Elephant the movie Essay

1540 Words7 Pages
Gus Van Sant’s Elephant was at once critically praised and denounced by both film reviewers and filmgoers alike. The cinematography takes you on a waltz throughout a seemingly typical day at an unnamed high school, stopping through the journey to focus on the stereotypes of school. The jock, the quirky artist, the cliqued girls, the skateboarder, they are all represented and representative of his film. Van Sant created a film, seemingly without a staunch opinion on the horrors of the Columbine shootings. The movie seems distanced from the actors and their actions: an unaware participant from the tranquil introduction to the gruesome climax. His seeming lack of a purpose, lack of a reason for the creation of this film, is exactly the…show more content…
     Van Sant’s film aestheticizes the reality of high school, focusing on its beauty and character, and ignoring the underlying grime inherent on most campuses. The halls and yard of the school are kept in immaculate condition, staying unnaturally clean, almost sterile for a school. Despite this seeming glorification of the building, the hallways are kept as a constant secondary to the sharply focused characters the camera constantly follows. It takes the focus away from the bare walls and empty hallways and places it solely on the students. The film isn’t about the location that it occurred, but the people that it happened to. The focus is on the students of the film, both literally and figuratively. The camera seems to never stop moving, save for brief pauses that seem to rest the viewer. There is little extraneous distraction from the characters as they walk down the hall; the only time something distracts from the center of attention is when it is repeated again as the film goes through its several cycles that repeat scenes from different points of view.      The film intertwines the lives of its multiple points of view. They all seem to be unrelated, but they ultimately tie together in a cohesive storyline that unravels into its unavoidable conclusion. Each person follows his or her own timeline until it reaches the point
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