F.I.L.M. of the Week (November 13, 2009)

13 11 2009

The “F.I.L.M. of the Week” is Gus Van Sant’s “Paranoid Park,” a multi-layered movie that serves as both a crime drama and a portrait of a scared teenager.  The film serves as a testament to the prowess of Van Sant (Academy Award nominated director of “Milk” and “Good Will Hunting”), who not only helmed the movie, but wrote and edited it.  He excels at doing what I love to see filmmakers do: taking a simple premise and using the power of moviemaking to turn it into something extravagant.

Alex (Gabe Nevins) is a teenage skateboarder who makes a split-second decision that turns out to be a big mistake with life-changing ramifications.  The film follows the effect of the event on his life as he, apprehensive, attempts to hide the truth and escape the consequences.  The movie begins with an aura of mystery surrounding what is happening, but in just 80 minutes, Van Sant strips it all away and gets to the core of an insecure and distraught teenager.

The triumph of “Paranoid Park” is not the story, but the storytelling.  Van Sant brings a distinctively different style to this than he did to a movie like “Milk.”  He employs a non-linear story line to replicate the events running together in Alex’s mind.  Alex is a very passive figure in the movie, and we witness the tearing apart of his mind not in his dialogue, but mostly from drawn-out shots of him.  These shots provide such a clear insight into the character thanks to Van Sant allowing the cinematography to shine.  Throw in a soundtrack eclectic enough to rival a Tarantino movie, and you get one great movie to watch.

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One response

19 11 2009
TC Kirkham

Marshall,

Welcome to the LAMB Community! You couldn’t be more correct about Paranoid Park – it won a TON of our year end awards last year, and both Gabe Nevins and Lauren McKinney were named to our 2008 Rising Stars list.

You should definately check out our podcast Subject:CINEMA. I have a feeling you’d probably like it – http://subjectcinema.com.

Looking forward to more of your reviews and F.I.L.M.s!

TC Kirkham
Webmaster, PNR Networks

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