“Paranoid Park,” the latest feature from auteur Gus Van Sant, could teach bohemian wannabes a thing or two about “experimental” filmmaking. Shot on both super 8 and 35mm by one of cinema’s greatest living DPs Christopher Doyle, and using an ingenious mix of soundscapes (mostly by Ethan Rose) and music ranging from Nino Rota to Cool Nutz, the film follows a simple, if morally weighted, storyline about a teenage skateboarder named Alex and his possible link to the murder of a security guard near a notorious skate park known as Paranoid Park. Because the film, based on a novel by Portlander Blake Nelson, is so straightforward, anchored in its plot, Van Sant is able to go as “avant-garde” as he pleases, playing not just visually and aurally, but with structure and time, without losing focus. What most likely would have been a cluttered mish-mash in the hands of an overly cerebral director becomes a poetic revelation with visceral Van Sant at its helm.
To read the rest visit my Paranoid Park review at Psychopedia.