Gus Van Sant

Gus Green Van Sant, Jr. (born July 24, 1952) is an American director, screenwriter, painter, photographer, musician, and author. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Achievement in Directing for his 1997 film Good Will Hunting and his 2008 film Milk, and won the Palme d'Or at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival for his film Elephant. He lives in Portland, Oregon. His early career was devoted to directing television commercials in the Pacific Northwest. In his films, he has dealt with themes concerning homosexuality and other marginalized subcultures. His filmography as writer and director includes an adaptation of Tom Robbins' novel Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, which features a diverse cast (Keanu Reeves, Roseanne Barr, Uma Thurman, and k.d. lang, with cameos by William S. Burroughs and Heather Graham, among others); and My Own Private Idaho, also starring Reeves as well as River Phoenix. He wrote the screenplays for most of his early movies, and wrote one novel, Pink. A book of his photography has also been published, called 108 Portraits.

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Good Will Hunting (1997)

BeautifulEmotionalInspiringCharming

Will Hunting has a genius-level IQ but chooses to work as a janitor at MIT. When he solves a difficult graduate-level math problem, his talents are discovered by Professor Gerald Lambeau, who decides to help the misguided youth reach his potential. When Will is ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gus Van Sant
CAST:  Matt Damon  •  Robin Williams  •  Ben Affleck  •  Stellan Skarsgård

Will Hunting has a genius-level IQ but chooses to work as a janitor at MIT. When he solves a difficult graduate-level math problem, his talents are discovered by Professor Gerald Lambeau, who decides to help the misguided youth reach his potential. When Will is ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gus Van Sant
CAST:  Matt Damon  •  Robin Williams  •  Ben Affleck  •  Stellan Skarsgård

Drugstore Cowboy (1989)

Portland, Oregon, 1971. Bob Hughes is the charismatic leader of a peculiar quartet, formed by his wife, Dianne, and another couple, Rick and Nadine, who skillfully steal from drugstores and hospital medicine cabinets in order to appease their insatiable need for ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gus Van Sant
CAST:  Matt Dillon  •  Kelly Lynch  •  James Le Gros  •  Heather Graham

Portland, Oregon, 1971. Bob Hughes is the charismatic leader of a peculiar quartet, formed by his wife, Dianne, and another couple, Rick and Nadine, who skillfully steal from drugstores and hospital medicine cabinets in order to appease their insatiable need for ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gus Van Sant
CAST:  Matt Dillon  •  Kelly Lynch  •  James Le Gros  •  Heather Graham

Elephant (2003)

Several ordinary high school students go through their daily routine as two others prepare for something more malevolent. The film chronicles the events surrounding a school shooting.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gus Van Sant
CAST:  Alex Frost  •  Eric Deulen  •  John Robinson  •  Elias McConnell

Several ordinary high school students go through their daily routine as two others prepare for something more malevolent. The film chronicles the events surrounding a school shooting.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gus Van Sant
CAST:  Alex Frost  •  Eric Deulen  •  John Robinson  •  Elias McConnell

Gerry (2002)

Two friends named Gerry become lost in the desert after taking a wrong turn. Their attempts to find their way home only lead them into further trouble.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gus Van Sant
CAST:  Casey Affleck  •  Matt Damon

Two friends named Gerry become lost in the desert after taking a wrong turn. Their attempts to find their way home only lead them into further trouble.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gus Van Sant
CAST:  Casey Affleck  •  Matt Damon

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)

When Jay and Silent Bob learn that their comic-book alter egos, Bluntman and Chronic, have been sold to Hollywood as part of a big-screen movie that leaves them out of any royalties, the pair travels to Tinseltown to sabotage the production.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kevin Smith
CAST:  Kevin Smith  •  Jason Mewes  •  Ben Affleck  •  Jeff Anderson

When Jay and Silent Bob learn that their comic-book alter egos, Bluntman and Chronic, have been sold to Hollywood as part of a big-screen movie that leaves them out of any royalties, the pair travels to Tinseltown to sabotage the production.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kevin Smith
CAST:  Kevin Smith  •  Jason Mewes  •  Ben Affleck  •  Jeff Anderson

Last Days (2005)

The life and struggles of a notorious rock musician seeping into a pit of loneliness whose everyday life involves friends and family seeking financial aid and favors, inspired by rock music legend Kurt Cobain and his final hours.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gus Van Sant
CAST:  Michael Pitt  •  Lukas Haas  •  Asia Argento  •  Scott Patrick Green

The life and struggles of a notorious rock musician seeping into a pit of loneliness whose everyday life involves friends and family seeking financial aid and favors, inspired by rock music legend Kurt Cobain and his final hours.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gus Van Sant
CAST:  Michael Pitt  •  Lukas Haas  •  Asia Argento  •  Scott Patrick Green

