Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Director: Gus Van Sant
Winner of the Palme d'Or and Best Director prizes at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, Gus Van Sant's realistic drama ELEPHANT takes us inside an American high school on one single, ordinary day that very rapidly turns tragic... more »
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Shocking, Real, and Sad
B. Kopenhaver | USA | 04/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Elephant gives us a glimpse inside a fictional high school shooting scenario. The acting is believable, cute, and entertaining. The cinematography apt, and the direction well-thought out.
My complaints are that it moves a little slowly, this perhaps due to my fascination with action films and fight scenes, but I suppose that is part of the point. It's a slow, dramatic build to shocking horror of the most realistic variety.
The film jumps around a bit, showing us different characters from their perspectives and it's kind of interesting how they cross paths and interact, and how their fates are seemingly plucked from a hat at random.
All the kids in the film seemed fresh, young and energetic. They are all unknowns which I think makes them more anonymous, more the feeling that they could be anyone or anyone's children. It also shocks us that those same innocents can be capable of such raw violence and hatred.
To me, it goes to show that this 'socialization' we peddle as 'education' isn't work a damn. In many children it does more harm then good, and in many more sets them up as narcisists and/or psychopaths in training. Homeschooling anyone?"
Quite possibly the most boring movie ever made
Jason | Backwater, Alabama | 07/14/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Kid meanders through field, takes photo of passers by. Scene.
Kid walks silently through school hallway. Scene.
Kid strolls through courtyard aimlessly. Scene.
Kid shuffles solo across the gym floor. Scene.
Unfortunately, this isn't a zombie movie, and that's how the first half of the movie drags on. Shot in uninteresting bursts of wandering, meandering, and meaningless dialogue (it felt like watching The Hills), the framing of the shots isn't bad, but the directing is clearly amateur. I suppose one could conclude the shots have something to do with the isolated feeling of awkward, pubescent high school years, but that's a weak cop-out.
The cast is very young and fresh, providing a solid performance. None really stand out from the others, but they're all competent. It's like being a fly on the wall in High School. It's just that the script is incredibly boring and slow. This movie is nearly guaranteed ennui. The character development is absolutely nonexistent. It's silent film nonexistent. There is insignificant explanation of why the kids snap.
The score is pretentious and completely distracts from whatever message is being unconvincingly delivered. The best music of the movie is when one of the troubled kids plays Beethoven's Fur Elise.
Children today have weak constitutions; their psyche has become fragile from years of coddling, undeserved affirmations, an entire lifetimes of being told that everyone is a winner, everyone is a special, unique butterfly. Well, guess what? Life often sucks, and it's better to overcome fears, difficulties, and struggles with determined will power and thicker skin. Sticks and stones, people. Therein lies the problem with Elephant. Instead of playing the "these kids are so depressed, alone, and have such hard lives"-card, maybe something positive could have been presented for them to latch on to. Rather than a justification for horrible, unforgivable, cowardly actions, maybe an alternative could have been presented.
Simply put, the film is incomplete and flawed. The first act fails to create interest, the second act fails to build upon it, and the third act provides no resolution. It is literally the most boring movie I've ever seen.