After earning favorable-to-ecstatic notices at major film festivals like Cannes, Toronto and New York, the Yahoo! debut of this trailer indicates that Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park is now ready for its obligatory NY/LA release from IFC Films. Okay, I’m being unduly sarcastic; it’ll probably play in Chicago, too.
And Portland as well, since that’s the home of the titular skate park where the film’s young protagonist, Alex (Gabe Nevins), somehow gets involved with the murder of a security guard. For a teenage kid dealing with all manner of adolescent turmoil (which seems to include scoring his first piece of ass), a murder rap is the last thing he needs. And while Alex initially eludes suspicion, the burden of the crime weighs heavy on his conscience. Killing motherfuckers will do that.
Based on a young adult novel by Blake Nelson, Paranoid Park appears to give Van Sant a slightly more structured narrative than those of Gerry, Elephant and Last Days, though I’m sure IFC is doing its damndest to make the film saleable to a slightly wider audience than enjoyed those previous, highly esoteric works. Even if you weren’t a huge fan of those movies (personally: loved Gerry and Last Days, loathed Elephant), the fact that Christopher Doyle shot this makes it compulsory viewing (not that he’s a significant step up from the brilliant Harris Savides, but it’s always a treat to have the ex-pat Doyle working in the U.S.). And if you live in one of the aforementioned cities, you just might get to see his luminous cinematography on the big screen as intended!
IFC Films rolls out Paranoid Park on March 7th.