A slo-mo snorefest. "Ostensibly, the film’s primary focus is the moral wrestling match which follows Alex’s struggle to come to terms with his actions, but I’ll be honest: I wasn’t convinced anything that meaningful or deep was going on here. ... The disaffected kids who shuffle through its universe have nothing to say, nothing to tell us. I’m not sure the movie has a whole lot more." - Film Threat. 2.5 stars
If you are unconvinced, or you found it pretentious, read Daniel Kasman’s review and rewatch. Violet, directed by Bas Devos, seems to be an extension/translation of this film, which doesn’t take away from it in my mind, and gives measure to the depth of Paranoid Park. The Unloved, by Samantha Morton, is a visionary cousin. Created whole cloth by her but an independent confirmation of the truth of PP and Violet.
Van Sant is at heart an experimental filmmaker. As a result it can look like he's throwing things out there to see which things work. There was a fair amount of stuff I didn't think worked. The soundtrack, the forehead lighting, the aspect ratio. I could go on. I did want to point out that the scene where they had sex was well done in terms of the ambient noise and the psychological aspects.
Paranoid Park directed by Gus Van Sant had a natural dialogue and the story flowed from the journaled perspective of Alex. The movie itself was fairly interesting and was personally based on the perspective. The acting was not the best. I did think that some of the scenes were off topic. Mainly I thought that of the skate inserts because those scenes were unnecessary and distracting from the main dialogue.
Van Sant’s follow up to his ‘death-trilogy’ – Gerry, Elephant and Last Days – again harnesses the cinematic style and tropes of violated childhood, only now weaker in its deliverance on the screen. Paranoid Park evolves as a metonym for the death of a security guard -- a place where ‘dead bodies [are] buried […] under the cement’ -- and the subsequent disorientation felt by its skateboarding-protagonist, Alex.
It's a shame that the acting is sometimes SO bad because the directorial style would work well with natural performances that were actually good. Van Sant knows how to nonchalantly film things with a seeming lack of focus while also ensuring that the viewer is taking in the right details, be it dialogue or character interactions, or even just a look from someone.
My 2nd viewing. Warning bells should have sounded because I could not remember much, if anything, from the 1st. A ponderous film - and not in a good way. The female characters were cardboard cutouts and were by turns hilarious for it and excruciating to watch. Did not finish watching.
Paranoid Park was quite an interesting movie. I enjoyed how the movie was narrated as he was writing in his journal. It gave it a much more personal touch into him revealing his darkest secret. The scene with the security guard and the train really drew me in and left me shocked. The movie moves in many curves not really going into any specific order which makes it more interesting to watch. Would totally watch again
Captures the experience of an affluent adolescent boy dealing with an unspeakable horror. We should all have a friend like Macy. She literally pulls him back with her heart and her bicycle. All the other people in Alex’s life were like ships passing in the night which they will turn out to be when he looks back decades later. Van Sant at his best.
Paranoid park overall was actually pretty good. I liked the aspect of how Alex was narrating the story like it was a book report. However in reality, he was trying to tell the darkest secret of his life. I especially enjoyed how all the characters interacted and got deep with one another. Extremely touching. Would watch again!
a calmly gentle and perceptive film, beautifully crafted in every respect: the adults are kept at arms length too. i feel Van Sant tops this with Elephant, but it doesn't matter as they are both entries in this poets collection. if there is an issue, its the ending - what happens to the security guard? the look on his face as he was dying. but maybe he was a metaphor for changes to come anyway? great soundtrack.