Tuesday, September 9, 2008

ELEPHANT (Gus van Zant, USA) This film absolutely refuses to offer any pat explanation, gives us no divine answers, and doesn't condemn any character (murderer or victim) as it shows us an average high school day in small town America hours before two teenagers embark upon a Columbine style massacre. The camera movements are languid and gentle as we float about the school, in and out of the lives of some of the students. Van Sant makes no judgments about any of the characters as we are introduced to the killers in the same manner as the others, no demonizing or subtle musical discords to make us hate these boys, as we are just offered a brief glimpse into their brief lives. Though we know how the film ends, it is startling and gut-wrenching nonetheless. (A+)

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