Reviews

Paranoid Park

3

What do 57-year-old indie auteurs know about skateboarding? Not much, judging by Paranoid Park, a teen-pic that’s more interested in narrative disorder than Tony Hawks-esque flipkicks. Honing the wafting, dream-like style he experimented with in Elephant and Last Days, Gus Van Sant’s loose trilogy-capper seems on the surface to be a jumbled whodunnit, but it’s really about the torturous emotional disconnect of adolescence. Stumbling through the chopped-up narrative is Alex (Gabe Nevins), a permanently frazzled-looking 16-year-old whose life’s in a tailspin after the messy death of a security guard at Portland’s concrete skate venue Paranoid Park. It unfolds just like you’d imagine a haunting drug trip would, complete with ethereal voiceover, disjointed soundtrack and trance-like Super 8 interludes.

 

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