Monday, October 19, 2020

1123. Elephant

Directed by Gus Van Sant

Since I have exhausted all the horror movies on the List, we must content ourselves with uber disturbing films for the remainder of Spooktober. Elephant, which is about a school shooting, certainly falls into that category. Should make for a really fun month.

So like I said, this film chronicles the events surrounding a school shooting in Portland, Oregon, that is heavily based on the Columbine shooting. It has the disconcerting feel of being a documentary. 

Americans have to live with the fear of school shootings everyday, or at least we did until COVID-19 (hurray for progress!).  It's not a subject you want to live in for a movie's runtime. I also think there is something to what Sue Klebold, Dylan Klebold's mother, says. These kind of movies perpetuate the myth of Columbine. I was deeply uncomfortable with some of the specific details they chose to include that were clearly in reference to Columbine. It almost felt like an homage.

I get that the point of the movie was to make you feel unsettled, and possibly complicit in whatever violence you witnessed.  They effectively built up to a brutal climax very slowly. I mean really slowly. That piano scene went on forever. But I could have done without watching this one.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

Much of the movie was improvised.

Based on a short story by Harmony Korine and a friend of Gus Van Sant. I'm surprised the List hasn't forced Korine on us more. My film professors loved him. 

1 comment:

  1. Another one that I liked .. or perhaps coped with .. better than you did, but not one to rave about or try and see again..
    I'm afraid I don't remember the piano scene you refer too.. Perhaps I popped out to make a pot of tea..

    Have you seen (or read) 'We need to talk about Kevin'?