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film

Gus Van Sant's To Die For

FOLLOWING IN THE WAKE of the commercial and artistic failure of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Gus Van Sant’s new movie, To Die For, is perhaps his most conventional film, in spite of its fractured diegesis and multiple points of view; conventional, certainly, in its ostensible subject, a satire of the mass media, particularly the allure of television. This rather disingenuous theme, through which one arm of the media “critiques” an obstreperous rival, has been traversed in many movies: Network, The King of Comedy, Being There, and more recently, Serial Mom and Natural Born Killers. The trend reminds me of the title of one of Richard Foreman’s plays, Film is Evil, Radio is Good—you make the necessary substitution. The plot of To Die For, loosely based on an actual crime involving a Maine schoolteacher who enticed her teenage lover to murder her husband, has already served as the subject of

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