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Paranoid Park
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100% of reviewers None indicated 8.0
Paranoid Park

Description: When a security guard is accidentally killed outside Portland�s notorious skate park, it�s clear that 16 year old skateboarder Alex knows more than he�s letting on. Fearing the consequences, he increasingly retreats into his own world of silence and isolation.

Winner of the 60th anniversary award at this year's Cannes Festival, Paranoid Park is a mesmerising film with a non-linear narrative, which creates a greater degree of suspense as it explores the inner workings of Alex's behaviour. Based on the novel of the same name by Blake Nelson, it features a cast of non-professional actors recruited through MySpace, generating a natural debut for Gabe Nevins as the brooding teenager.

After Elephant and Last Days, it forms the third film of a loosely-knit trilogy which explores the world of disaffected, disconnected youth at the point where posturing childhood gives way to the awkwardness of adult responsibilities, addressed in such films as River's Edge, Heathers, and Stand By Me.

The film also marks his second collaboration with acclaimed cinematographer, Chris Doyle. Best known for his work with Asian-based directors Wong Kar-Wai, Fruit Chan and Zhang Yimou, he gained his first Hollywood break on Van Sant�s Psycho remake before lensing for Philip Noyce, James Ivory and M Night Shyamalan. His evocative often raw work on Paranoid Park, which also includes beautifully evocative skateboard action sequences shot on Super 8 film by Rain Kathy Li, makes it Gus Van Sant�s most lyrical and stylish film to date.

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Cast: Gabe Nevins, Daniel Liu, Taylor Momsen, Jake Miller, Lauren McKinney, Winfield Jackson, Joe Schweitzer, Grace Carter, Scott Patrick Green, John Michael Burrowes, Jay 'Smay' Williamson, Dillon Hines, Emma Nevins, Brad Peterson, Emily Galash
Director: Gus Van Sant
Language: English
Features: Tartan UK exclusive coverage of Secret Cinema preview event, �Making of � documentary directed by Van Sant�s sound engineer, Felix Andrew, trailer.
Year: 2007

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Registered User

Registered: August 2008
Posts: 16
Review Date: 26 August 2008 Would you recommend this DVD? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 


I couldnt get into it and turned if off abt 30 mins in.Too many slow scenes and the music didnt help.
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fractalgirls Contributor

Registered: August 2006
Location: London, UK
Posts: 32
Review Date: 1 July 2008 Would you recommend this DVD? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Great cinematography, interesting soundtrack, ethereal, insightful

Van Sant is a great director and Paranoid Park is subtle, its story beautifully laid out by both the camerawork and the acting. The latter is effortless and dreamy, the largely non-professional cast quietly shouldering much of the film, in a manner reminiscent of the director's other film Elephant.

A hit at Cannes, Paranoid Park is an insightful and poetic look at the lives of disenchanted youth. A cliche surely, to be focusing on this subject, but this is Van Sant's forte and one that he explores deftly. His films are unique - the subject appears fresh and is portrayed through a narrative that offers an alternative take on teen life. Layered with an eclectic music compilation, the film is as hip, disenchanted and insouciant as the skateboard kids who feature in it. Gabe Nevins, who plays the film's protagonist Alex, is youthful, fresh-faced, a boy on the verge of manhood and all its attendant responsibilities. Alex is ill-prepared for these inexorable changes and struggles inside with his own insecurities; he longs to belong with the big boys in the skater community but tries not to make a show of it.

Often apathetic and constantly broody, Alex is indifferent to his cheerleader girlfriend - an annoying, blonde chick who is part of the school's popular, gossiping brigade. Their relationship is often humourous, for the viewer at least, and there is a light touch approach to adolescent relationships here by Van Sant. It is clear that Alex may perhaps be slightly in love with another girl, but this is largely implied. The main issue for Alex, however, is the grisly death of the security guard on the railway tracks. It haunts and burdens him, and it is this weight on his conscience that spurs the narrative of the film.

Engaging and poetic to the point of being ethereal, Paranoid Park is one to watch.
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