Last Days (15)

Directed & written by Gus Van Sant
Showing at FACT from 30th Sept - 6th Oct 2005

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

Clearly based on the final days of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, I was captivated by this portrayal, brilliantly directed by Gus Van Sant. It is an abstract, doom laden but at the same time tender film, possessing very little dialogue and narrative and generally shot using single camera

But I identified very much with Cobain look-alike Blake (Michael Pitt) in his despair. A couple of my former friends committed suicide - but not with a shot gun - after enduring a wretched time with hard drugs.

Filmed entirely in Blake's mansion and in the surrounding gardens, he mumbles his way through the film amid his isolation and melancholy. He is almost ghost-like and barely recognises his so-called friends, musician colleagues and others who visit him.

But there was no one there to help him - he was beyond the point of no return. Despite his wealth, the adulation of his fans and his musical talent - the acoustic guitar piece played by Blake the day before his dies is poignant - he was utterly alone.

It is a sobering film, superbly capturing the end product of a rock 'n' roll lifestyle taken to the precipice.

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