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Gus Van Sant / US, 2002 / 103 min.

Two friends both called Gerry – possibly – go on a hike in the desert. Their destination remains unclear, the film primarily appears to be a reflection on nature, friendship and Van Sant’s own film career. With Casey Affleck and Matt Damon. Part of Looking for America: The Road is Life.

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Gerry may very well be one of the most mystifying films of the ”00s. The critics were divided: was it a transcendent and mystical experience or plain presumptuous and tedious? Film critic Roger Ebert: “The longer the movie ran, the less I liked it and the more I admired it”. The film has been compared with the work of the Irish playwright Samuel Beckett (“Waiting for Godot”), though Van Sant himself named Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr as a source of inspiration. The long takes and the intense sound in Gerry reference Tarr”s films Satanstango (1994) and Werkmeister Harmóniák (2000).

After having made the mainstream films Good Will Hunting (1997) and Forrester (2000) in the 1990s, Gerry marked Gus van Sant”s return to the indie film. Gerry was followed by Elephant (2003) and Last Days (2005). Van Sant himself talks of them as his “death trilogy”.

The screening on 28 November is introduced by EYE programmer Leo van Hee.

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Gus Van Sant

Production year




Original title



103 min.





Part of

Looking for America

This autumn Eye is taking an inquisitive look at the United States. How does the age-old ideal of a ‘land of the free and home of the brave’ relate to the difficult reality of today?

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