Gaspar Noé was inspired by the famous “star gate” sequence in Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey. For creating the special trippy atmosphere, the Norwegian VJ artist Glennwiz (Glenn Jacobsen) was contacted for use of one of his videos.
We can identify with Alex on the unconscious level … you find much the same psychological phenomena at work in Shakespeare’s Richard III. You should feel nothing but dislike towards Richard, and yet when the role is well played, with a bit of humor and charm, you find yourself gradually making a similar kind of identification with him. Not because you sympathize with Richard’s ambition or his actions, or that you like him or think people should behave like him, but as you watch the play, because he gradually works himself into your unconscious, and recognition occurs in the recesses of the mind.
10-year-old Laure (Zoé Heran) and her sister moves to a new neighborhood. Because of haircut and clothes her friends think that she is a boy and she also introduces herself as Mikael.
Sciamma: I built the film around a very strong and simple argument, the story of a lie, an undercover character, so that it would produce a powerful story with suspense and empathy. It allowed me to take the time to relate a vivid chronicle about childhood, with documentary aspects, and unpredictable accidents.” Sciamma also asserts that the child’s age should not be an issue when asking deep and mature questions about the nature of gender and identity.
A cave is inhabited by a group of apelike creatures. One morning, they awake to find standing outside the cave a massive black monolith. The viewer knows that it has been placed there by aliens to initiate the apelike creatures’ development into humans. Almost immediately, we see the effects take hold as one ape curiously plays with a skeleton, detaches a bone, and suddenly realizes that this bone can serve as a tool or a weapon, allowing him to bludgeon a rival ape to death. The implication here is that knowledge, technology, evolution, and advanced forms of violence are all intertwined.
In dystopia, the story is often unresolved even if the hero manages to escape or destroy the dystopia. That is, the narrative may deal with individuals in a dystopian society who are unsatisfied, and may rebel, but ultimately fail to change anything. (wiki)
Van Sant wrote the original screenplay inspired by Harris and Klebold’s horror show and the youth culture of the times. Elephant features a young cast and, to a great extent, male beauty in the innocent and the guilty.
Many have observed that Kubrick was a director of time and space. Van Sant explores the space of the school rooms and the halls, making this exploration a significant element of Elephant’s content. Van Sant talked to Steve Head of the IGN Web site about Stanley Kubrick’s influence in his own work.
“Kubrick’s a big influence. In something like A Clockwork Orange (1971) he is trying to use the practical light… . In Elephant we basically used no lights; we never really adjusted. If we shot you, you would be lit by this window and we wouldn’t put anything on them [pointing to the lights above and behind]. We would use these lights too; we would maybe leave them on or off but we didn’t try and push the lights”
The philosopher on why Melancholia is actually an optimistic movie.
Slavoj Zizek: Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, I think, it’s a basically, I’m not kidding, optimistic film, even as we know at the end the planet Melancholia hits the earth, we all die. But I find something beautifully poetical in the attitude of the main person, Justine, played by Kirsten Dunst, no, this inner peace, how she accepts this.
I claim that we should not read this as kind of a pessimism. “Oh, we all die. Who cares?” No, if you really want to do something good for society, if you want to avoid all totalitarian threats and so on, you basically should go … we should all go to this, let me call it–although I’m a total materialist–fundamentally spiritual experience of accepting that at some day everything will finish, that at any point the end may be near. I think that, quite on the contrary of what may appear, this can be a deep experience which pushes you to strengthen ethical activity.
The result of this experience is not, “Oh, the end may be near, so let’s kill, let’s just enjoy,” and so on. No, it’s the opposite. Again, paradoxically, I claim it’s not a superficially but profoundly optimistic film.
Interviewed by Megan EricksonDirected / Produced by Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd