Desperate for stardom, Suzanne Stone Maretto (Nicole Kidman) works as a small-town, local cable weather girl en route to bigger and better things, such as making a documentary about three deadbeat teenagers (Joaquin Phoenix, Alison Folland, and Casey Affleck) in need of attention and encouragement. When she decides that her husband (Matt Dillon) is holding her back, she seduces one of her subjects (Phoenix) into killing him. Buck Henry's script from Joyce Maynard's novel fractures the narrative chronology as it offers a shattering and darkly funny critique of media culture and power lust. Kidman won a Golden Globe for her performance. 1995, U.S., color, 35mm, 107 minutes.
PRECEDED BY: Ballad of the Skeletons (1996, 5 minutes).
Based on Tom Robbins' classic counterculture novel about a hitchhiking gal with superhuman thumbs, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues had a rough road to release. The material was too quirky--and in Van Sant's hands, too queer--for mass appeal in the first place, with a deformed Uma Thurman, a lesbian ranch revolt, and whooping cranes on peyote. The film features some of Van Sant's finest visuals, such as a through-a-grilled-cheese point-of-view shot, and his most hyperbolic characters, including John Hurt's queeny Countess. Film theorist B. Ruby Rich says, "The hippest, most astounding and enjoyable, yes, the most utterly outrageous time-capsule of a hybrid western you're ever likely to see on the screen." Featuring Rain Phoenix, Lorraine Bracco, and Noriyuki "Pat" Morita, with cameos by Angie Dickinson, Buck Henry, Keanu Reeves, and Crispin Glover. 1993, U.S., color, 35mm, 96 minutes.
PRECEDED BY: Thanksgiving Prayer (1996, 3 minutes).
GUS VAN SANT: ON THE ROAD AGAIN IS MADE POSSIBLE BY GENEROUS SUPPORT FROM THE REGIS FOUNDATION. PROGRAMMING ASSISTANCE WAS PROVIDED BY THINKFILM.