Hey folks, Harry here with the next report from Celia and CANNES! This time it is Gus Van Sant's THE LAST DAYS. Let's get on with it, sounds like Gus has another winner!
Cannes, day 3
For two days, the Louis LumiÃ¨re theatre has been cold as a fridge : too much air contionneering. They finally have tuned it, but everyone in the screening room is coughing or sneezing (my case).
This little illness is really bad timing for evryone, because there is not one fest-goer who went feverish about this year's activity : the "hunt the Star Wars gala screening tickets" !
Weather is finally hot and sunny, the tourists have arrived. They walk along the Croisette, hoping to see stars while the fest-goers are running everywhere because the screening schedules are awfully set this year.
The event of the day could have been Michael Pitt playing the guitar in the Louis LumiÃ¨re theatre tonight at 10 p.m., but it actually was the "Brothers Grimms", new Terry Gilliam film, exclusive 20 minutes. It was so exclusive that only a happy few could get in the screening room (not my case).
FILM REVIEW : "LAST DAYS", a Gus Van Sant Film
Maybe it is because I was 14 when Nirvana hit France with the "Nevermind" album. Maybe it's just because I like a lot Michael Pitt, in my opinion a great actor. Maybe I just have weird tastes in cinema. Anyway, I loved "Last Days".
"Last days" is about, well, the last days of a rock star, named Blake, who looks a lot like Kurt Cobain and who has a life very much like Kurt Cobain had. Michael Pitt is Blake, an amazing Michael Pitt, portraying this man who seems awfully lost, always high, though he's never seen taking drugs, and terribly alone.
Blake's last days begin in a forest and we understand that he ran away from a rehab center. He arrives in his mansion, where his companion, portrayed by Asia Argento, is, with three others so-called friends. Blake spends his time running away and hiding, except from a middle-aged woman, a friend, portrayed by Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth. Who still doubts it's Kurt Cobain's last days we're seeing ?
The Kim Gordon scene is quite moving : she tries to "wake him up", she makes him talk about his daughter and she tries to get him away from this mansion where he is alone and abandoned by his companion and his friends, all of whom who egoitically think about them and refuse to take his despair into account.
Everyone knows how it ends. But the last we see of Blake as he just died is particularly touching. And I won't spoil it by telling the scene !
Though it's all about rock n' roll, "Last Days" is not a rockumentary and there is very few music. A Lou Reed song, a beautiful song interpreted by Michael Pitt who wrote it with his band Pagoda, and a very interesting scene where we see Blake creating a piece from the outside of the room and travelling back. The other "musical" element is the film are the bells : chiming, tolling, we often hear them and understand they are in Blake's mind, until the last minutes...
The narrative construction is not linear and it seems to me that it's making the film a more "grunge" film than any 90's films.
Michael Pitt is particularly impressive. Though we rarely see his face or hear him except muttering, he remains very expressive with body acting.
Let's face it : I loved it. But it won't be a mass audience film !