By Jess Cartner-Morley
He is the king of the Hollywood underground. So why has he made a mini-series for Gucci? The film-maker talks about life in isolation, his gay president project and the big screen’s demise
At home in California over lockdown Gus Van Sant, king of the Hollywood underground, was, like the rest of us, binge-watching Netflix. “Ozark, that was good,” he says of the drama about the wholesome, apple-pie Byrdes, whose family business in a sleepy lakeside town happens to be money-laundering for a ruthless Mexican cartel. “Although, you know, kind of grisly.”
Van Sant’s latest project, by contrast, is all glamour. He has shot a seven-episode miniseries for Gucci in collaboration with the brand’s creative director, Alessandro Michele. Ouverture of Something That Never Ended takes an esoteric day-in-the-life format, following Silvia, played by Silvia Calderoni, from the moment she wakes up and steps into her high-heeled gold house slippers. She has a pee in black lace knickerbockers and queues at the post office alongside a woman in a kaftan with a basketball under one arm, and a man in a football shirt carrying a canary in a cage. She goes to a cafe, a dance rehearsal, and walks the streets of Rome – with a new outfit for each activity. The film doubles as a streamed catwalk show for Gucci’s new collection, with 10 new-season looks making up the wardrobe for each episode. There is even a cameo by Harry Styles.