Gus van Sant

Director, Screenwriter, Producer
Oscar-nominated writer and director Gus Van Sant was a key figure on the American independent film scene of the 1980s and 1990s, offering p tic yet clear-eyed excursions through America's seamy underbelly in films like ... Read more »
Born: 07/24/1952 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Filmography

Director (29)

The Sea of Trees 2015 (Movie)

(Director)

WGN America/ The Ten Commandments Project 2014 - 2015 (TV Show)

Director

Switzerland 2014 (Movie)

(Director)

Promised Land 2012 (Movie)

(Director)

Restless 2011 (Movie)

(Director)

8 2008 (Movie)

(segment "Mansion on the Hill") (Director)

Milk 2008 (Movie)

(Director)

Paranoid Park 2008 (Movie)

(Director)

Chacun son cinema 2007 (Movie)

("First Kiss") (Director)

Paris, I Love You 2007 (Movie)

("Le Marais") (Director)

Last Days 2005 (Movie)

(Director)

Elephant 2003 (Movie)

(Director)

Gerry 2003 (Movie)

(Director)

Finding Forrester 2000 (Movie)

(Director)

Psycho 1998 (Movie)

(Director)

Good Will Hunting 1997 (Movie)

(Director)

To Die For 1995 (Movie)

(Director)

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues 1994 (Movie)

(Director)

American Flash Cards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Director

My Own Private Idaho 1991 (Movie)

(Director)

Drugstore Cowboy 1989 (Movie)

(Director)

Mala Noche 1989 (Movie)

(Director)

Junior 1987 (Movie)

(Director)

Five Ways to Kill Yourself 1986 (Movie)

(Director)

Ken Death Gets Out of Jail 1986 (Movie)

(Director)

My New Friend 1983 (Movie)

(Director)

My Friend 1982 (Movie)

(Director)

The Discipline of D.E. 1977 (Movie)

(Director)

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (Movie)

(Director)
Producer (15)

I Am Michael 2015 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Boss 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Promised Land 2012 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Virginia 2012 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Restless 2011 (Movie)

(Producer)

Howl 2010 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Wild Tigers I Have Known 2007 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Tarnation 2004 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Speedway Junky 2001 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Psycho 1998 (Movie)

(Producer)

Kids 1995 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues 1994 (Movie)

(Producer)

My Own Private Idaho 1991 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Mala Noche 1989 (Movie)

(Producer)

Ken Death Gets Out of Jail 1986 (Movie)

(Producer)
Actor (11)

The Canyons 2013 (Movie)

Dr. Campbell (Actor)

William Burroughs: A Man Within 2010 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Last Days 2005 (Movie)

Phone Voice (Actor)

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back 2001 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Untitled Jay Lacopo Project 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Guns on the Clackamas 1995 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Hi-Octane 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Champlin on Film 1989 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor
Writer (10)

Paranoid Park 2008 (Movie)

(adaptation) (Screenplay)

Paris, I Love You 2007 (Movie)

("Le Marais") (Screenplay)

Last Days 2005 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Elephant 2003 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Gerry 2003 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues 1994 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

My Own Private Idaho 1991 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Drugstore Cowboy 1989 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Mala Noche 1989 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Ken Death Gets Out of Jail 1986 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Editor (5)

8 2008 (Movie)

("Mansion on the Hill") (Editor)

Paranoid Park 2008 (Movie)

(Editor)

Last Days 2005 (Movie)

(Editor)

Elephant 2003 (Movie)

(Editor)

Mala Noche 1989 (Movie)

(Editor)
Sound (4)

Milk 2008 (Movie)

(Wildfire Post-Production Studios) (Rerecording Mixer)

Finding Forrester 2000 (Movie)

re-recording mixer (Rerecording)

Good Will Hunting 1997 (Movie)

re-recording mixer (Rerecording)

Property 1977 (Movie)

(Sound)
Music (1)

Mala Noche 1989 (Movie)

("Morir por tu Amor" (English version)) (Song Performer)

Biography

Oscar-nominated writer and director Gus Van Sant was a key figure on the American independent film scene of the 1980s and 1990s, offering p tic yet clear-eyed excursions through America's seamy underbelly in films like "Drugstore Cowboy" (1989) and "My Own Private Idaho" (1991). Openly gay, Van Sant dealt unflinchingly with marginalized subcultures. Even as he segued into the mainstream with "Good Will Hunting" (1997) and "Milk" (2008), he stayed true to his artful, gritty vision. Van Sant was the rare filmmaker who dipped in and out of the studio system with ease, and while his more experimental, limited release works were some of his strongest, he had a remarkable ability to stay true to his striking visual style and penchant for societal outcasts, while at the same time, crafting widely appealing films.

