Many months ago, great director Gus Van Sant used my historic Clinton Market grocery store to film his upcoming film, RESTLESS. I got to meet with the lead cast members, Henry Hopper and Mia Wasikowska, both of which were very nice young actors. Finally, after months of waiting, a trailer has hit the Internet for the film in the last three hours. It has a tentative January 28, release date. And, so far the critical buzz has been very good for the film. Critics note the film has a rich breathtaking look much more like Gus Van Sant’s MILK rather than PARANOID PARK.
The cast members did their makeup work in my Clinton Market store and filmed their first kiss outside the store. The store is featured in at least two scenes in the film, while other S.E. Portland neighborhood homes and locations were used for much of the film. For months, there was little news about the film which seemed to be stuck in endless months of post production editing work. The news of the trailer today, is indeed good news for fans of Gus Van Sant’s great film works.
The lead actress, Mia Wasikowska, also played the lead in that excellent ALICE IN WONDERLAND remake with Johnny Depp that was such a hit, and visually stunning. Yet, this Australian-born actress has yet to become a household name in the states, despite quickly rising as a great talent. She also played a strong supporting role in Daniel Craig’s DEFIANCE as well. She is incredibly nice, and deserves great success.
Henry Hopper, is the son of the late film legend, Dennis Hopper from the legendary EASY RIDER film, one of the greatest biker movies ever made. That film also helped to establish groups like Steppenwolf as major rock stars. The song, “Born To Be Wild” was the first of several motorcycle oriented singles the band would eventually release, although only 3 singles reached the top ten.
In the film, Henry Hopper, plays a kooky youngster who is attracted to death and talks to the ghost of a dead WWII Kamikaze pilot. Mia Wasikowska, is a teenage girl dying of cancer, who becomes attractive to him because of her illness and upcoming death. It’s a little bit like the twisted HAROLD AND MAUDE love story in some ways. But, with Gus Van Sant you can expect a very original film beyond this quirky love story theme.
The film looks to be one of his greatest Gus Van Sant films, judged by the buzz it’s getting. I can’t wait to buy a Blu ray disc of it someday and own a copy.