Gus van Sant

Gus Van Sant in conversation with Matthew Stadler

Matthew Stadler is a novelist whose books include Allan Stein, Landscape: Memory, and The Dissolution of Nicholas Dee. He is also a curator, public intellectual, lecturer, and cofounder and editor of Clear Cut Press, an independent publisher of new research and popular literature.

Gus Van Sant is the man responsible for such enduring films as Mala Noche, Drugstore Cowboy, and My Own Private Idaho, among many others both independent and studio-financed. Most recently, he has completed a trilogy of daringly patient movies exploring themes of trauma and death -Gerry, Last Days, and Elephant, the latter of which is the only film to have won both the Palme D'Or and Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival. Through his consistent, heartfelt exploration of America's cultural and sexual margins, Van Sant has established himself as a true arbiter of countercultural style and grace.

Recently, the two artists ate lunch at Bluehour, a restaurant in Portland, Oregon, and discussed what people in Portland always discuss when they get together, which is movies, books, friends, and Portland.

MS Have you seen your own Wikipedia entry? Is it accurate?

GVS Um, I don't remember going to that one. I think somebody was telling me about it. I think that when I tried to go I couldn't find it. I'm not particularly computer-literate. But I have gone to Wikipedia for other things. It's really great. I should read my own.

MS It's an interesting source of information. The entries are a mixed bag, partly related to what is actually true and partly related to what stories the culture would like to tell. You kind of get both off Wikipedia.

GVS I know. I kind of like the mistakes, the misconceptions. Even the, like, adverse ones, you know. It's sort of an entity, that side of the entertainment business. It's its own entity and you can't control it anyway even if you try. It's sort of uncontrollable.

MS That being the story other people need to tell...

GVS It often has to do with the things that you make, I think. I've noticed that, at least for myself. And I assume it's probably like that for other people. Like Brad Pitt. The information out there is really coming out of the films he makes as much as the facts of his life, and people get them mixed up. If you're a painter or a filmmaker or an actor or a writer, you know, the things that you're writing are the images that are attached to the...

MS So like, when Brad Pitt decided to be in Fight Club, that torqued the story...

GVS That he could fight [laughs].

MS And also, I mean, it being such a gay book, I think it torqued the story partly by having this tender thing which wasn't previously part of the story of Brad Pitt and now became this kind of weird little soft spot.

GVS It was gay?

MS Well, it's just about a gay couple trying to...

GVS Really? The alter egos were a couple?

MS Don't you think, all the consumerism stuff...? I thought so much of it was like self-reflection on what it meant to be a gay man. And the problem of proper consumption, like the Ikea stuff, and the problem of projections of yourself out...

GVS Interesting.

MS Yeah. The movie played that a little bit.

GVS I was always more into this story by Robert Bloch called "The Real Bad Friend." You know about that one?

MS No.

GVS It's sort of the same story, it's about a guy who has a really bad friend and basically - Robert Bloch wrote Psycho - basically like a precursor to Psycho, and I knew about it because of working on Psycho, and where, like, he got this dual identity idea for Psycho he had already worked on in a story called "The Real Bad Friend," which turned out, like, this one guy - the two guys were actually one guy. So I was always relating to it like it's the same person rather than a couple. Or are you saying that it could be like two sides of the gay guy, the same guy? I can see that, I mean -

MS Was the character in that story gay?

GVS In Robert Bloch's story?

MS Yeah.

GVS I don't know if he was gay. I don't think so. But Psycho has that sort of side to it, that sort of gay side.

MS Well, that's why Anthony Perkins is so great in it.

GVS Yeah, I was sort of seeing that side of it. I was connecting to this Robert Bloch...the Robert Bloch story sort of overshadowed - And when I saw - when I was reading the book, um, I was really marveling - it was his first book, wasn't it? The first -

MS Psycho?

GVS No. Fight Club, wasn't that by Chuck Palahniuk?

MS It's the first one he got published.

GVS Right. So I was really sort of marveling at the style of his writing. And the subject was kind of interesting and it seemed like it was very Portland, sort of. I knew he was local. I had a friend, Amy, who used to know him. She was an editor on some of our films and she ended up living here for a while and she knew Chuck and so it was kind of like this whole, you know, a writer is born, a local writer is born, and I was really interested in the style because it's almost like he took a bunch of speed and, like, sat in a room and just screamed the lines out or something like that. It was, like, so rapid-fire, and I really found that fascinating, however he happened to do it. Usually when I read stuff I really like, they make it sound really easy, the writers, because they're finally in touch with something that is easy, you know. It took them years and years and years and years to get to that place, probably, of being verbose. But it's really beautiful.

