Like Roseanne, Gus Van Sant refuses to compromise his trademark smarty-pants assault on storybook America. An openly gay filmmaker, he loves to tweak the condescending rhetoric of patriarchy -- he did so effortlessly in MALA
NOCHE and DRUGSTORE COWBOY, laboriously in MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO and lugubriously in EVEN COWGIRLS GET THE BLUES.
This time out, building on a tough-minded Buck Henry script adapted from Joyce Maynard's novel, Van Sant emerges from subcultural territory to take on the middle-class mainstream. TO DIE FOR uses the tabloid-ready Pamela Smart murder case to mount an impudent, satirical attack on America's
obsessive culture of celebrity.