Thursday, May 15, 2008

Intro to Cinema: Paranoid Park

As a Northwest-centric publication, we have always taken a lot of pride in the work of Gus Van Sant. The Portland resident celebrates the Upper Left in nearly every film he makes. Famous for his recruitment of homegrown talent, Van Sant asked fellow Rose City resident and Class Act All-Star Elliott Smith to contribute to the Good Will Hunting soundtrack, thus propelling him toward a Grammy nomination and the national spotlight. Van Sant also discovered one of our favorite young actors, John Robinson of Elephant. However, despite Robinson's performance, Elephant's unscripted dialogue and intensely experimental structure caused it to miss its mark entirely. His next film, Last Days, was similarly written off. If through all that you lost any faith in Gus Van Sant, Paranoid Park is your wake up call. It is the haunting story of a skateboarder who loses himself after a freak accident, with a script tight enough to keep it grounded amongst dreamy photography and Van Sant’s inevitable experimentation. Plus, you can't beat the location. It is the year’s best movie to date, and we are proud to witness the resurgence of the Northwest's best filmmaker.

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