Beautifully, brutally minimalist. An intriguing puzzle of a film. The sunburn around Gerry’s eyes in the end shows that it can’t be dismissed as a dream, and yet it’s very dream like. Are they really lost or just figuratively lost? Are both Gerries the same Gerry? I love the made-up language they use, where “to gerry something” means to fuck it up, for example. I love when Casey Affleck is talking about Dungeons & Dragons, or when he’s stranded on the rock. In the last scene in the car, it’s almost as if Gerry is trapped with his past and future selves (the son and the father), and you can just sense he could snap at any time. There’s an anger simmering away under the surface of this film, a kind of desperate frustration, but it’s done with such a light touch.
Why can’t more movies be like this?
Hell this movie was pure hell. I was watching it late at night and I felt like I was lost in the desert with them. I was praying the movie would end but it never did. Some sequences went on forever and I was just ready to slit my wrists. I once was lost in the snow for two hours when I was 7 and I climbed Mt. Whitney last summer which was a hellish hike considering it started hailing. Both experiences were less painful than watching this film
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS MOVIE!
I’m a weird dude, what can I say?
I completely agree. The scene when he gets stranded on the rock is brilliant, I still can’t believe when he jump, that is one intense scene! I watched on my Instant Netflix and immediately ordered it online afterwards and it was only like six bucks, brand new shipping included! Probably my favorite Gus Van Sant film. I liked your little theories and I plan to pay attention to that when I watch it again, which will be soon.
I’ve heard this film mentioned a few times here but you guys have me really intrigued now. Off to netflix. Thanks.
lol, Drew, that’s exactly the way I feel about all of Van Sant’s trilogy.
If only Gerry was everyone’s favorite movie, this world would be such a better place!
Hmm Justin I don’t quite see your reasoning. Care to explain?
It’s a film that sort of teaches people to observe closely and to wait for things to happen in their own time. It forces you to learn patience.
Saw this in the theater in Tribeca, and every time I’ve watched it since has created a sense of nostalgia for those long, beautiful shots of the desert on the big screen, and the loud sound of crunching dirt that no home tv could ever replicate. If I ran Film Forum, this would show at least once a year – in the winter, on weekend afternoons.
I too love the made-up language and ease with which they interact and talk. It obviously helps that they’re friends in real life and that they’re not exactly “acting” some of the time, but I don’t care. That doesn’t detract from the beauty of the whole thing.
That movie was all about an Argentinian vacation for Van Sant, Casey Affleck, and Matt Damon.
It is very beautiful and contemplative, much like “Happy Together.” These films are oases of calm, despite the accompanying existential struggles.
Vellaem – my understanding was that they had to finish filming in California… I just checked IMDb and Jordan is listed as well? That seems like a waste of money.
Yes, most art is a waste of money, a record of a beautiful waste of money. I liked Gerry, in spite of nothing happening. I will also probably never watch it again, unless I’m really stressed out, and I’m trapped inside with a copy of it handy.
Absolutely lovely. A great landscape film — right up there with “La Cicatrice Interieure” and “La Region Centrale”
It taught me patience alright, in the worst possible way. Horrilble film. Painfully slow and painfully boring. I was actually looking at the clock while watching this film. I’d rather get lost in the desert and die a slow and painful death than to sit through this one again.
Well, you need to watch it every day then, Eli, like learning deep breathing and other meditational techniques. :)
LOL. Yeah, you’re probably right Justin. I’ll give “Cathing the Big Fish” another read as well before I do so.
I guess I understand people thinking that Gerry doesn’t pay off. I love the uncertainty, and the rapport between Damon and Affleck. It is kind of like Persona with two handsome guys, and what’s not to like there?
I must admit, judging from these posts, I think you may be right – I may have to see this on again to try and see what I missed the first time around. Guess I didn’t put a lot of thought into it at the time, which was obviously Van Sant’s intent.
And most people don’t give it credit for being quite chuckle-worthy. How can you look at Casey Affleck somehow trapped on giant rock saying “I crowsnested up here to scout-about the ravine” and not laugh a little?
What actually happened in regard to the locations is they started in Argentina (roughly the first 20 minutes of the film is the Argentina footage) because of the threatened SAG strike when they were preparing to shoot. You couldn’t really start shooting in the US because if there was a strike you would have to shut down the day the strike started. The strike didn’t happen and Argentina was too cold, so they came back to the US and finished shooting in Death Valley and Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. I’m not sure exactly what portions were filmed in Jordan, but Van Sant has said in an interview:
“my producer and I flew to Jordan to scout Wadi Rum, which is where Lawrence Of Arabia was shot. But there was a travel warning that advised Americans specifically not to go to Jordan, because they had just convicted 14 guys who had blown up the embassy in Africa five years earlier. Even the military was pulling out of Jordan. Because of all that, the crew didn’t want to come over. Then we just went to Death Valley”
Gerry scares me like Elephant. It’s so utterly hypnotic that I kind of lose all time and space when watching it.
It’s my cat’s favorite movie. He loves watching it.