My Own Private Idaho (1991)

In this loose adaptation of Shakespeare's "Henry IV," Mike Waters is a gay hustler afflicted with narcolepsy. Scott Favor is the rebellious son of a mayor. Together, the two travel from Portland, Oregon to Idaho and finally to the coast of Italy in a quest to find ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gus Van Sant
CAST:  River Phoenix  •  Keanu Reeves  •  James Russo  •  William Richert

In this loose adaptation of Shakespeare's "Henry IV," Mike Waters is a gay hustler afflicted with narcolepsy. Scott Favor is the rebellious son of a mayor. Together, the two travel from Portland, Oregon to Idaho and finally to the coast of Italy in a quest to find ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gus Van Sant
CAST:  River Phoenix  •  Keanu Reeves  •  James Russo  •  William Richert

Paris, Je T'Aime (2006)

EnjoyableFunnyOriginalBeautiful

Olivier Assayas, Gus Van Sant, Wes Craven and Alfonso Cuaron are among the 20 distinguished directors who contribute to this collection of 18 stories, each exploring a different aspect of Parisian life. The colourful characters in this drama include a pair of mimes ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gérard Depardieu  •  Joel Coen  •  Ethan Coen  •  Wes Craven  •  Alfonso Cuarón  •  Alexander Payne  •  Tom Tykwer  •  Sylvain Chomet  •  Gus Van Sant  •  Vincenzo Natali  •  Richard LaGravenese  •  Isabel Coixet  •  Olivier Assayas  •  Walter Salles  •  Bruno Podalydès  •  Oliver Schmitz  •  Gurinder Chadha  •  Nobuhiro Suwa  •  Daniela Thomas  •  Frédéric Auburtin  •  Christopher Doyle
CAST:  Steve Buscemi  •  Axel Kiener  •  Julie Bataille  •  Bruno Podalydès

Olivier Assayas, Gus Van Sant, Wes Craven and Alfonso Cuaron are among the 20 distinguished directors who contribute to this collection of 18 stories, each exploring a different aspect of Parisian life. The colourful characters in this drama include a pair of mimes ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gérard Depardieu  •  Joel Coen  •  Ethan Coen  •  Wes Craven  •  Alfonso Cuarón  •  Alexander Payne  •  Tom Tykwer  •  Sylvain Chomet  •  Gus Van Sant  •  Vincenzo Natali  •  Richard LaGravenese  •  Isabel Coixet  •  Olivier Assayas  •  Walter Salles  •  Bruno Podalydès  •  Oliver Schmitz  •  Gurinder Chadha  •  Nobuhiro Suwa  •  Daniela Thomas  •  Frédéric Auburtin  •  Christopher Doyle
CAST:  Steve Buscemi  •  Axel Kiener  •  Julie Bataille  •  Bruno Podalydès

To Die For (1995)

Suzanne Stone wants to be a world-famous news anchor and she is willing to do anything to get what she wants. What she lacks in intelligence, she makes up for in cold determination and diabolical wiles. As she pursues her goal with relentless focus, she is forced ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gus Van Sant
CAST:  Nicole Kidman  •  Matt Dillon  •  Joaquin Phoenix  •  Casey Affleck

Suzanne Stone wants to be a world-famous news anchor and she is willing to do anything to get what she wants. What she lacks in intelligence, she makes up for in cold determination and diabolical wiles. As she pursues her goal with relentless focus, she is forced ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gus Van Sant
CAST:  Nicole Kidman  •  Matt Dillon  •  Joaquin Phoenix  •  Casey Affleck

Finding Forrester (2000)

Thought provokingMind blowingInspiringBeautiful

Gus Van Sant tells the story of a young African American man named Jamal who confronts his talents while living on the streets of the Bronx. He accidentally runs into an old writer named Forrester who discovers his passion for writing. With help from his new mentor ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gus Van Sant
CAST:  Sean Connery  •  Rob Brown  •  F. Murray Abraham  •  Anna Paquin

Gus Van Sant tells the story of a young African American man named Jamal who confronts his talents while living on the streets of the Bronx. He accidentally runs into an old writer named Forrester who discovers his passion for writing. With help from his new mentor ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gus Van Sant
CAST:  Sean Connery  •  Rob Brown  •  F. Murray Abraham  •  Anna Paquin

Strange Parallel (1998)

Strange Parallel is a documentary/short film revolving around the American singer/songwriter Elliott Smith. The film features interviews with Elliott himself as well as fans, friends and other acquaintances of his (including Gus Van Sant, Larry Crane, and the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Steve Hanft
CAST:  Elliott Smith  •  Gus Van Sant

