Friday, 11 January 2008

Paranoid Park

Any fans of Gus Van Sant will have already heard of Paranoid Park, Van Sant's latest directorial venture.

Paranoid Park is atypical Van Sant - and I am not saying that in a disparaging way - he presents something horrific in a stunning way. Van Sant's cinematography and own inimitable style keeps you gripped.

With a back catalogue (do they call it that in the film world??) that includes Elephant, about a High School shooting and Last Days, which is loosely based on Kurt Kobain's suicide and of course Good Will Hunting. Van Sant also created a frame by frame remake of Psycho as well as directing the (pretty long and hard going) Gerry featuring the fantastic Casey Affleck.

An adaptation of Blake Nelson's novel of the same name, Paranoid Park follows a skater who makes one fateful excursion to Paranoid Park, a notoriously dangerous and crime - riddled skate park. Set in Portland, Oregon - the one place i REALLY want to go to in the world, PP does have it's lighter moments, including one hilarious section where the protagonist's brother recites the Chapstick phonecall in Napoleon Dynamite, word for word, accent for accent. The geeky boys I went to see the film with recognised the skatepark straight away, apparently Van Sant moves Paranoid Park to a different part of the city, i think we can credit him with some creative licence there.

The actors were all found on MySpace, he is quoted to have commented about this as follows:

"I think this is how all the casting agencies would go about casting high schoolers, especially now when MySpace is so prevalent. We were like the others, just trying to figure out ways to get the word out to non professional people to play in the film."

On limited release, I would recommend seeking it out - Curzon Shaftesbury Avenue is currently showing Paranoid Park

Here is the trailer:

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