Paranoid Park (Gus Van Sant – 2008) B

A Portland boy goes skateboarding in Paranoid Park and gets involved in the death of a security guard. The film is told in flashbacks, through the boy’s writing of what seems like a diary/confession, and we get a ton of tracking shots of kids skateboarding. If you’ve seen Van Sant’s films like Elephant and Last Days, this one has a similar style although not nearly as indulgent (and I mean that as a complement to all those movies). The actors seem like real kids who have have kid issues except for our protagonist of course who has a huge weight on his shoulders because of that night. The film works on most levels but I could’ve used a bit less skateboarding scenes.

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