Monday, March 24, 2008

Paranoid Park

Movie name: Paranoid Park
Year of release: 2007
Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Gabe Nevins, Daniel Liu, Taylor Momsen, Jake Miller, Grace Carter, Scott Patrick Green
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 4

Gus Van Sant is back in one more tale of disenchanted youth in America. Following the wonderful "Elephant" that continued and further explored the aesthetic of "Gerry" (co written with Matt Damon and Casey Affleck), and "Last Days", "Paranoid Park" is another probe into the life of adolescence (in a not so overtly sexual way that Larry Clark approaches). If "Last Days" already felt as a stretch into this aesthetic and approach of film-making, "Paranoid Park" repeats what was already done, and to much weaker results than "Elephant". This film follows the life of a student who skates, and accidentally gets involved in the death of a security guard. The cameras follow the life of Alex, showing his brief interactions with the people that surround him. The film tries to be "an important art piece" about how youth gets corrupted and desensitized but ultimately feels self indulgent, in the sense that the characters are either moronic or non existent. Alienation of suburbia maybe the aim that the film tries to stab at, but in the end, other than the beautiful photography of Wong Kar Wai's regular cinematographer Christopher Doyle, the film feels empty and without any resonance.