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Marienbad Trip

Eyewear has seen the DVD version of the Gus Van Sant film Last Days and thinks it grand.

As the poster shows (Michael Pitt pictured), this is a thinly-veiled homage to the last, lost week-end of junkie-genius Kurt Cobain's life, before he took the "Hemingway out" with a shotgun.

What could have been deeply annoying and merely arty - a rambling, incoherent, mainly silent non-narrative vision of one man's helpless descent into drug-induced anarchy and then death - instead achieves an aching, utterly beautiful epiphany: we see into the core of creativity, and its broken heart.

Forget acting - the shambling, hazy, slow-footed grunge musicians who seemingly stumble through the cavernous Washington State mansion/ hunting lodge one sunny early summer day - all looking for a way to fix or fix on to Cobain-like "Blake" - become the real thing. The Tarkovsky-dull paint-drying texture, at times cut like Last Year At Marienbad, impacts like a hit. The few key moments are opiate-sweet and twice as dark (and sometimes blackly comedic) - such as Blake's attempt to make Kraft Dinner, or the visiting Mormons.

However, the central moment, when the vacant, seemingly forsaken shell of a musician picks up his guitar, near the end of the film, and begins to compose, and sing, a yelping ballad from hell, the hair rises on the back of one's neck - this is the dark side of the creator - in the midst of near-total loss and despair something beautiful terribly occurs - the canary sings sweetest, in the poisoned mine.

I may be biased, having been a Nirvana fan, and a child of the Grunge era, from the start. But this is a great movie.
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