Gus Van Sant
Before the viewer comes to terms with the hard-to-watch black and white film shot on 16mm, liquor store clerk, Walt, confesses his sexual desire for Mexican immigrant, Johnny: “I want to drink this Mexican boy Johnny Alonzo from L.A. near Riverside. He makes my heart throb - thumpety, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum - when I see him.” The film follows Walt’s ongoing chase to get what he wishes, using Johnny’s friend, Pepper, as substitute until he does.
The film is based on the brutally honest auto-biography of Walt Curtis, a Portland based poet and novelist. Van Sant kept a copy under his bed for years before realizing its cinematic potential. The film is written as a diary, with the voice-over picking the most meaningful lines from the original publication, lending to the poetic rhythm of the film.
The entire film was shot in Curtis’ home town of Portland, Oregon, keeping on brand with the future debuts of the director such as Drugstore Cowboy and My Own Private Idaho.
Mala Noche withholds quintessential Van Sant themes; lost youth and heady sexuality. And, stands as a sturdy starting point for the director’s ever-evolving (and successful) career.
director GUS VAN SANT
director of photography JOHN CAMPBELL
cast TIM STREETER, DOUG COOEYATE, RAY MONGE, NYLA MCCARTHY and DON CHAMBERS
words PRIYESH PATEL
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