watching paranoid park (imdb.com): first i thought its something from 70s, than i realized that skaters are dressed in today’s stuff and after few more mins i realized i should check this movie online and i then i realized its gus van sant.
i like gus van sant. he made some cool films. i always loved my private idaho, it is a perfect film.
i think paranoid park is a bit too stylish for me, i mean he did get lost in his own eye candy way too much in the last few years. he could be more modest and less stylish, but that is too hard. maybe a bit of larry clark rip off? but is it possible to make a true movie about teenage skaters without being a larry clark ripoff – he owns it!
i like the idea of the story (spoiler alert!): kid kills the security guard, than deals with it in his own way and processes it. he himself finds a way to render his own guilt and follow through with his daily life. police tries to get to him, his father is super useless, his mom is mega clueless, only his new girlfriend has a quite useful suggestion for him how to put an end to this event in his life: she suggests he writes her a letter and burns it after.
so the whole point of the story is that he fucks up, he did not want to fuck up but it happens anyway, so now he has to figure out what next. and he searches. knows the police is no good, parents – his first instinct is his blurred tattooed bullshit father, yet his mother’s face is not even shown in the movie – are no good, his girlfriend is lost in her own ambitions and at the end comes his semi-ugly girl and saves his soul, makes the rest of his life possible and even easy with a little piece of paper and a pen.
don’t know if gus (and some other writer) picked it up somewhere (i am not that well read) or they came up with it themselves – in any case it is good.
but also it is dangerous. it is very individualistic, maybe too much. and if someone like me, an extreme lover of individualism, says this is too dangerous, then it is quite dangerous. sometimes it is safer to make movies in which authorities like police and parents actually solve our problems.
but on second thought real world does not work that way. this kid is not weak and he found his own way with the help of a girl, his new girlfriend, so this makes him strong i guess, stronger to make a decision no other system can do for him.
gus van sant is big on stories about young finding their own way within the system, sort of like my private idaho or elephant or last days… but i find paranoid park maybe his most positive and complete message. i mean there is no competition between his movies, it just seems so now, today, at this moment, that it is a good message.