I understand that people are affected by this film because of the (sadly) many similar events before and after this, but I honestly don't get its appeal. The walking shots get tiresome after a while and if you really pay attention, those scenes are a high porcentage of the overall film. I know the director wanted a simplistic film but the bland characters and the lackluster acting seriously don't help it either.
'Elephant' is perhaps more relevant now than ever before after the amount of senseless violence this country has seen in the last decade. I'm haunted by the fragility of this film, the halls of the high school observed from every angle on repeat, the final moments before a massacre stretched to last an hour. The tension is unbearable, we see what's coming with no way to warn any of the students roaming around.
The non-linear structure combined with the well executed long takes make this a formally interesting film. The topic however, is a sensitive one and I do not feel that van Sant gave it the depth it deserved. His cookie cutter answers to the all-important questions that high school shootings raise, keep this film from being great.
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.
the heavy is quite a complexCHARACTER, he is tranquil. he was without the social weapons that every one else had, his courseOFaction was to purchase HISown. The dillemma isn't the one within the picture but the one that it represents. How does one make themselves heard? And why does terrorism all of a sudden seem like a reasonable soap box? (It really is a lousy method for this as Alex figures out.)