elephant eye

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“It’s the parts I get. A human being is a complex organism, there’s no reason a movie character who is a human being should be different. I am very blessed. Because those are the parts that are interesting to work on. I spend a good portion of my life with these characters. If they were flat and one-dimensional, I would have a very boring life.”

— Christoph Waltz

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My list of top movies about school shootings:

1. Hello Herman 

Herman goes to his high school and begins a shooting rampage, killing 39 students, two teachers and a police officer. Just before he surrenders, Herman sends video of his rampage to his talk-show idol, asking to be on the program.

2. April Showers

A survivor of a high-school shooting tries to come to terms with the horrors he witnessed, along with the loss of his best friend.

3. Elephant

A variety of adolescents at a suburban high school drift through a seemingly uneventful day, until two students arrive with violent intentions. Alex and Eric  have developed elaborate plans to enter their school and gun down as many of their peers as possible.

4. Bang Bang You’re Dead

At Rivervale High School, Trevor Adams is a bullied outcast trying to fit back in after a false bomb threat he made a few months ago. Trevor is chosen to star in a play called Bang Bang You’re Dead as the main character, Josh. After parents and the community hear of the play and its lead actor, they call for it to be cancelled.

5. White Rabbit

A bullied high school student starts having visions of a rabbit that he killed when he was a kid, soon putting him in a state where his imagination threatens to cause him to carry out violent acts.

6. Zero Day

Andre and Cal are a pair of military-loving misfits from small-town America. They harbor a hatred of their high school so caustic that they come up with a plan of attack called “Zero Day.” As the days count down, they record their preparations in video diaries, hoping to achieve fame after their demise. When Zero Day arrives, Andre and Cal drive to school with a trunk of munitions and take aim. The film is based on the Columbine High School massacre.

7. The Life Before Her Eyes

As the 15th anniversary of a fatal high school shooting approaches, former pupil Diana is haunted by memories of the tragedy. After losing her best friend Maureen in the attack, Diana has been profoundly affected by the incident - her seemingly perfect life shaped by the events of that day. 

8. Beautiful Boy

Stuck in an unhappy but comfortable marriage, businessman Bill and his wife, Kate , are shocked when they learn that their son, Sammy has gone on a deadly shooting spree on his college campus before committing suicide. Struggling to avoid the media, the couple flees to the house of Kate’s brother, Eric. While the two try to remember what they might have done to drive Sammy to his desperate act, their mutual resentment builds.

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My Top Ten School Revenge/School Shooting Movies

Honorable Mentions: State’s Evidence (2006)  and White Rabbit (2013)

10. The Life Before Her Eyes (2007)

“A woman’s survivor’s guilt from a Columbine-like event twenty years ago causes her present-day idyllic life to fall apart.“

9. Home Room (2002)

“A high school shooting has repercussions on the town and students.“

8. Duck! The Carbine High Massacre (1999)

“Derwin and Derick, Neo-Nazis, plan to commit a school shooting and kill themselves after a sick joke by the school jocks.“

7. The Dirties (2013)

“Two best friends are filming a comedy about getting revenge on the bullies at their high school. One of them isn’t joking.“

6. Klass (2007)

“An average guy of an Estonian high-school decides to defend his bullied classmate. This starts war between him and the informal leader of the class. As teenagers’ honour is a touchy thing, everything ends in bloodshed.“

5. We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)

“Kevin’s mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly vicious things he says and does as he grows up. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act will be beyond anything anyone imagined.“

4. Elephant (2003)

“Several ordinary high school students go through their daily routine as two others prepare for something more malevolent.“

3. Zero Day (2003)

“Two troubled adolescents chronicle the events that ultimately lead up to a terrifying assault on their school.“

2. April Showers (2009)

“A look inside a tragedy through the eyes of a survivor. Based on actual events, April Showers is about picking up the pieces in the direct aftermath of school violence.“

1. Bang Bang You’re Dead (2002)

“Trevor is a troubled high school student, thanks to the effects of bullying. This is the story of his fight to break free.“

Yeah, truly yours, J. Cole
My mama coulda been a movie star
You know like Judy Garland
I went to St. Johns, I coulda went to Juliard
Cause my beautiful mind mixed with my musical bond
Deep as a funeral line, dawg, I get it from my mama
I used to be embarrassed getting picked up in that Honda
Thought my niggas might play me if they found out that my mama was a white lady
So like gravy, had to cover that
Plus my older brother black but he look white
In an all black school, picture what that look like
No wonder he was under-achieving, not believing in himself
Coming home, just be keeping to himself
Looking back through the silence, he was screaming out for help
Maybe this verse can find the words to get the demons out himself
So yeah, I’m exercising
Right now my record climbing, I’m sort of a stair master
Niggas got there faster, I took the long route, I never been a scared rapper
Boy this ain’t Fear Factor, they tell me can you hear the wrath spilling out these paragraphs
Made the world clear a path
Bet I’ll be on top from now till the hereafter
I’m special, mama told me I was special
Mama told me I was special
You know I love her for that
That’s right, I’m special
—  J. Cole