A moody trailer for Gus Van Sant‘s Paranoid Park is now online. With its overcast display of non-actors, sexualized youth, skateboard imagery, and a voyeuristic tone, it bares a similarity to the territory that director Larry Clark, of Kids and Wassup Rockers fame, has mined for years on the indie circuit. The storyline of a “throw away kid” accidentally murdering a security guard even reminds me of Clark’s awesome Another Day in Paradise. Alas, Van Sant adapted his film from a novel by Blake Nelson that is set in the director’s hometown of Portland, Oregon. The titular, real life skate park can be found there as well. Portland is currently experiencing a boom in young trend setters, so who better than Van Sant to make it officially, yet tolerantly, chic?
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Reviews for Paranoid Park have been pretty positive thus far, and you may not know that the film won the 60th Anniversary prize at last year’s Cannes film festival. It was also nominated for that festival’s Golden Palm. I’m remain forever dazzled by Van Sant’s Drugstore Cowboy and To Die For, but his recent films like Elephant and Last Days out mumble most films in the mumblecore genre and proved too fey for my tastes.
Next up for Van Sant is his Harvey Milk biopic Milk, with a cast that packs a wallop, including Sean Penn, Emile Hirsche, Josh Brolin and James Franco. Sounds like Van Sant might surface from the underground to kiss an Oscar before submerging once again. Paranoid Park is scheduled for a limited release in various metropolises this year, so if you’re an international reader who’s seen it, feel free to chime in.
Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park hits theaters on March 7th 2008.