A story of amour fou. Walt is madly in love/lust with a young illegal Mexican immigrant. However, the object of his unrequited affection doesn't even speak any English and finds Walt really... See full summary »
The teenager and skateboarder Alex is interviewed by Detective Richard Lu that is investigating the death of a security guard in the rail yards severed by a train who was apparently hit by a skate board. While dealing with the separation process of his parents and the sexual heat of his virgin girlfriend Jennifer, Alex writes his last experiences in Paranoid Park with his new acquaintances and how the guard was killed, trying to relieve his feeling of guilty from his conscience. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Van Sant extends his stay as the laureate of the American art film
Gus Van Sant continues his trend of making dreamy, artsy mood-pieces with Paranoid Park, a film about a skateboarding teen who accidentally causes the death of a security guard. In some ways, it almost feels like a continuation of Elephant, where kids are shot walking through school hallways in slow motion (here photographed by the legendary Christopher Doyle), and their actions and reactions are observed quietly. No, no literal shooting in those hallways this time, thank God, just the thick sense of guilt weighing down on young Alex (Gabe Nevins). From what I had read about this film, I had gathered that it was about a disaffected teenager who doesn't really care about the death he caused (and, reading some words written over Paranoid Park, it seems that that is a common interpretation, which I think is entirely incorrect). Van Sant thankfully isn't going the "don't teenagers suck?" route that many filmmakers would probably go. Alex is depicted as a boy wounded, and who understands what he has wrought. Van Sant perfectly captures that high school feeling of being lost in your own life, visualized in gorgeous footage of skateboarders dreamily gliding up ramps and walls. The chronology is disassembled, but not quite in the same, Béla Tarr-inspired way as it was in the director's previous two films. Disassembled chronology is becoming quite a cliché nowadays, but a director like Van Sant knows how to use it, how it adds to the mood and meaning of the picture.
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