“Promised Land” dramatizes the underhanded tactics of a fictional corporation determined to gain rights to drill for natural gas on farmers’ land. There’s a lot at stake for this rural community, and though the film wears its environmental heart on its sleeve, the debate about hydraulic fracturing (fracking) deserves the attention given here.
At the heart of director Gus Van Sant's film Restless is a delicate, difficult situation. Sweet teenager Annabel has terminal brain cancer and knows she faces imminent death. In her final months, she finds love with Enoch, a distraught soul mate whose parents died in an automobile accident that nearly killed him. Tentatively, cautiously they provide each other support.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of its release, My Own Private Idaho will be screened at Webster University. With two decades' hindsight, it's a treat to watch co-writer/director Gus Van Sant indulge his surrealistic style, a style that defines his best films before and after Idaho: Drugstore Cowboy, Gerry, Good Will Hunting, Elephant, and Paranoid Park, among others.