmmakers that I remembered. James Benning, for example, and one of his films, The United States of America, where he crosses the country by car. In those of Warhol, but in a different way, we also find the case of cameras shooting long sequences. I don’t think he influenced me much but there is definitely a connection. Andrei Tarkovsky influenced me as Alexander Sokurov, Chantal Akerman with Jeanne Dielman, Fassbinder, Derek Jarman with his movie Blue, Bela Tarr but also Abbas Kiarostami and Jacques Tati.“
Gus van Sant adds: “In the United States, films must be fireworks that “jostle” the viewer without giving them too much time to think. These directors make you think. I must have been bewitched… and I was possessed by the desire to work this way.”
… which then influenced Daft Punk!
In turn, Gerry then influenced. Daft Punk echo this film in the video seen more than 28 million times worldwide, their “epilogue”, announcing the end of the group on February 22, 2021. Note that this video is an extract from a feature film that they released in 2006, Daft Punk’s Electroma.
The only feature film directed by Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, Electroma was presented at Cannes in 2006, as part of the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs. Both also play the lead roles, robots seeking to become human.
Gerry also inspired a scene from Gus van Sant’s next film, Elephant (a scene in which the protagonists play a Doom-like video game). If the latter was released before Gerry in France, you should know that his filming is earlier. Gerry was filmed in 2001, and was released very confidentially in the United States, in February 2002. It was thanks to the triumph of Elephant, Palme d’Or 2003, that Gerry found a distributor in France and was able to then officially exit.
Gerry, Elephantthen last days will then constitute a “tetralogy” or “trilogy of death”. last dayscarried by Michael Pitt, tells the last days of Kurt Cobain, the singer of Nirvana.
Gerry is coming out to the cinema this Wednesday August 17, 2022.