Gus Green Van Sant, Jr. (born July 24, 1952) is an American film director, photographer, musician, and author. He was nominated for the Best Director Academy Award for his 1997 film Good Will Hunting. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon. His early career was devoted to directing television commercials in the Pacific Northwest. Openly gay, he has dealt unflinchingly with homosexual and other marginalized subcultures without being particularly concerned about providing positive role models. His filmography as writer and director includes an adaptation of Tom Robbins' novel Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, which features a diverse cast (Keanu Reeves, Roseanne Barr, Uma Thurman, and k.d. lang, with cameos by William S. Burroughs and Heather Graham, among others); and My Own Private Idaho, also starring Reeves as well as the late River Phoenix (Van Sant also planned to direct a biographical film about Andy Warhol with Phoenix in the lead role, but canceled the project after Phoenix's death). He is perhaps best known for directing Good Will Hunting. He wrote the screenplays for most of his early movies, and wrote one novel, Pink.  A book of his photography has also been published, called 108 Portraits. ... [read more]
books... and music...