Students at a suburban high school drift through a seemingly uneventful day, until two arrive with sinister intentions. A semi-improvised exploration of how violence makes its way into a typical American high school that won the Best Director and the Palme d’Or at 2003 Cannes Film Festival.
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Van Sant no juzga ni victimiza y en esa decisión encuentra un modo posible de mostrar lo impensado. La violencia circula por los pasillos al igual que el resto de las acciones cotidianas del colegio y ese gesto amplifica el problema sin subrayarlo: ¿es que nadie notaba que ésto iba a suceder? La inteligente austeridad de la pelicula es tal que que ni siquiera parece preguntarse nada, aunque nos deja llenos de dudas.
A great, Great film. Very sobering. The film exacted such a wide range of emotions from me; it's so tranquil and solemn but also very brutal and painful. The ending is one of the most unnerving sequences ever put to film.
Aesthetically, it's impressive. But this is a film that should be about people; it intends to be about real people, but what it gives us instead are hollow, cold, insulting clichés. The jock? The popular girl? The nerdy loser? I would expect a little more thought from anyone making a film about Columbine. I'm beginning to think it is impossible for anyone to commit a realistic view of highschool to celluloid.
It's very experimental and takes many liberties. That, I feel, turns off many people. However, it enhances the viewing for me. The long tracking shots create a monotonous atmosphere, and it works because it establishes these kids' daily lives. The format was awesome, recreating many of the same moments many times, each adding a little something.
If Kubrick had lived another decade and done a film based upon a Columbine type school shooting incident, it would have been very similar in style and content to Elephant. An excellent film that is very close to being a masterpiece, albeit flawed by Van Sant's rather fumbling and unnecessary tacking on of homosexuality into the storyline (as he does with most of his films). 4.5 stars.
Elephant, is a superb examination of incidents before and during a school shooting tragedy (based on columbine), it is appalling to know and realise how a normal day in people's lives who were involved turned into a nightmare.Instead of focusing depply on how's, why's or the aftermath, Gus Van Sant creates a mood that a usual day in anybody's life bears and lets the events uncover by themselves. simple yet effective.
That steadicam, those long shots, the unexplained violence, the long silences, the haunting, escalating exposition, allusions to video games. What a nuanced adaptation of British auteur Alan Clarke's 'Elephant'. Van Sant's skill to appease HBO in adapting and still find a way to parallel and comment on the Columbine tragedy shows a gift, not just in his visionary filmmaking but his savvy with the industry in general.