dir. Van Sant

Opens Fri March 21

Cinema 21

It's probably been a year now since I first saw Gerry, the experimental art film directed by hometown hero Gus Van Sant--and I am still furious. Sure, a lot of you artsy-fartsy dopes will say, "Well that's great! It's the job of the modern cinema to make the audience feel something." That's why I'm going to be a bit more specific about how I feel. I feel like my time was wasted. I feel like ridiculous homages to no-name European directors should be confined to film schools. I feel like the following films are far superior to Gerry: Battlefield Earth, Baby Geniuses, Waterworld, Braveheart, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Moulin Rouge, Kindergarten Cop, Pokemon 4Ever, and The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas.

However! I also feel like Gus Van Sant deserves a fair shake, so listen to this plot, and decide for yourself whether Gerry is worth your hard-earned money and time. This is the story of two friends (Casey Affleck and Matt Damon) who go hiking out in the desert and get lost.

And that's it.

A hundred and ten minutes of barely any dialogue and long non-edited shots of the boys hoofing it through a barren wasteland. But let me make something perfectly clear: When I say "long non-edited shots," I mean shots that can last up to EIGHT minutes. And when that eight minutes are up, the angle is then switched to another walking shot lasting SIX minutes. In fact, I noticed someone from the audience getting up to go to the bathroom, doing their business and returning to their seat--AND IT WAS STILL THE SAME FREAKING SHOT!!

Now, while some film snobby-snobs may try and convince you this is Van Sant's "cinematic homage to the work of Bela Tarr," just smile, nod, and know they're full of crap. In Gerry, you cannot wait for these characters to hurry up and die already.