Milestones: Paranoid Park

Milestones: Paranoid Park
With an introduction by Nina de Vroome

On 8 April, Sabzian and De Cinema will screen Gus Van Sant’s 2007 film Paranoid Park in Antwerp. This film follows Alex, a young skater who is involved in a traumatic experience that overwhelms him with guilt. The elliptical structure and groundbreaking cinematographic form of Paranoid Park offer us impressions of adolescence, loneliness and the confrontation with death.

Gus Van Sant was born in 1952 and studied painting and cinema at the Rhode Island School of Design. He started his career making advertising films to finance his experimental films, such as Mala Noche (1985). During Van Sant’s long and productive career, he wrote a novel (Pink, 1997), made music videos and a number of Hollywood productions. Years later, already in his fifties, he released four groundbreaking films in a short time: Gerry (2002), Elephant (2003), Last Days (2005) and Paranoid Park (2007). These films mark an experimental period in which an unconventional approach to the soundtrack and compositional refinement are particularly striking. In Gerry, two friends, Matt Damon and Casey Affleck, get lost on a walk through the desert. Their hypnotic rhythm of walking creates a vast temporal space. In Elephant, too, the characters’ trajectories plot the cinematic storylines. The film is based on the 1999 Columbine High School tragedy, in which two students with guns caused numerous casualties. In Last Days, the moments before death are given special attention. The film evokes the last days of the life of rock star Kurt Cobain, revealing a fabric of time fragments without a chronological structure. In Paranoid Park, various time fragments are cast in a non-linear structure that is associative rather than thought out. In recent years, Van Sant has been focusing more and more on painting, and in this medium he also works with very diverse techniques and styles.

Paranoid Park (Gus Van Sant, 2007)

Milestones is a series of stand-alone screenings, hosted by Sabzian, of film-history milestones, reference works or landmarks, films that focus on aesthetic or political issues and stimulate debate and reflection. In earlier instalments, Sabzian presented Andy Warhol’s Sleep (1964), Jean-Luc Godard’s monumental video work Histoire(s) du cinéma (1988-1998), Robert Kramer’s Milestones (1974), Jean-Daniel Pollet’s Méditerranée (1963) and L’ordre (1973), Shadi Abdel Salam’s Al-mummia (1969), Georges Rouquier’s Farrebique ou les quatres saisons (1946), Michel Khleifi’s Fertile Memory (1980), Kathleen Collins’s Losing Ground (1983) and Harun Farocki’s Bilder der Welt (1989). For each screening, Sabzian publishes texts that contextualize the film.

08 Apr 2022 - 08 Apr 2022
De Cinema, Antwerp
PART OF milestones

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