HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Marriage Story
Santa Claus is a Bastard
   
 
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
   
 
  Paranoid Park Teenage boardomBuy this film here.
Year: 2007
Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Gabe Nevins, Taylor Momsen, Daniel Liu, Jake Miller, Lauren McKinney, Dillon Hines, Scott Patrick Green
Genre: Drama
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: Alex (Gabe Nevins) is a teenager living in Portland, Oregon. A schoolboy and a kewl sk8ter. His parents are getting divorced, he has a pushy shallow girlfriend (Taylor Momsen) and he is writing a story he needs to tell us.

We see him hanging out at a skate park under a bridge, then at school. He gets pulled out of class one day to talk to Detective Liu (Daniel Liu). A security guard has been killed at some railway sidings. Alex is closely questioned but nothing seems out of place. His skater friend Jared (Jake Miller) has suggested going to a legendary skate park – Paranoid Park. One night he goes there to hang out. He comes home but seems to be acting strangely.

One evening he watches the news and hearing a story about a security guard being killed, is visibly shocked. The story is beginning to unfold and goes back in time. Detective Liu has arrived at the school to speak to a group skaters including Alex. He wants to build links with the ‘skating community’ as he believes a skater from the adjacent Paranoid Park may have killed the guard after a skate board is recovered from the river with DNA evidence. The group are shown a picture of a man’s body in two halves across a railway line. This jogs something in Alex’s mind.

We go back to the night in question and see the full situation. Alex is coerced by an older skater (Scott Patrick Green) into riding a freight train. The security guard sees them and starts hitting them with a club. Alex hits back with his skateboard and the man falls beneath a passing train. Alex gets rid of the evidence by throwing his skateboard into the river. He goes home, showers and blocks it from his mind.

We see some of the earlier events of the film and understand their context now. His girlfriend wants to lose her virginity and we see a scene where it’s doubtful that it actually takes place. Alex doesn’t care and they break up. He is closer to his friend Macey (Lauren McKinney), who suggests he writes an unsent letter to her about what’s bothering him and we are back to the start of the film.

As a non-linear film, Paranoid Park is very effective and clear. Gus Van Sant has created a brilliant perspective of teenage life in his home city – Portland. We see numerous slow-motion sequences including skaters airborne in a dreamy ambience. Tracking shots in front of Alex as he slowly and self-consciously walks through school corridors. Pretty much Van Sant’s hallmarks. The carefully chosen music alternates between every genre, electroacoustic piano, Billy Swan, Elliott Smith, classical, thrash metal… It gives cues to the mood which shifts between urban teenage day-to-day life and internal fear.

Gabe Nevins is perfectly cast. He has cool, young carefree, sexy looks and as a non-professional actor who just turned up as a 16 year old skate boarding extra, is utterly incredible. He manages to deliver the part completely naturalistically and narrates Alex’s thoughts to us. The rest of the cast likewise, seem to be playing themselves and were recruited using MySpace – so it’s obviously good for something. An intelligent and complete film with true artistry.
Reviewer: Simon Aronsson

 

This review has been viewed 2538 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Gus Van Sant  (1952 - )

Vaguely arty American director whose films rarely seem quite as satisfying as they should. Drugstore Cowboy remains his best effort, Even Cowgirls Get The Blues undoubtedly his worst. My Own Private Idaho, To Die For, Columbine shootings-based Elephant and Kurt Cobain-inspired Last Days have their fans, and Good Will Hunting was a big success, but the scene-for-scene Psycho remake must be his oddest venture. After a decade of experimentation, including desert trek oddity Gerry, he returned to the mainstream in 2008 with the award-winning biopic Milk then reverted to smaller projects once more, including biopic Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: