6.7/10
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Paranoid Park (2007)

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A teenage skateboarder's life begins to fray after he is involved in the accidental death of a security guard.

Director:

Gus Van Sant

Writers:

Gus Van Sant (screenplay), Blake Nelson (novel)
7 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gabe Nevins ... Alex
Daniel Liu Daniel Liu ... Detective Richard Lu (as Dan Liu)
Jake Miller ... Jared
Taylor Momsen ... Jennifer
Lauren McKinney Lauren McKinney ... Macy
Scott Patrick Green Scott Patrick Green ... Scratch (as Scott Green)
John Michael Burrowes John Michael Burrowes ... Security Guard (as John 'Mike' Burrowes)
Grace Carter ... Alex's Mom
Jay 'Smay' Williamson Jay 'Smay' Williamson ... Alex's Dad
Christopher Doyle ... Uncle Tommy
Dillon Hines Dillon Hines ... Henry
Emma Nevins Emma Nevins ... Paisley
Brad Peterson Brad Peterson ... Jolt
Winfield Jackson Winfield Jackson ... Christian (as Winfield Henry Jackson)
Joe Schweitzer Joe Schweitzer ... Paul
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some disturbing images, language and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 October 2007 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Параноид парк See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$29,828, 9 March 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$486,021, 8 June 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Gus Van Sant, the first draft was written in only two days and the final draft came to be only 33 pages. See more »

Goofs

When Alex walks home after writing "Paranoid Park" in his notebook, the notebook disappears (in the shot from behind) and then reappears. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Alex: Oh. Hey Uncle Tommy.
Uncle Tommy: Hey.
See more »

Connections

References Frankenstein (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Walk Through Resonant Landscape #2
Written and Performed by Frances White
Courtesy of Mode Records and Frances White
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Communication Breakdown
12 May 2008 | by MacAindraisSee all my reviews

Paranoid Park (2007) ****

Another Van Sant gem. Discovering Bela Tarr has really redefined his career, and brought out a new artistic direction in him. I've really been enjoying his new directions, and have been a great admirer of Elephant in particular. Van Sant here has crafted a very interesting film, one that at the end had to make me think for a minute: wait? he's robbed us of the end of the story - only to snap back again seconds later to think: you crafty swine...

Yes, the security guard narrative essentially is a macguffen. Paranoid Park transcends its thematic plot to discover deeper and far more rewarding truths. The film is above all about communication, or the lack thereof, or learning how to of. The story follows Alex, a young skater who is involved in the accidental but brutal death of a security guard in a train yard nearby the infamous Paranoid Park. The narrative style jumps around in time, tracing a number of days in the life of our young skater. He has issues with his parents: they're divorcing; he feels they don't' care about him. He has issues with his girlfriend: she pushes him to have sex, and he does not because he wants to but because he can't communicate how he feels to her. And to push things over the top, he has the burden of being involved in a man's death, and a suspicious but jovial police officer questioning him. Sounds like pretty standard stuff, but its the execution that makes it work. Alex narrates the film as he writes out his story. We come to find in the last act that he's been persuaded by a kindly and politically interested girl, who recognizes when no one else does that he's harbouring some serious baggage. This she tells him is the key to his emancipation. Once he writes he had can simply burn it - its the telling of the story that counts, not the audience. Van Sant employs his newfound quiet and laboured pacing to highlight the anomic alienation of Alex from his slacker and otherwise inept friends (who laugh at the photos of the mutilated man's body), his girlfriend, and most of all his parents. He uses some excellent and totally unexpected music for a skater film, and structures this as the most refined film featuring skate boarding one could imagine. He also uses some clever camera and editing tricks, such as a number of sequences where the soundtrack plays at normal speed against a shot that is slowed down, creating a dreamy and hallucinatory effect. It was otherwise nice to see some old School Fellini film music thrown in their. Parents were a big theme in Elephant, and I think an even bigger theme here. Van Sant uses a simple but ingeniously clever camera trick to highlight the distance between Alex and his parents - he keeps their faces either offscreen of out of focus, save for one important moment. The affect created is such that when we finally see the face come into focus, the words said become all the more poignant and truly touching


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