Relationships

Gus van Sant

Father

Betty van Sant

Mother

Malinda van Sant

Sister

EDUCATION

Rhode Island School of Design

Providence , Rhode Island 1976
Classmates included David Byrne and other members of Talking Heads

Rhode Island School of Design

Providence , Rhode Island 1976
Classmates included David Byrne and other members of Talking Heads

Catlin Gabel School

Portland , Oregon
A private, progressive high school

Milestones

2012

Directed "Promised Land"; film co-written by Matt Damon and John Krasinski based on a story by Dave Eggers

2011

Executive produced Starz crime drama series "Boss," starring Kelsey Grammer

2011

Directed Mia Wasikowska, playing a terminally ill teenage girl in "Restless"

2009

Nominated for the 2008 Academy Award for Best Achievement in Directing ("Milk")

2008

Nominated for the 2008 Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film ("Milk")

2008

Directed "Milk," a biography of openly gay San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk (Sean Penn)

2007

Helmed "Paranoid Park," a film about a teenage skateboarder who accidentally kills a security guard; earned an Independent Spirit Award Nomination for Best Director

2006

Wrote and directed "Le Marais" segment of film anthology "Paris, je t'aime"

2005

Helmed "Last Days," loosely based on the final hours of Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain

2003

Wrote and directed "Elephant," which was inspired by the mass shootings at Columbine High School in April 1999; nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Director

2002

Directed "Gerry," which starred and was written by Matt Damon and Casey Affleck; nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Director

2000

Directed Sean Connery in "Finding Forrester," about an African-American teen writing prodigy who finds a mentor in a reclusive author

1998

Signed to make a color version of "Psycho" using Joseph Stefano's original script

1997

Helmed mainstream drama "Good Will Hunting," co-written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck; received first Best Director Academy Award nomination

1995

Directed first film he did not write,"To Die For" starring Nicole Kidman

1995

Executive produced first film, Larry Clark's "Kids"

1993

Signed a contract with The Gap to film commercials

1993

Helmed an adaptation of Tom Robbins' novel "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues"

1992

Directed TV short "Thanksgiving Prayer," a segment of PBS compilation special "American Flash Cards"

1991

Wrote first original feature film screenplay "My Own Private Idaho"; also directed

1989

Directed first film with a sizable budget "Drugstore Cowboy," made between $4 and $7 million; also first feature in color

1986

Wrote, edited, and produced first widely acclaimed feature "Mala Noche"

1983

Returned to Portland, OR to write and direct films, commercials and music videos; also briefly taught film production at the Oregon Art Institute

1982

Short film "The Discipline of D.E." debuted at New York Film Festival

1981

Moved to New York; created commercials for a Madison Ave. advertising firm

1978

Received credit for the sound on the comedy film "Property"

1976

Worked as an assistant to Ken Shapiro ("Groove Tube"), working on comedy scripts

1968

As an art student, discovered the work of Andy Warhol; inspired to start making films

1967

Landed a summer advertising job on NYC's Madison Ave. at age 16

Moved extensively around the country with his parents as a child before settling in Darien, CT

Made rare TV appearance, interviewed by film critic Charles Champlin on "Champlin on Film" on Bravo

Moved to Portland, OR at age 17 with family

Collaborated with future cinematographer Eric Edwards in high school film project "The Happy Organ"

Made feature film directing debut in "Alice in Hollywood," an attempted screwball comedy that was never released

Shot his first painterly, animated films with an 8 millimeter Kodak

Moved back in with parents back in Darien, CT and worked for his father in a New Jersey warehouse

Bonus Trivia

.

In 1993, Van Sant formed a band in Portland, OR with Mike Parker and Scott Green, the two ex-hustlers who inspired the leads in "My Own Private Idaho."

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