Sunday, December 13, 2009

Top Ten Films of the Decade, 2000-2009: #8

#8. ELEPHANT (Gus van Zant, 2003, 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.

1 comment:

Shubhajit said...

I really am at odds with Elephant because I find it a difficult movie to categorise or define. A curious mixture of cinema verite style and human drama, this is the arthouse alter-ego of Gus Van Sant at his most revelatory.

Yes, the movie is quite startling. But I found its high position in your list also no less startling - but pleasantly so. Though it might not rank as high in mine, I admit its a damn brave movie and hence I sure must appreciate your going ahead with it!!!

And well, its my pleasure following your blog cos its nothing less than terrific - both your eclectic choice of movies and your stupendous writeups.

I hope to see you sometimes at my humble blog too :)