Mala Noche

  • 1985
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

The often maddening perversity of love and desire is captured most effectively in director Gus Van Sant's MALA NOCHE, which was released theatrically after DRUGSTORE COWBOY proved one of the year's biggest independent successes. Shot in 1985 on a miniscule budget, this gritty, poetic 16mm feature concerns Walt Curtis (Tim Streeter), an amiable skid-row...read more

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The often maddening perversity of love and desire is captured most effectively in director Gus Van Sant's MALA NOCHE, which was released theatrically after DRUGSTORE COWBOY proved one of the year's biggest independent successes.

Shot in 1985 on a miniscule budget, this gritty, poetic 16mm feature concerns Walt Curtis (Tim Streeter), an amiable skid-row liquor-store clerk in Portland, Oregon, who falls madly in love with 18-year-old Johnny (Doug Cooeyate), an illegal Mexican immigrant. When Johnny turns out to be much more

interested in Walt's sister, Betty (Nyla McCarthy), than he is in Walt, the rejected suitor settles for the more amenable, if less desirable, Roberto (Ray Monge).

The fluidly imaginative technique that Van Sant displayed in DRUGSTORE COWBOY is much in evidence in this earlier feature--the highly graphic, grainy black-and-white camerawork making ingenious use of partly blacked out frames, vertiginous angles, tight close-ups, and time-lapse photography. Van

Sant's frequently astonishing script is funny and passionate, his editing savvy, and his choice of music perfect as he freely and unapologetically celebrates Walt's love of Mexican boys.

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  • Released: 1985
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: The often maddening perversity of love and desire is captured most effectively in director Gus Van Sant's MALA NOCHE, which was released theatrically after DRUGSTORE COWBOY proved one of the year's biggest independent successes. Shot in 1985 on a miniscul… (more)

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