HOME PAGE
Movie Videos
Films by Year
Films by Director
Films by Actor
Films by Actress
Films by Alphabet
Film Characters
Film Franchises

TOP 100 MOVIES in 2003!


2013 MOVIES
2012 MOVIES
2011 MOVIES
2010 MOVIES
2009 MOVIES
2008 MOVIES
2007 MOVIES
2006 MOVIES
2005 MOVIES
2004 MOVIES
2003 MOVIES
2002 MOVIES
2001 MOVIES
2000 MOVIES
1999 MOVIES
1998 MOVIES
1997 MOVIES
1996 MOVIES
1995 MOVIES
1994 MOVIES
1993 MOVIES
1992 MOVIES
1991 MOVIES
1990 MOVIES
1989 MOVIES
1988 MOVIES
1987 MOVIES
1986 MOVIES
1985 MOVIES
1984 MOVIES
1983 MOVIES
1982 MOVIES
1981 MOVIES
1980 MOVIES
1979 MOVIES
1978 MOVIES
1977 MOVIES
1976 MOVIES
1975 MOVIES
1974 MOVIES
1973 MOVIES
1972 MOVIES
1971 MOVIES
1970 MOVIES
1969 MOVIES
1968 MOVIES
1967 MOVIES
1966 MOVIES
1965 MOVIES
1964 MOVIES
1963 MOVIES
1962 MOVIES
1961 MOVIES
1960 MOVIES
1959 MOVIES
1958 MOVIES
1957 MOVIES
1956 MOVIES
1955 MOVIES
1954 MOVIES
1953 MOVIES
1952 MOVIES
1951 MOVIES
1950 MOVIES
1949 MOVIES
1948 MOVIES
1947 MOVIES
1946 MOVIES
1945 MOVIES
1944 MOVIES
1943 MOVIES
1942 MOVIES
1941 MOVIES
1940 MOVIES
1939 MOVIES
1938 MOVIES
1937 MOVIES
1936 MOVIES
1935 MOVIES
1934 MOVIES
1933 MOVIES
1932 MOVIES
1931 MOVIES
1930 MOVIES
1929 MOVIES
1928 MOVIES
1927 MOVIES
1926 MOVIES
1925 MOVIES
1924 MOVIES
1923 MOVIES
1922 MOVIES
1921 MOVIES
1920 MOVIES
1919 MOVIES
1918 MOVIES
1917 MOVIES
1916 MOVIES
1915 MOVIES
1914 MOVIES
1913 MOVIES
1912 MOVIES
1911 MOVIES
1910 MOVIES

Subscribe To This Site
XML RSS
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines
 

ELEPHANT, 2003
Movie Reviews!

Search 1,000 of MOVIES
CLICK and WATCH MOVIES ONLINE!
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your SCREENPLAY
Voted #1 screenplay contest in the world!
2003 MOVIE BESTTOP 100 MOVIES from 2003


See the LIST
TOP 100TOP 100 LISTS WEBSITE
Best of photos, movies, sex and everything else!
2013 MOVIES2013 MOVIES
See all of 2013 films!
 MOVIES YEAR BY YEAR

See and watch films 1900 to present!
WATCH VIDEO MOVIE REVIEW:

ELEPHANT MOVIE POSTER
ELEPHANT, 2003
Movie Reviews

Directed by Gus Van Sant
Starring: Alex Frost, Eric Deulen, John Robinson
Review by Conor Duffy



SYNOPSIS:

An ordinary day at an American high school is shattered when two students begin shooting classmates and teachers.

Winner of the Palme D’Or at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival

CLICK HERE and read Classic Movie Reviews from every year and every genre!

What is WILDsound?

REVIEW:

Utter the word “Columbine” and one immediately draws images of April 20th, 1999, when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold arrived at Columbine High School armed with firearms and explosives and opened fire on fellow students and teachers. Their actions killed 12 and injured 24 before they turned their guns on themselves. It also sent a shockwave through American society, raising questions about gun control and a culture of violence among the young. Four years later celebrated writer/director Gus Van Sant used the massacre as the inspiration for Elephant, a film that portrays a shooting at a fictional high school through the eyes of several different students.