MS And the problem of making each line just "do that thing" is totally worked over just the same way months and months go into an edit that then works. He was studying with Tom Spanbauer to write that book -

GVS Right. I had heard that.

MS And so it was actually like months and months and months of bringing material to this small and really demanding group who then said, "oh, you know, this is working, that's not, this is, this is not." And he really just ground it down. You're right, it just rolls, and that was from so much work.

GVS Yeah.

MS The movie has a couple of spots where it gives a kind of nod to the reader this way. There are, like, little exchanges Brad Pitt and Edward Norton make which are so, you know, loving domestic couple-y.

GVS I'm forgetting the movie now. I saw it in Kentucky when we were shooting a film. I was with this DP from England who lived in Denmark, Anthony Dod-Mantle, and we wanted to go see it because it was the most interesting movie out, and we had nothing else to go see, and we were horrified because everything that movie was about we were sort of like, against.

MS Do you like Fincher's movies other than that?

GVS Um, no. I mean I'm not averse. I go to see them, I like going to see them, but um...

MS Do you see a way to make a better movie of Fight Club, like if somebody else had made it?

GVS Yeah, yeah. I thought it was needlessly, like, juiced up, it was all show, it's sort of like showing off, like look what we can do. Because, because of a nervousness of, like, if we don't do that with the camera and just shake it around, like, nobody's going to watch it. It's like going like that in your face and you're like...

MS I actually saw it in the St John's Theater which at that point was so low-budget they must have had like a 70-watt bulb in the projector and I saw this murky thing that I largely related to parts of the book, you know. And then I like both of the actors a lot, so.

GVS Yeah, me too, yeah. There's something that I really liked about it, because of the book. A lot of it was because of the book. But then the actors are great. And I liked Brad in it. I thought that was one of his best things.

MS Is there anyone super-interesting to work with right now, actor-wise?

GVS Not really. Sometimes I meet people and I want to make films for them. But generally they're not, like, well-known actors. Like Eli, that guy that came in earlier, he was somebody that was in Elephant, and so I think of him a lot of times when I'm writing something. I think, oh, Eli can play this...

MS You deal with tons of different kinds of characters in your films. Does it ever interest you to deal with a totally macho guy as part of a story?

GVS Like they're supposed to be macho?

MS Yeah. Like that psychology.

GVS I'm trying to think. I haven't done that. You mean like a kind of enraged macho guy? Like a bully?

MS Yeah.

GVS Well, Matt was supposed to be a macho guy in Good Will Hunting. I think. I mean the way they wrote it. All those characters, his friends in the bar were supposed to be macho Irish men.

MS That's true. Yeah, that makes sense.

GVS What else? Um...Sean Connery in Finding Forrester was, I mean, he's Sean Connery all the time. Although we played his character as gay in Finding Forrester. I don't know if anyone picked that up. He wanted to play it that way; it was his idea. He said, "What if this character's gay?"

MS Kind of closeted?

GVS No, not closeted, just - not that he was like ultra-out, but more like, what if he wears golden robes around his house? And I said, look, I'm all for that, but the studio's not gonna let us do it. So I called the studio and they said, "You can do it as long as you don't tell us about it and we don't see it on the screen." [laughter]

MS How perfect! Purely a subtext.

GVS So sometimes you see little paintings on the wall that are, like, of a Chinese boy and he does wear a gold jacket, but I think we kind of lost that energy, and it wasn't like I was reminding him, "Remember Sean..."

MS That's perfect though. I love their instruction that you can do it as long as it's not visible. Speaking of which, I saw Brokeback Mountain with my mom over Christmas.

GVS What did she think?

MS It was a really sweet way to see it. It's a good movie. It's a great story.

GVS What did you think?

MS I mean, I see its politics, and how it presents an image that contradicts a lot of stereotypes. But I also felt like, as a movie, its subject matter was much more about male brutality, and male rage, than anything else. You know, it's so - it was brutal, it just felt exhausting. And I understand and have experienced all these dynamics in homosexuality, as much more variant and often not about rage and blah blah blah and so it seems to me that the subject matter was rage and violence, which is really the topic to choose if you're interested in American culture, and it may be that part of its ability to speak across demographics or whatever was because it was fundamentally about violence. So...

