Call this latest experiment from director Gus Van Sant cinema as slow death. A rock legend named Blake, played by Michael Pitt as a fictionalized Kurt Cobain, wanders around his mansion or — when his entourage gets too leechy — in the woods. He mumbles to himself, makes mac and cheese, plays a few acoustic riffs, opens the door to a Yellow Pages salesman (played by actual Yellow Pages salesman Thadeus A. Thomas) and a record exec, played by Kim Gordon. In one extended scene, Harris Sevides plants his camera outside Blake's window and just es. Nothing much happens until Blake ODs — his naked spirit climbing out of his body in an artful lurch at beauty. Van Sant, following Gerry and the superb Elephant, is on the same elliptical quest. His journey is labored but undeniably hypnotic.
From The Archives Issue 387: January 20, 1983