• Best of luck to the class of 2019 for their HSC exams. You got this!
    Let us know your thoughts on the HSC exams here
  • Like us on facebook here

Elephant[2003] (1 Viewer)

Serius

Beyond Godlike
Joined
Nov 10, 2004
Messages
3,127
Location
Wollongong
Gender
Male
HSC
2005
Ever since this movie came out i have wanted to see it. One of my interests used to be researching school shootings [ no i am not some lunatic that is going to kill everyone, i am a psych student] About 6 months ago i finally got to watch it and it was pretty intense.

plot
The movie starts as a car has a hard time driving straight down the road in a residential area. We think some kid has stolen this car. Nah. It's the dad driving his son to school, and he's drunk. The teenage son must take over. So, adults give up all responsibility towards their children and mayhem can take place. The film shows one day in the life of several teenage students as they go in and out of classes. They live their student lives and we follow their steps through the corridors and doors, taking them as guides one by one, like avatars in a giant video game.

"Elephant" is a film about a normal day in high school that ends in a Columbine-esque massacre. We become observers of the events that happen throughout the day, as the film is filled with long tracking shots of students going out of and into classes, the cafeteria, the gym, or the library. The characters in the film are mostly played by non-actors, and most of the film is improvised.
If anyone has seen Quintin Tarantino's "Resevoir Dogs" the way the camera switches between characters is similiar to that. Slowly the school day is built up as we see the same time period [roughly lunch time until the shooting starts] from several different characters, most of whom are shot dead later on. At the same time, valuable insight is provided into the minds of the two soon to be killers. They are shown playing games, talking to each others and planning it out Alex tells Eric " above all, have fun man". In one scene they receive the gun through the mail and try it out. Before they go on their killing spree there is a contrversial shower scene. Eric joins Alex in the shower where he says " i cant beleive we are gonna die today, i havent ever even kissed someone" then they kiss each other.
Gus Van Sant has a highly original style of directing, it is completely non invasive. Most of the time, everyone besides the 7 or so main characters are told to act normal and "pretend to eat" or "walk" " look busy in the library". No music accompanied the scenes and it was shot in a documentary style[except without a narator] His works have been described as poetic, and i myself agree with this.

We presume there is some sort of suicide pact between the killers, emphasised a couple of times when they talk about how they are going to die. Surprisingly Alex shoots Eric in the cafeteria. The movie ends with him deciding who to kill, one of the jocks or his girlfriend.


This movie moved me emotionally. There are many scenes of violence, but within that random acts of courage. I beleive Gus was trying to show the needless and unfathomable nature of school shootings, and he did a good job.

I recomend people to watch this for the emotional value, it is not a typical movie at all and you wont feel any sort of resolution from it, but it will open you emotionally to a sensitive topic, that and if you are into movie making the directing is fantastic.
 

sunjet

Hip-Hop Saved My Life
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Messages
3,066
Location
woollahra
Gender
Male
HSC
2005
I've seen it, thought it was terrible.

I recommend Zero Day
 

Serius

Beyond Godlike
Joined
Nov 10, 2004
Messages
3,127
Location
Wollongong
Gender
Male
HSC
2005
I am going to watch zero day aswell, seen as my focus is on the murderers and why they do it not the victims. I heard that zero day builds everything based on the killers, shows their plans, frame of mind and why they are doing what they do. I dont think elephant is terrible, but it is very much an art house style movie and fair enough if you didnt like it. For enterainment value you should try snakes on a plane.
 

sunjet

Hip-Hop Saved My Life
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Messages
3,066
Location
woollahra
Gender
Male
HSC
2005
No, I usually enjoy movies that leave an impact on me and generally have a high rating on imdb, just didn't like this movie :\
 

icecreamdisco

Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2005
Messages
989
Location
manly
Gender
Male
HSC
2003
someone kill unique princess, plz?!

elephant is a brilliant film; demonstrates just how a high school shooting film should be made. one of the few films to leave me in a daze afterwards.

zero day is good too though. i will never see 2:37.
 

Serius

Beyond Godlike
Joined
Nov 10, 2004
Messages
3,127
Location
Wollongong
Gender
Male
HSC
2005
dont spam this thread please. The reason why its called elephant [which u asked wh ythen edited it out] is for a number of reasons
Title
The title is a tribute to the 1989 Alan Clarke film for BBC, also called Elephant, which reflected on sectarian violence in Northern Ireland. Van Sant similarly portrays school violence as something unfathomable, not unlike many other disturbing things in the lives of teenagers, which invite convenient explanations but ultimately frustrate analysis.

Van Sant has explained the "elephant" idea in several ways, besides the direct reference to Clarke's earlier work. It is an allusion to the proverbial "elephant in the room," a large problem that no one talks about but everyone must find their way around as they go about their daily lives. It also invokes the Indian parable about the blind wise men who, unable to grasp the whole, interpret the elephant only in terms of the part they can comprehend: "An elephant is a tree," said the blind man who grasped the leg; "An elephant is a snake," said the one who touched the trunk; etc. Finally, during the press conference at Cannes, Van Sant mentioned that the creative staff had also experimented with allusions to certain policies and attitudes represented by the Republican Party, whose party symbol is an elephant.
when i saw the title i assumed the elephant in the room.
 

jooobl

crazy cat lady
Joined
Nov 1, 2005
Messages
339
Location
Northern Beaches, Sydney
Gender
Female
HSC
2005
sunjet said:
I've seen it, thought it was terrible.

I recommend Zero Day


I found in Elephant I was falling asleep for the first 3/4's, and when it ended I was like- huh, don't tell me it just finished?

In my opinion, Zero Day is the superior film, it keeps you more interested
 

sunjet

Hip-Hop Saved My Life
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Messages
3,066
Location
woollahra
Gender
Male
HSC
2005
yeah same, i guess i wanted more from it, i watched it with my sister and we both though it was pretty weak.
 

nwatts

Active Member
Joined
May 12, 2005
Messages
1,939
Location
Greater Bulli
Gender
Female
HSC
2013
i found zero day to be fairly weak. heart-on-its-sleeve type of yawnfest.

elephant was pretty damn amazing. it's one of those films i recommend to people who complain that american cinema has nothing fresh to offer.
 

ur_inner_child

.%$^!@&^#(*!?.%$^?!.
Joined
Mar 9, 2004
Messages
6,084
Gender
Female
HSC
2004
I cried.

I think the mundane feeling just following these kids just made it so much more emotional... the fact that it was just any other normal day made the end so much more of a shock, it was really powerful...

Elephant > 2:37
 

Keen

MD
Joined
Jul 20, 2004
Messages
283
Gender
Male
HSC
2003
It's pretty good, bit dull. It did win the Canne's Palm D'or a while back.
The really crap thing is the Aussie film '2:37' which came out a month or two back that rips this film straight off.

Keen
 

mr coolerer

New Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Messages
29
Gender
Male
HSC
2006
I really like films with a strong message and a different style. The characters were believable. 'Tis a good film.

Comparing it to Reservoir Dogs is a reasonable comparison, however the actual directing of the two films is quite different, Elephant has fewer cuts and a more life like viewpoint (you actually follow the characters around). I think the ideas explored in elephant are quite real and could possibly be real incidents with the names changed, ignoring of course the shooting at the end.

I think a point you all have missed is the fact that guns, in america, are so easy to procure.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top