GVS Yeah, well, it was about, I mean, they were supposed to be macho guys. So that probably hadn't been tried yet. [chuckling] I'm trying to think of all the things that have been tried. But probably...they weren't big macho guys but, like, macho guys. I've grown up with a lot of different macho guys. It'd be harder for me to portray a gay character. Incredibly.

MS Have you tried? I mean, there's Walt (Curtis, author of Mala Noche).

GVS I don't think I have. Well, you know, Walt is sort of like a - he's a logger - he grew up in a logging town. He lost his finger running a saw in a saw mill. He's kind of a macho gay man.

MS I mean that's - and I'm thinking Mala Noche - 'cause that was an essential part of how that movie worked for me, was asserting this character as a gay character.

GVS I think just Walt being who he is was always our guide. He doesn't really fit into like, a mainstream gay mold. He didn't really frequent gay bars, he didn't fit into that crowd, they didn't like him, they didn't like, you know, um, they didn't support the book, so Tim (Streeter, the star of Mala Noche) just being, like, ordinary was, like, was being like Walt.

MS Did Tim make other movies?

GVS Not that I know of.

MS He's so great in that. So much of my coming to understand Portland includes acknowledging Walt. Just Walt in general.

GVS Did he come up to Seattle? Did you meet him in Seattle?

MS No...

GVS You met him down here?

MS I was down here, well you know Bruce Benderson, he and I did a lot of reading series together and so I knew that Walt had written the book, which I first knew through the movie and then -

GVS Oh, so the movie was first -

MS For me, yeah.

GVS 'Cause the movie was quite late.

MS It was '88?

GVS He'd written it in '75 or '76.

MS Yeah. No, well I knew nothing about Walt. I grew up in Seattle. What I knew of Portland was pie at something Rose...

GVS Yeah, Rose's...

MS And you know, little else. I certainly didn't know Walt Curtis...but I was writing and deeply interested in what it meant, what this region was and what it meant to be a gay writer. But I'd never ever heard of Walt. And I saw Mala Noche in Amsterdam.

GVS Walt really doesn't go out of Portland. If he travels to Seattle it's like a major, major event.

MS And yet, if you're in Portland and you don't know about Walt that's pretty rare.

GVS That's true.

MS That's odd.

GVS I mean, it's sort of, I think a lot of people have wondered what if Walt had gone to New York in 1968? I mean he did - he was somehow on Perry Lane in '65 with, like, the early Perry Lane people in Palo Alto...

MS Who's in that group?

GVS Uh, one of his teachers...

MS Was it an LSD group?

GVS And Neal Cassady was there and he had met Neal Cassady. Stafford...?

MS William Stafford?

GVS William Stafford. I think he was somehow connected, knew them or knew Kesey. I think that's how it was. But, you know, he did go out, but people wondered what would happen if he had stayed in San Francisco or moved to New York and been part of like, the poetry scene in New York. He would have totally been one of them and he really just stayed here and, I mean, he really - he did go around Oregon, he would go down to Eugene, but he really was averse to leaving so much.

MS But I found that's so good. I mean, had he gone to some scene which got represented in other media, he would have been like Herbert Huncke or something. He would have been a good writer, but basically a character in somebody else's story. Whereas his presence here can't be resolved that way. You can't just marginalize him. It's very odd that somebody could achieve that. Is Mala Noche getting re-released? It just played at Sundance.

GVS Yeah. The French people are going to distribute it worldwide, to the rest of the world.

MS Does it look good? Like on a big screen?

GVS Yeah, it looks great.

MS I love big screens. I'd like to think that I like film, but I don't even know. What were some of your favorite movies when you were making Mala Noche?

GVS I used to watch Luna by Bertolucci every day. There are a couple films like that when I lived off of Hollywood Boulevard in the '70s, '75 to '81, and I think that came out in '78 or something. There's two films in particular. One was The Shining, one was La Luna - or just Luna, it was called - La Luna's the club - [chuckling]

MS Yeah, you're right [laughter]

GVS And I don't know which one was first, but The Shining, I went the first day, the show at Grauman's Chinese Theater, and I went every day, the first show was 9:30, every day at 9:30, and just like spaced out and watched the movie. It was really like meditating. It wasn't so much like watching a movie.

