The focus here is on a creation of atmosphere. Van Sant, without affectation, makes us fall in love with some of the characters, simply from the purity of their interactions and their lives.
His is a figure deliberately set apart from others; rather than seeking the connection or solace yearned for by a figure like Walt or Mike or Gerry 2, Blake is reconciled to the irony that his palatial, sparsely furnished home is devoid of anything approaching familial comfort, warmth or security.
We all know the details, we have all felt the sentiment, but the film attempts to forget all that and show real characters in a real situation, without any sentimental pretensions. It comes and passes in the same manner as the rest of the journey. The effect was brilliant in that it intensely highlighted the two different worlds that these characters inhabited.
Did you ever know John Callahan personally? The shy, geeky one, earlier seen picking spitballs out of his hair and plotting in the cafeteria, is playing Beethoven, slyly invoking A Clockwork Orange.
There is no attempt to operate by any logical standards of time or character arc. When it comes - as it does in a brief scene that rivals James Ellroy or Brian De Palma for shock brutality - the effect is gasp-inducing.
He highlights their beauty, and exposes their talents and quirks.
He carries around an ominous shotgun in several scenes, and at one point, he mimics shooting two of his friends as they lie in bed. This treatment of death is similar to the films analyzed by Catherine Russell in her work Narrative Mortality: Death These films very effectively reveal worlds that simply are.
We see their psychosis, however, and realize very soon that they are capable Gus van sant essays total detachment and extreme violence in retaliation for a vague sense of being underappreciated and emotionally tortured.
The film takes place in a single morning, in the span of a few hours. No emotion is displayed, and the event seems natural and pure. He is in a trance. The geeky girl with the long pants in gym class arrives late for her job in the library, and as she speaks to the boys with their arsenal, they splatter her blood against the books.
This is a meditation on decay. It appears that Van Sant is creating a sprawling, ambitious work about the human condition, one stealthy chapter at a time". Elephant Elephant is a montage of different students at a public high school.
The film was much more widely seen, and the unique treatment of time and plot proved to be very similar to his previous work. He rides away in a car, still in a trance, looking back at the desert.
It happens just as casually as the taking of a photograph or the preparation of macaroni and cheese. He entered [the project] about three years ago, when I was first working on the newest draft of the script, which was after Robin Williams died.
The director envisioned the affect this would have on his drugged-out, detached lead character and threw the two worlds together. They simply are, and we watch them as voyeurs, knowing in each case that they are moving slowly towards death. Callahan became a quadriplegic after a drunk driving incident, but what else about Callahan did you want to show people?
What he manages to create is a total sense of normalcy in the high school. This mystical element meshes with the hypnotic, often spiritual mood of the film. This trust in the actors to create their own worlds adds a unique element to the trilogy.
No one, especially Blake, has any sense of purpose. These common elements all serve the common event in each film: The first shot is a weaving car, casually sideswiping a parked car and almost hitting a biker.
And yet, are we not all of us standing "in the gutter, [though] some of us are looking at the stars", as a famous Irish-born gadabout once said? The process of close collaboration with the actors is similar for each film as well.Gus van Sant’s three films, Gerry, Elephant and Last Days, are, in essence, a trilogy, linked by their common structures, compositions, and representations of death.
In this paper, I will analyze these similarities and discuss the treatment of each film’s central event. Related Essays. Elephant (). Gus Van Sant: Icons offers insight into the world of filmmaker Gus Van Sant, published on the occasion of a major exhibition at the Cinémathèque française in Paris.
This comprehensive monograph surveys the full range of Van Sant’s artistry from photography and painting to music, filtered.
See Gus Van Sant’s Major Muses in His New ‘Icons’ Book. essays, portraits, sketches, interviews, and first-person accounts, that offer insight. Veteran US director Gus Van Sant has made a new film about the life and times of gay politician Harvey Milk, assassinated in San Francisco inwith mixed results.
(Bradshaw) Van Sant's Elephant is a compelling response to this dreadful event and is the most disturbing film Gus Van Sant has made so far. It is not a drama; it is not a documentary.
It is just a free-floating meditation on a tragedy. Gus Van Sant, Director: Elephant. Gus Van Sant was born on July 24, in Louisville, Kentucky, USA as Gus Greene Van Sant Junior.
He is a director and producer, known for Elephant (), My Own Private Idaho () and Drugstore Cowboy ().Download