Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Gus Van Sant is our Orson Welles

And the question you’re asking is, who do I mean by “our”?

Like many of you, I’m a Gus Van Sant devoutee (you’re not? well, get your head out of the sand, my friend). My Own Private Idaho, when I first saw it as an undergrad at B.U. (trying to avoid studying for a major astronomy exam), completely blew my mind. I had no idea what to make of it: teen hustlers (the role that you never think of Keanu Reeves playing), artsy shots, a narcoleptic narrator. My Own Private Idaho surprised me back then not only for its explicit content but for its dual storylines, the occasional lapses of the characters into Shakespearean monologues, and the wholly unique choices Van Sant made–like the blue magazine covers that suddenly began to talk (remember that moment in the film? pure genius).

Now he’s made Milk, a fictionalized biopic of the first openly gay politician Harvey Milk. Will be great for the young gays to discover this hero. And the choice of Sean Penn and James Franco to play the leads can’t hurt either.

Here’s the newly released trailer for Milk. Can you feel the buzz in the air? Huh? Huh? Aren’t you excited?


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2 Responses

  1. I first saw My Own Private Idaho when it came out…I guess I was about 20 or so. What stayed with me was how he did the still shots with Keanu and the girl…so intimate and reinforced with those moving stills. I had to defend this movie a few years back….a parent was astonished that we had it and their teenager brought it home. I pointed out that the library is not the one to police what their teenager watches and perhaps they should view it with them for a discussion. I think it overstepped the line but I didn’t get any flack for it!

  2. I love that you told that parent off. Bad ass librarian, would we expect anything less 🙂 ?

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About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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