Gus Van Sant's "Elephant"

Discussion in 'Movies, TV and Music' started by skipshady, Sep 29, 2003.

  1. skipshady

    skipshady New Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Orchard St, NYC

    I'm not sure why, since the trailer doesn't tell a whole lot, but I'm extremely intrigued by this. Apparently, it's all shot on steadicam with improvised dialogs and actors with little/no acting experience. Has anyone seen or heard more about this film?
  2. Ghost

    Ghost Member+

    Sep 5, 2001
    Yeah, I saw it when it first came out and they called it George Washington and it was directed by David Gordon Green.

    OK That's not quite true, but this trend toward non-professional actors is starting to get old. It works with kids for some reason, as in George Washington, but I watched Green's second feature, All the Real Girls, and it mixes professional actors and non-actors. Once Patricia Clarkson and Zooey Deschanel act their counterparts off the screen, it doesn't seem like such a great idea. (That being said, All the Real Girls is very good and definitely worth the view..)

    As for Van Sant, what was his last film? I never know what to think about him. It seems like Drugstore Cowboy and My Own Private Idaho were centuries ago. His last good film was --- what? -- To Die For, I guess? Somewhere shortly thereafter he was kidnapped by aliens and forced to make instructional videos for the salt mines on the slave colonies of Planet Zor. Meanwhile, the synthetic double that the aliens left in his place went on to make Good Will Hunting, in which sociopathy is relieved with the love of a tall English girl and a hug from Robin WIlliams, a soulless Psycho remake, and several other films so noteworthy that I can't quite put my finger on. Did he direct The Cider House Rules or did Lasse Hallstrom? Does anyone remember? Would it for any reason be worth remembering?

    I hope Elephant is good and it's a return to form. The buzz that I've read is good. It remains to be seen.
  3. microbrew

    microbrew New Member

    Jun 29, 2002
    I checked IMDB, and his last two movies were Gerry (2002) and Finding Forrester (2000).

    The disturbing part was that I had to look it up, especially since I've watched Finding Forrester (probably on an airplane somewhere).

    As for the non-professional actors trend: I hope he's doing it for casting purposes. My experience with non-professional purposes has been more with movies that couldn't have been made in any other way, usually because of a totalitarian government or a lack of resources..
  4. skipshady

    skipshady New Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Orchard St, NYC
    aka Black Will Hunting

    I looked around reading the web reading up on this movie a little more. It seems he used the non-pro/improv because he wanted the dialogs to be natural, to reinforce the "ordinary day, but it's not", as a contrast to the orchestrated school violence.

    Whatever it is, pretty much every review I read has been good.
  5. TheSlipperyOne

    TheSlipperyOne Member+

    Feb 29, 2000
    Arsenal FC
    Nothing for me to really add here as I've never really liked Van Sant's directing and while Elephant looks interesting I won't be rushing out to see it. But I'll throw these out for ya'll.

    Hallstrom directed The Cider House Rules and I still can't figure out why he was nominated for Best Director for it.

    It did win the Palm d'Orr at Cannes.

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