Elephant (2003) - dir. Gus Van Sant
Van Sant's Elephant is one of those films that absolutely could not have been any better. For what he was trying to do - it’s flawless, start to finish. There’s an undeniable verisimilitude to his poetic interplay of the black and white and inevitable gray area that comes being a part of high school. From the word go, Elephant transports the viewer to their own experience in the education system and established the mundane as absolutely paramount to each individual’s livelihood.
But there is one glaring question that must be asked… what - exactly - is Van Sant trying to say? Sure, the beauty of the film is that he paints the complete picture, never singling out any one thing as the fault for such a horrific act of malevolence… but what’s the point of it all? The answer escapes me, but, during the film’s brief 85 minute running time, there’s no need to delve further into the world that is so beautifully painted by cinematographer Harris Savides. While I’m still not certain what exactly Elephant is supposed to be saying, I can say, without a doubt, that the film is beautiful in its approach and execution.