Directed by Gus Van Sant (R)
A teenager is troubled by the thought that he may have caused a man’s death.
Paranoid Park is a “modestly scaled triumph” for director Gus Van Sant, said Manohla Dargis in The New York Times. In this “haunting, voluptuously beautiful portrait” of disaffected youth, a teenager named Alex inadvertently causes the death of a security guard in the railroad yards near a skating park. With no one to confide in, Alex becomes a prisoner of his own mind, burdened by moral confusion. Adapted from Blake Nelson’s novel and reminiscent of Dostoyevsky, Paranoid Park plays like a “still-evolving film unwinding in the boy’s head.” Van Sant offers more than a psychological analysis; he examines the “byways, dead ends, pitfalls, and turning points in the geography of conscience.” The film is “almost purely an aesthetic experience,” said Andrew O’Hehir in Salon.com. Though he keeps the action grounded in stark realism, Van Sant has created an “aural and visual construction whose landscapes are interior, meditative, and psychological.” Van Sant has made a career chronicling “teenage anomie,” said Joe Morgenstern in The Wall Street Journal. With Paranoid Park, he offers fresh insight into a “familiar state of being.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 10 things you need to know today: August 1, 2014
- Why Mitt Romney is perfectly poised for a comeback in 2016
- How to make classic pulled pork
- 8 secrets to steal from power networkers
- How Ronald Reagan turned America into a nation of children
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why is the West so afraid of Islam?
- The Nazi smart bomb that inspired China's most dangerous weapon
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
Subscribe to the Week