MS So it wasn't studied...

GVS And I didn't really like the movie that much. I liked the way the movie was made and I liked all the elements but I didn't think the movie really worked so much. But I would like just sit there and like stare at it and also it was early in the morning so you were really sort of still dreamy. La Luna, or Luna, didn't play until, it played in the Egyptian Theater before they redid it, and it played like second screen or third screen and they just kept it there for a week. And so at 2:30 you could go see it, so every day I'd go see Luna...like, for five days in a row...

MS Why?

GVS Well I liked both of those - obviously I really was entranced by both of those films. They're kind of similar, the photography was a lot of it. In Luna I just liked, I liked the boy in it and I liked the exoticness of the Americans in Italy. I bought Jill Clayburgh as a singer, that was one of the things that really destroyed it, was people were just going, please, she can't like...

MS I loved how inadequate she was...it was perfect for the movie.

GVS Yeah, she was fine...And I liked the kind of, the attitude they had, the kids piled into the limo, and the mixture of the Italian kids and the American kids in their scene, and the drug addiction...

MS You know what I loved is that scene in the ice cream shop, when he ends up dancing with...who's that Fellini actor?

GVS Yeah, whatever that guy...

MS It's incredible, and it's so outside of the box. It's like, there's no reason that should happen, and it just -

GVS I know, Bertolucci was really good at - and it was close enough to, it was that '70s period where it was close - it was sort of similar to Last Tango in that sort of sumptuousness and exoticness.

MS Did you see that one a lot too?

GVS Um, no, but, yeah, I did actually, when I was preparing Mala Noche I would watch that, I would watch Last Tango in Paris, Midnight Cowboy, and there might have been a third one, I don't know which the third one might have been - oh, uh, The Third Man - those three movies, it's sort of made up of those three movies. Visually, you know, I was doing a lot of things that were from The Third Man, and the relationships were sort of like similar to Last Tango and Midnight Cowboy.

MS Did you see Orson Welles' The Trial?

GVS Yeah.

MS I love that movie and I've often thought, I mean whenever I look at Portland, that movie is so based on the architecture, and I look around the city and think, you could do that, you could make a movie from this architecture, which is very peculiar, it's not historical architecture, it's all fake city, but in a lovely way.

GVS Yeah, that's a really cool movie. I mean, all of Orson Welles' movies are very, very interesting because they were all made - except for The Magnificent Andersons - they were sort of like underground movies. I guess the first one was a million-dollar movie so it was pretty well funded...

MS Was that his first film?

GVS The first big one. And he was such a big hit, and he had done the Mercury Theater, he had done the broadcast of "War of the Worlds," and somebody at RKO just said like, make a movie, and he, without them really understanding what he was doing, he, like, made Citizen Kane. Then they had to kind of like, deal with it because it was too inflammatory. But then Magnificent Andersons was pretty much his carte blanche and then they just completely cut him off and he probably deserved to be cut because he was completely like...um, biting the hand that feeds him. He was an upstart, he - apparently there was a period of time where he rode a horse and buggy to work -

MS In Los Angeles?

GVS Yeah, and was going out in traffic, in the '30s. You know he was just sort of walking to his own beat, for whatever reason. I think he sort of did it to himself, he must have done it to himself, he completely cut himself off. There's no reason he couldn't have gone to another company, but somehow he couldn't get funding from any of the studios. But he was really big in Europe so he made those other movies like Macbeth or Mr Arkadin for just a couple hundred thousand dollars. And he would figure out ways to do it and he would have a crew of two and he would dub them all in, and he would do all these things to save money and they were still magnificent films. Beautifully directed and acted but they were like, less and less budgeted so it kept getting like more...But then there's the final movie, which I don't think has ever been shown. It's called The Other Side of the Wind .

MS I don't know it...

GVS Which is about his life and Bogdonavich plays him when he's younger and Huston plays him when he's older and it was always the movie he was finishing, it was all shot, and he was, like, for the last four years of his life he was still editing it. And then he died and I guess his wife has it. Everyone concluded that it was finished but he never actually said it was finished because he wouldn't have anything to do if he'd actually finished it.

MS And is it - the fact that it's not released - because of this uncertainty as to whether he signed off on it or is it just - ?

GVS Maybe it's horrible...I mean, that's usually the case, usually when there's like, things that are held onto, it's probably, like, really bad.

