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Synopsis

Beloved, controversial, influential, the creator of such fascinating and award-winning films as My Own Private Idaho, Good Will Hunting, Elephant, and Milk, Gus Van Sant stands among the great international directors, equally at home in Hollywood and the avant-garde. Examining his films thematically, this book finds consistency of vision in Van Sant's unique approach to cinema, which deploys postmodernist techniques such as appropriation, nonlinear narrative, and queering--not in the service of the chic but to apply an all-inclusive viewpoint to ageless tales of life, love and death. Van Sant's films are viewed through a multi-genre prism, including the work of Bruce Weber and Derek Jarman, the westerns of Sam Peckinpah, the music of the Velvet Underground and Nirvana, the fiction of Sam D'Allesandro, and especially the "cut-up"/collage practice of intertextual authorship pioneered by William Burroughs.

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