Archive of films Gerry / Gerry

2002, 105 min

Section: Sundance at Karlovy Vary
Year: 2006

Two young men (both named Gerry) set out into the desert one afternoon and get lost. As time passes, what was originally an exciting quest for a mysterious “thing” turns into a hypnotic nightmare. Casey Affleck and Matt Damon play the lead roles in a fascinating film that breaks down cinematic conventions.


After more and less commercially successful films (Good Will Hunting, Finding Forrester) and the surprising decision to make the most faithful colour “imprint” possible of Hitchcock’s Psycho, hardly anyone ventured to predict what the next film by the – formerly independent – filmmaker, Gus Van Sant, would be. Even those who did, however, were caught unawares by a film about two young men (both named Gerry), who go into the desert one afternoon and get lost. The hours pass, and the initially exciting guest to find a mysterious “thing” turns into a hypnotic nightmare of neurosis-inducing wandering and deepening tension between the two sole protagonists. The free-thinking cinematography demands a similarly attuned viewer, who is willing to pursue the director’s scheme, however enigmatic, without the helping hand of a story set in classic fashion. Van Sant himself calls Gerry, written in part by the two protagonists, Casey Affleck and Matt Damon, a tribute to Béla Tarr and his conception of time in Sátántangó.

About the director

Gus Van Sant (b. 1952, Louisville, Kentucky), is another director, along with Jim Jarmusch, Spike Lee and Jon Jost, belonging to the new wave of American independent film (beginning in the 1980s). He studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design, and worked with Roger Corman, among others, as an assistant. Van Sant drew attention to himself with his debut, Mala noche (1985), set in a homosexual environment. Then followed Drugstore Cowboy (1989) My Own Private Idaho (1991), and To Die For (1995). With Good Will Hunting (1997) and Finding Forrester (2000), Van Sant dipped into mainstream American cinematography, and also filmed a faithful remake of Hitchcock’s Psycho (1998). Elephant (2003), which won him a Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival, and Last Days (2005) – both of which were screened at the Karlovy Vary IFF – saw his return to a more individualistic form of creation.


55, rue Traversière, 75012, Paris
Tel: +33 144 673 111
Fax: +33 143 072 963

Meno Film Company
1300 NW Northrup St., 3rd Floor, OR 97209, Portland
United States of America
Tel: +1 503 223 5732
Fax: +1 503 223 5735

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Sundance at Karlovy Vary
Director: Gus Van Sant
Screenplay: Gus Van Sant, Casey Affleck, Matt Damon
Dir. of Photography: Harris Savides
Music: Arvo Pärt
Editor: Gus Van Sant, Casey Affleck, Matt Damon
Producer: Dany Wolf, Jay Hernandez
Production: Altara Films
Cast: Casey Affleck, Matt Damon
Contact: MK2, Meno Film Company

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