MS Are you holding onto anything? Is there anything you've been working on that way?

GVS Um, no, I don't generally, I haven't been generally holding onto anything. I mean that...[long pause] Oh yeah, Alice in Hollywood - I don't necessarily show that one because I don't like it so much. So I hold onto that one. That was the first movie I made.

MS Can I see it?

GVS Nuh-uh. I don't show it.

MS Feature-length?

GVS It's my, like, you know, like, retarded child that I hide from...

MS Yeah. But it's feature-length?

GVS I mean, I'd show it to you. I shouldn't say I wouldn't.

MS All right, let me see it. I'm absolutely uncritical.

GVS It's kind of like, it's one of those films that just didn't work. And I have had other ones that I don't think...they're probably similar.

MS What is it? Is it Alice in Wonderland?

GVS Yeah, it's Alice in Wonderland in Hollywood...which is hard to do, when you take on Alice in Wonderland. But it's an actress in Hollywood that...

MS Was it developed during the summer you lived in LA?

GVS Yeah.

MS That's a great time to be making a movie. Did you have support, or was it just on the fly?

GVS I had like, $20,000 and I had a film crew and friends from college. I mean it could have been great. It's just that I think that, what I had done is I'd taken a serious story and I had decided to make it comedy, and I think that was my...my mistake. 'Cause a serious story probably would have been good. The book is dreamy but it's also ridiculous. But it's successful at being ridiculous. Being ridiculous is very hard to do. Especially on film. Maybe in writing it'd be a little different. But anyway, I never really thought - I gave it a go -

MS It's one of the least cinematic books I can think of.

GVS The animated one was pretty good, I thought. But yeah, the book is beautiful...I mean, the story is beautiful...

MS Did you adapt it yourself?

GVS Yeah, and I didn't adapt it, I just, like, made it up. I wasn't following Down the Rabbit Hole or anything like that. Which I probably should have.

MS Do your other movies start out as either comedies or dramas or is that not...?

GVS To Die For is probably the only...I think, well, Cowgirls was always quite funny. That might be one that - I'm not sure if it's the same mode as the book. If it's like, similar to Alice in Hollywood in that it sort of like, it was trying - although there's a lot of devotees, and it continues to play...

MS Oh yeah, no, it's fun. Same with Luna. I am so much more engaged by those films that are unlike their siblings, because they, you know, when they give pleasure or are frustrating, they're nevertheless distinct.

GVS I always judge my movies by reactions. You know it's hard for me - and I don't know about you and your novels - if you write something or if you make a movie, you're pretty much in your own personal world, and you have no idea how people are gonna react, so like, when I showed Mala Noche for instance, I just thought anything could happen, I could be lynched, or I could, you know...And people really like stayed and talked in the lobby. And I thought, wow, this is really unlike what I thought the reaction would be. And then, same with Drugstore Cowboy and My Own Private Idaho. It's like you make them in your own cocoon and then...My opinion of the movies is usually the opinions of the responders to the movies. Because I love them all, they're all like your children, so I like Cowgirls or Psycho just as much as I like My Own Private Idaho. But Cowgirls or Psycho, in particular, weren't received by people as well, so I tend to agree with them. I go like, yeah, that didn't work, because that's what they tell me.

MS Do you mean you agree with them sincerely?

GVS They can also change my mind. Because like, ten years from now Psycho might be like this brilliant piece and then I'll agree with that. So really, when I say I don't like Alice in Hollywood, it's really the response to Alice in Hollywood that I don't like.

MS You're a much more generous, accommodating person than I am. I think it's always a total surprise what people make of what you've done. Consistently, people like to like my novel Allan Stein, it's comfortable to them to like that, and anybody who wants to be interested or supportive of what I do will like that book. But they won't like The Sex Offender or The Dissolution of Nicholas Dee.

GVS In general, the general audience?

MS Yeah. And this has to do with whatever's up with them, and with whatever they feel comfortable with allying themselves with, but I often feel it has really little to do with the artistic product and has everything else to do with other relations and timing.

GVS Which is really weird because in 25 years, if Drugstore Cowboy is completely forgotten and/or, like, given a shrug and Psycho is revered as this huge...

MS Yeah. Which it will be because it's disliked initially...I mean there's another thing about -

GVS Like, um, Wizard of Oz was disliked initially...

