Review by Zandro Salvo.
The latest offering from director Gus Van Sant is a cinematic marvel. Based on a book by Blake Nelson, Paranoid Park captures the quintessential teenage experience. Told through the point of view of a teenager trying to fit into the Portland skate scene, the film articulates the modern socializing process as well as the paranoia that results. Van Sant weaves in and out of the main story sequence with gorgeous yet gritty slow motion skate boarding footage. These sequences look like they’re personally shot by the teenage skate culture of Paranoid Park. The non-linear story structure and melodic pace are perfectly orchestrated to capture the perspective of the story's teenage protagonist. While the main character must deal with his parents’ divorce, losing his virginity, and an unimaginable accidental murder, Van Sant masterfully brings the viewer back to the simplicity of youth and the serenity of skate boarding. It is through the protagonist's eyes that one realizes the hidden beauty ignored by adults yet adored by youth. The result is an ethereal look at teenage angst and identity formation. Quite possibly the bench mark for its genre.
Gus Van Sant | USA | 2007 | 84min
Fri. Oct. 12 | 9:30pm | Empire Granville Theatre