Friday, March 14, 2008

Paranoid Park

My memories of Paranoid Park, the latest high school head trip from Gus Van Sant (Last Days) are fuzzy at best. But rather than skip a review because I saw the movie months ago at the New York Film Festival, why not acknowledge that Van Sant's recent forays into art cinema sometimes feel fuzzy even as you're watching them. So discuss it I shall. Pardon the haze.

Gus Van Sant began his career making fringe films like Mala Noche (1985) and quickly began attracting name stars and wide acclaim for films like Drugstore Cowboy (1989) and My Own Private Idaho (1991) --both are must sees if you haven't had the pleasure. After the mainstream Oscar breakthrough that was Good Will Hunting (1997) it became harder to spot the auteur in him. Hunting, for its charms, could have been made by a number of people. And try drawing a line between Hunting and Psycho (1998) through Finding Forrester (2000). When you end up in the desert in Gerry (2003), you will feel completely lost. But maybe Van Sant had to lose himself this way to find the auteur within again...

Full Review @ Zoom-In
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4 comments:

Sid said...

I thought it was better than Elephant (which I loved), Gerry and Last Days.

Christopher Doyle's work here is masterful and both the sound design and the editing of this film are superb.

That accident scene is horrifying though -- I'd have to warn people for "an extremely graphic scene" if I was recommending this.

Kamikaze Camel said...

I'm seeing this next week. Can't wait. It was my #6 anticipated of the year after all :)

amir_uk said...

I agree with Sid that Doyle's photography on the film was first class, even amongst his own enviable filmography. Great sound editing complemented by a surprising - and all the more affecting for it - soundtrack. I really liked this film a lot more than I thought I would.

J said...

It appears director did all he could to stretch the movie out...any more slow mo scenes and I was gonna yell at the screen. ending left me very unsatified. At least Elephant had some resolution....albeit very unfortunate.