MS But I think that's often a really good, you know, if you're looking for a long finish, it's good to start by being disliked.

GVS Or you could just be, like, horrible.

MS Or both could be true at the same time. But I don't actually think that the question is actually about being horrible or not, I can't even sort that one out, I mean, I don't even -

GVS You can't make the judgment. But I think you can be your own judge, I can see that's the weird thing, I can see the faults in Drugstore Cowboy, all I see is faults. I also see good things, right? So then you forget the faults when people go, like, it's great. You can go, like, all right. But if they say it's horrible, you go, like, yeah right, I know, wow. The only thing that you have to go on is your own personal...I mean, I think that the book I wrote, Pink, has all these faults. Completely fault-ridden as far as, like, being able to just, you know, speak clearly. It's just not a refined plan at work, you know. Which I'm pretty positive about.

MS Are you writing now? A book?

GVS I have a book I've been writing for about six years but I haven't written on it for a couple years. There's a section of it that's going to be published in All-Story -you know All-Story? - the next issue. It's called "A Man on a Horse."

MS I'll read it.

GVS And that's okay. I mean that's sort of an interesting, like, little short story. The novel is about five different stories put together and so my agent says, "If you could somehow connect them together, it'd be a lot easier to like make it a novel." They want you to do that, they don't like to publish short stories for some reason.

MS Yeah. It's the perception that they can't sell them.

GVS So, if you just don't have chapter headings and you just, like, run the short stories together, in some ways that's more sellable than...

MS Yeah, and it's so viable to make that...I mean the great thing about a novel to me is it's whatever you say it is. And that's why I call my books "novels." Then I don't have to worry about anything. Do you read a lot of novels?

GVS In general, yeah. Um, I'm reading a couple things now. Do you know The Rose of Tibet ? Barry Gifford one time said the greatest movie novel ever written is Rose of Tibet. And so I called him because I forgot the name of it and so I've been reading it. 'Cause I've been looking for projects.

MS You know what I think is just - did you ever read Boyhood with Gurdjieff ? It's this writer Fritz Peters, he wrote a gay novel in 1948 called Finistere. And it was published in '48, it was published as a psychological study. It's about this beautiful American boy who goes to Europe, you know, typical painful psychological revelations, blah blah blah, but as a boy, he was raised by Jane Heap and Margaret Anderson, the lesbian couple that started The Little Review - and they grew tired of him and his brother, they were orphans. And so Anderson and Heap took them to Paris in about the teens and proceeded to neglect them; you know, they were very busy with their glamorous life with Djuna Barnes and Gertrude Stein and all these people, and they shipped Fritz off to be the houseboy for Gurdjieff, the Albanian sex mystic. He was just a very compelling charismatic manly figure who got tons of society women in France to live in his chateau and be liberated sexually by his power. And Fritz, who was then 11 or 12, was his assistant, and he was supposed to mow the lawn of the chateau and Gurdjieff would - each morning he'd lock himself in the bathroom and throw shit on the walls, he had all these very strange personal habits, and Fritz would have to clean the shit off of the walls.

GVS Why did he do that?

MS Why'd he throw the shit or why'd he clean it?

GVS Why did he throw it?

MS I don't know. It's not, I mean, in the telling, which is the -

GVS Oh, it's from his point of view, the boy's?

MS Yes, he's just told it's time to clean. And it all tumbles forward. Gurdjieff's sort of at the rotting end of his sexual charisma and by about the time that Fritz is age 17, Gurdjieff has had to go to Manhattan in order to cultivate a new crop of wealthy women who will lavish money upon him and Fritz is engaged in this really brutal kind of psychology that Gurdjieff has set up. There's a fundraising dinner where he's gonna basically incite an orgy but now Fritz is the much more alluring sexual bait than Gurdjieff is, and in this one night in Manhattan, Fritz finally as a 17-year-old recognizes Gurdjieff's abusiveness and the fact that he [Fritz] is now the bait now the bait and abandons him...and it's an amazing book, it's one of these true stories you know, true true stories - but it's another one where, you know, you read it and you're just like - it's one of those books where you just, the first scene is him arriving at the chateau and being told to mow the lawn, which is 200 acres, and it's one of those ones you read and every moment you can see the way a movie would work with it. I don't know The Rose of Tibet, but...

GVS It sounds great.

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  • Published Online: Jan 13, 2012