Last Days

You could make a powerful film about the period leading up to Kurt Cobain’s 1994 suicide, but this isn’t it. Last Days (2005) is all about director Gus Van Sant, and can only be understood on his own adamant aesthetic terms. Its Cobainlike star, Blake (Michael Pitt), mostly mumbles inaudibly through ragged curtains of dyed hair. He’s not really a character, but a Van Santian idea about the escape from personality, the quest to enter an impassive parallel universe. There are many passages of gorgeous mournful beauty in Last Days, and shaggy-dog comedy of a highly peculiar sort. But its narrative makes as little sense as the stitchings on the back of a Persian carpet. To understand Van Sant’s post-Dogme films, you have to make a leap of imagination to the other side of the rug along with him. Most folks won’t care to join him there. And he’s OK with that. (R) TIM APPELO

Fri., July 23, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., July 30, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Aug. 13, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Aug. 20, 7:30 p.m., 2010

 
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