Posted by: kfugrip | March 22, 2008

Movie Review: Paranoid Park

Good Will Hunting, Drugstore Cowboy, Finding Forester, To Die For… these are the Gus Van Sant films that I have seen.  I have not seen any of the Alan-Clarke-inspired films he has been directing recently.  Gerry, Elephant (which I have DVR’d at the moment),  and Last Days are of an experimental sort, often following characters as they do nothing… or so I’m told.  I haven’t seen them.  I have seen Paranoid Park, directed by Gus Van Sant, and you are reading a post about it.

Paranoid Park is about Alex (Gabe Nevins), a sixteen-year-old skater who is trying to work through the mental anguish of his part in the accidental death of a security guard.

What I liked:  Using non-actors works better here than I’ve seen in awhile.  The depiction of teenage life and how Alex deals with weight of the security guard’s death is powerful and feels accurate.  The film is also beautifully shot using long lenses and slow motion to hypnotic effect.  The scenes between Alex and his girlfriend Jennifer (Taylor Momsen) were some of the most accurate scenes of teenage relationships I’ve seen since Kids.

What I didn’t like:  Laura McKinney’s performance was distracting and selfconscious but not enough to detract from the film.  Van Sant keeps going back to the same shots of kids skating and while it does serve as a poetic base for the film I found it less interesting than the scenes where things are actually happening.

4 stars

paranoid-park.jpg

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Responses

  1. Bolt the door, if you’re coming in…

  2. Punch the keys, for God’s sake!!!!

  3. What you write in this apartment stays in this apartment.

  4. The key to a woman’s heart is an unexpected gift at an unexpected time.

  5. I can cut and paste the whole script here if I have to…

  6. I have no idea what you are talking about.

  7. Here’s a hint: “Your the man now, dawg!”

    I was hoping not to be so obvious.

  8. I had to google that quote. Finding Forester. Cliff Fuller worked on that.

  9. Yeah, right. You produced that shit.

  10. I love Paranoid Park, I just posted a review of it myself


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