Gus Van Sant

Gus Van Sant Brief Biography

Gus Van Sant
Gus Green Van Sant, Jr. (born July 24, 1952) is an American film director, screenwriter, painter, photographer, musician and author who has earned acclaim as both an independent and more mainstream filmmaker. His films typically deal with themes of marginalized subcultures, in particular homosexuality; as such, Van Sant is considered one of the most prominent auteurs of the New Queer Cinema movement.

Van Sant's early career was devoted to directing television commercials in the Pacific Northwest. He made his feature-length cinematic directorial debut with Mala Noche (1985). His second feature Drugstore Cowboy (1989) was highly acclaimed - earning a perfect 100% rating approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes - and earned Van Sant screenwriting awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and New York Film Critics Circle and Best Director from the National Society of Film Critics. His following film My Own Private Idaho (1991) was similarly praised, as was the black comedy To Die For (1995), the drama Good Will Hunting (1997) and the biopic Milk (2008); for the latter two, Van Sant was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director and both films received Best Picture nominations. In 2003, Elephant - Van Sant's roman clef of the Columbine High School massacre - won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and Van Sant also received the festival's Best Director Award, making him one of only two filmmakers - the other being Joel Coen - to win both accolades in the same year. Though most of Van Sant's other films received favourable reviews, such as Finding Forrester (2000) and Paranoid Park (2007), some of his efforts such as the art house production Last Days (2005) and the environmental drama Promised Land have received more mixed reviews from critics, whilst his adaptation of Tom Robbins's Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1994) and his 1998 remake of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho were critical and commercial failures.

Gus Van Sant News

• Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt passed on 'Brokeback Mountain' movie
• Minnie Driver: 'Good Will Hunting' producer said I wasn't 'hot enough'
• Guy Pearce, Mary-Louise Parker to star in 'When We Rise' miniseries
• Gus Van Sant to direct 'The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test' film adaptation

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Attribution: Georges Biard

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