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
Gus Van Sant's latest film is to some extent his most accomplished to date but in other ways it will leave the viewer alienated and flat, maybe on purpose. It tells the story of skater Alex whose life unravels when he is involved in an accident with a security guard. Fans of Van Sant will spot all his trademark stylings from the empty almost haunting school corridors of 'Elephant' through to his use of slow motion and an Elliot Smith heavy soundtrack. But its in the things you don't see that gives this film its 'paranoia', conversations shown only from one angle, overlaying speech in the wrong places or playing music to mask over important conversations, there are times when it genuinely feels quite unnerving as the story, which isn't told straight, un-weaves to its conclusion. Van Sant has used no real actors for the film and instead enlisted real skaters mostly found from Myspace, so don't expect the acting to be brilliant but it does give a sense of 'real' to the proceedings and of course they can skate which makes the dreamlike sequences around the parks all the better. Sant treads familiar ground in the themes explored but the film itself seems to flow and feel more matured than his earlier works and it has the ability to hold the viewer in a tight grip of suspense even when the pay off is finally revealed about half way through. This won't be to everyone's taste, but don't let the skating put you off, there's not that much in it and you would miss an understated little thriller if you decided to not give it a go. Put into context with Van Sant's body of work this is another teen trip down Alienation Avenue stopping at disenfranchised close and finally ending up at Paranoid Park. Haunting and scarily believable this is a very watchable film that will for what ever reason leave you cold.
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