Elephant (Slon)

Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "New Warsaw Express"

Gus Van Sant (My Own Private Idaho, Good Will Hunting) comes back to his indie roots with a look at a Columbine-style high-school massacre that has raised ire in the US and had awards heaped on it everywhere else. The film follows the school's students as they go about their daily lives, playing it off the tragedy that ultimately faces them. The camera work is the key to setting the scene here - Van Sant's director of photography, Harris Savides, keeps an even keel throughout. There is none of the usual tension-building - tight close-ups, zooms, accelerated action that filmmakers usually employ to get the audience's adrenaline going. There are no tight close-ups of screaming faces. Everything is filmed in a deadly matter-of-fact tone. This is part of what has upset many Americans, used to Hollywood directors taking them by the hand and saying, "Now, this here is good, and this here, well, that's obviously evil." See any Spielberg movie for examples.
Though because of its subject, Elephant has been compared and contrasted with Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine, it is a completely different movie, with a completely different agenda. Where Moore made an opinionated documentary, Van Sant tries to show the events with enough space to let the viewer decide who, if anyone, is to blame. He does show terrible violence, but he does not glorify it. He has created a work of art that goes for the heart of the problem and shows the human side of the tragedy.

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