Strange Parallel is a documentary/short film revolving around the American singer/songwriter Elliott Smith. The film features interviews with Elliott himself as well as fans, friends and other acquaintances of his (including Gus Van Sant, Larry Crane, and the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Steve Hanft
CAST:  Elliott Smith  •  Gus Van Sant

Five Ways to Kill Yourself (1987)

Gus Van Sant, dissatisfied professionally, counts five ways to end his life.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gus Van Sant
CAST:  Michael Parker  •  Gus Van Sant

Gus Van Sant, dissatisfied professionally, counts five ways to end his life.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gus Van Sant
CAST:  Michael Parker  •  Gus Van Sant

My New Friend (1987)

An older man meets and becomes fascinated by a younger man in this somewhat autobiographical work.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gus Van Sant
CAST: 

An older man meets and becomes fascinated by a younger man in this somewhat autobiographical work.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gus Van Sant
CAST: 

Here's Looking at You, Boy (2007)

Documentary on the history of gay and lesbian film.  (more)

DIRECTION:  André Schäfer
CAST:  John Waters  •  Wieland Speck  •  Rosa von Praunheim  •  Ingrid Caven

Documentary on the history of gay and lesbian film.  (more)

DIRECTION:  André Schäfer
CAST:  John Waters  •  Wieland Speck  •  Rosa von Praunheim  •  Ingrid Caven

The Advocate for Fagdom (2011)

The Advocate for Fagdom unites the puzzle pieces one by one. Testimonies are combined with rare archive images. Art galeries present movie extracts that are succeeded by images shot on location. And the other way round. Writers, film makers, art galeries owners, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Angélique Bosio
CAST:  Bruce LaBruce  •  Harmony Korine  •  Glenn Belverio  •  Richard Kern

The Advocate for Fagdom unites the puzzle pieces one by one. Testimonies are combined with rare archive images. Art galeries present movie extracts that are succeeded by images shot on location. And the other way round. Writers, film makers, art galeries owners, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Angélique Bosio
CAST:  Bruce LaBruce  •  Harmony Korine  •  Glenn Belverio  •  Richard Kern

Promised Land (2012)

A salesman for a natural gas company experiences life-changing events after arriving in a small town, where his corporation wants to tap into the available resources.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gus Van Sant
CAST:  Matt Damon  •  John Krasinski  •  Frances McDormand  •  Rosemarie DeWitt

A salesman for a natural gas company experiences life-changing events after arriving in a small town, where his corporation wants to tap into the available resources.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gus Van Sant
CAST:  Matt Damon  •  John Krasinski  •  Frances McDormand  •  Rosemarie DeWitt

My Own Private River (2011)

Unused footage from Gus Van Sant's 1991 film My Own Private Idaho is re-contextualized in James Franco's tribute to River Phoenix.  (more)

DIRECTION:  James Franco  •  Gus Van Sant
CAST:  River Phoenix  •  Keanu Reeves  •  James Russo  •  Vana O'Brien

Unused footage from Gus Van Sant's 1991 film My Own Private Idaho is re-contextualized in James Franco's tribute to River Phoenix.  (more)

DIRECTION:  James Franco  •  Gus Van Sant
CAST:  River Phoenix  •  Keanu Reeves  •  James Russo  •  Vana O'Brien

The Canyons (2013)

The discovery of an illicit love affair leads two young Angelenos on a violent, sexually charged tour through the dark side of human nature.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Lindsay Lohan  •  Gus Van Sant  •  James Deen  •  Nolan Gerard Funk

The discovery of an illicit love affair leads two young Angelenos on a violent, sexually charged tour through the dark side of human nature.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Lindsay Lohan  •  Gus Van Sant  •  James Deen  •  Nolan Gerard Funk

A Special Day (2012)

a film that premiered at the cannes film festival  (more)

DIRECTION:  Samuel Faure  •  Gilles Jacob
CAST:  Theo Angelopoulos  •  Olivier Assayas  •  Jane Campion  •  Chen Kaige

a film that premiered at the cannes film festival  (more)

DIRECTION:  Samuel Faure  •  Gilles Jacob
CAST:  Theo Angelopoulos  •  Olivier Assayas  •  Jane Campion  •  Chen Kaige

The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011)

The story of international cinema told through the history of cinematic innovation. Covering six continents and 12 decades, showing how film-makers are influenced both by the historical events of their times, and by each other.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Mark Cousins
CAST:  Mark Cousins  •  Jean-Michel Frodon  •  Cari Beauchamp  •  Agnes de Mille

The story of international cinema told through the history of cinematic innovation. Covering six continents and 12 decades, showing how film-makers are influenced both by the historical events of their times, and by each other.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Mark Cousins
CAST:  Mark Cousins  •  Jean-Michel Frodon  •  Cari Beauchamp  •  Agnes de Mille
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