Van Sant was not the first person to use the events at Columbine as the basis for a film (that “honour” goes to Duck! The Carbine High Massacre, a black comedy released one year after the shooting and whose creators were arrested for carrying firearms onto a school campus.) However, his film is a thoughtful examination of a moment that will live in infamy. It doesn’t condemn or condone the actions of the killers, nor does it seek any answers for their seemingly inexplicable violent rampage, but instead draws the viewer back into the confusion and chaos of that day.

Van Sant shoots Elephant in a pseudo-documentary style, using new and non-actors and letting them improvise dialogue during scenes, a method he began using for his 2002 film Gerry and which he would continue to develop in later films Last Days and Paranoid Park. Focusing on events immediately before and during the shooting, the film replays the massacre from the perspective of several students, from a group of bitchy teenage girls to a young photographer. Van Sant uses long shots and minimal cuts, building familiarity with the characters as well as tension and dread - we often see things only when they do, and when the bullets begin to fly that can make each turn of a corner cause to hold your breath in fear.

Adding to the documentary feel is how many of the characters are named after the actors who play them, from Alex Frost and Eric Deulen’s adolescent assassins to John Robinson’s popular but awkward blonde slacker, trying to deal with an alcoholic father. For many of the cast Elephant was their screen debut, and while some performances are therefore stilted and a little strained, they by and large give a good account of themselves. Frost and Deulen are especially impressive as we watch them prepare for their assault before carrying it out with frightening efficiency and devilish glee. For them, all the world is a drag, with very little providing them much entertainment or enjoyment. There is one scene (controversial at the time) where the boys share a shower and kiss, but one gets the feeling this physical contact leaves them little in the way of satisfaction - their frustrations dampen any pleasure they might gain from anything other than violence. Throughout the duration of the film neither Alex nor Eric’s parents are ever seen; the teenagers are part of a lost generation, missing guidance or structure and left to devise their own methods of dealing with life’s hardships.

The shooting itself is perfectly pitched; with the exception of John, who meets the shooters outside and is warned not to enter the school, all of the characters we have previously become attached to are fair game. Death comes swiftly and terribly; viewers are given very little time to digest the loss of one life before another is snuffed out. Van Sant captures the all-consuming confusion created by such an event, the slow realisation that something awful is happening and that time is growing increasingly short. The scenes in the latter half of the film are made truly shocking by the documentary style and long tracking shots; the viewer is not allowed to escape to the relative safety of a new shot, a different character far away from the chaos. We are forced to sit and watch everything that unfolds in unflinching, depressing clarity. Nor are we given closure, as the film ends before the very last gunshot. Perhaps the director is saying that an event like a school shooting, an act of grievous violence in an institution that is supposed to be safe, leaves far too many unanswered questions for there to ever be real understanding of the event.

Elephant was awarded the Palme D’Or and Gus Van Sant the prize for Best Director at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. Though the subject was controversial, the film was well-received by critics and it can be argued that it is the best of Van Sant’s “Death Trilogy.” It deals with an uncomfortable subject with a level of sympathy that is seldom found in modern cinema, never forcing an agenda on the viewer but instead offering itself for interpretation. Quiet, poised and bearing all the hallmarks of a confident, mature director, it is a film of startling simplicity and beauty, a work of art born from terrible tragedy.

SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your SCREENPLAY
Voted #1 screenplay contest in the world!
NEW MOVIE REVIEWSNEW MOVIE REVIEWS
Read Today's POSTED REVIEWS
MOVIE KILLSEE 1000s of PICTURES
Best of photos, images and pics
MOVIE YEARMOVIES YEAR BY YEAR
Pages from 1900 to present


Elephant


footer for Elephant page