Cinematic Greats: Elephant

Elephant - poster

I wrote in my Spalding Gray post:

The movies Leaving Las VegasElephant, and from just a week ago, Under the Skin, clawed away at me long after I left the theater.  You might say those are my demon films — so much scarier than ghost & goblin movies, because this type of haunting is personal, and real.

When a movie is keeping you up at night a month later, it got to you.  Roger Ebert gave his highest rating while astutely addressing the audience-splitting nature of the film:

ElephantGus Van Sant‘s “Elephant” is a record of a day at a high school like Columbine, on the day of a massacre much like the one that left 13 dead. It offers no explanation for the tragedy, no insights into the psyches of the killers, no theories about teenagers or society or guns or psychopathic behavior. It simply looks at the day as it unfolds, and that is a brave and radical act; it refuses to supply reasons and assign cures, so that we can close the case and move on.

Elephant to me is not an unqualified masterpiece, but it’s darn close.  Highly recommended; 9/10.

Availability: Not currently available via VOD, but you can buy the DVD at Amazon for under $5.  That you can buy the DVD for so little, yet it’s not available through streaming media goes to show the balkanized, chaotic state of media access.  It’s almost worse than airfare pricing.

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