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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film Handlers' Movie Reviews   » Elephant

   
Author Topic: Elephant
Chris Hipp
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1462
From: Mesquite, Tx (east of Dallas)
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted 09-27-2003 12:40 PM      Profile for Chris Hipp   Email Chris Hipp   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If anyone has seen this please let me know what you thought. No spoilers please.
Thanks

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Dan Lyons
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 698
From: Seal Beach, CA
Registered: Sep 2002


 - posted 11-05-2003 11:42 PM      Profile for Dan Lyons   Email Dan Lyons   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just saw this tonight. Not a bad film, but the ending leaves something to be desired, as well as a slight bit of confusion. That's as much as I can say without spoiling the end; however most of the film was based on Columbine, so you get the basic plot.

See my review of the theatre in the "you suck" thread.

Danny

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Ian Price
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1714
From: Denver, CO
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 11-06-2003 08:10 PM      Profile for Ian Price   Email Ian Price   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I saw it at the Telluride Film Festival. I am still working out what I thought of it.

It was shot with 35mm in 1.37:1. Gus Van Zant says it can be shown in 1.85:1 but I think it will look strange. But what the hell, he made it. It was shot fo HBO.

Scott Hick's (American Cinema Supply) daughter is in the film and is the first girl to be shot. For a couple of weeks, she was earning more money that Scott.

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Joe Beres
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 606
From: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 11-21-2003 08:39 AM      Profile for Joe Beres   Email Joe Beres   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I thought it was an interesting movie. The "non-actors" seemed very natural for the most part. Like Ian, I am still in the process of forming a complete opinion on the film. It is very intense at times and a bit disturbing. I really liked that it didn't try to overdramatize the events leading up to the climax of the story, the way a typical Hollywood or made for TV movie would.

It is increasingly rare to see a film presented in the 1.37 aspect ratio, but it was nice seeing the full frame used, rather than the 1.37 within 1.85 that we have seen in recent years.

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Aldo Baez
Master Film Handler

Posts: 266
From: USA
Registered: Mar 2001


 - posted 11-23-2003 12:56 AM      Profile for Aldo Baez     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I saw this a few weeks ago. My first initial impression of the film was that it was horrible. I had not read anything about the film beforehand (the non actors and stuff.)

Now that I have had time to think, the film is like a slow ooze. It slowly just creeps into you the more you think about it. There are many things to like about it and some to dislike (the slow pacing would probably turn off a majority of people.) But if you are interested in it you should check it out.

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Chris Hipp
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1462
From: Mesquite, Tx (east of Dallas)
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted 12-02-2003 10:09 PM      Profile for Chris Hipp   Email Chris Hipp   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, I finally saw it today at the Angelika theater in Dallas.

It was good but could have been great.

I was disappointed that there was no real character development particularly in the two boys doing the shooting. I mean the worst it shows is him getting mashed potatoes (or someting) thrown at him, and this makes him want to kill everyone??

Most of the scenes dragged on without point and the story line was virtually non existent.

Overall I enjoyed it 2.5 of 5

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Michael Coate
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1885
From: Los Angeles, California
Registered: Feb 2001


 - posted 12-03-2003 12:50 PM      Profile for Michael Coate   Email Michael Coate   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
It was shot with 35mm in 1.37:1.
American Cinematographer had an article on Elephant recently which included some thoughts by director Gus Van Sant and DP Harris Savides on why they shot the film in Academy format. The article included mention that the film was made primarily for TV and that the filmmakers preferred a full frame TV presentation because they felt "letterboxing is a faux movie presentation."

Kind of ironic then that Van Sant & Savides' previous two collaborations were scope productions (Gerry and Finding Forrester), and both appear on DVD in letterbox.

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Joe Beres
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 606
From: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 12-04-2003 10:12 AM      Profile for Joe Beres   Email Joe Beres   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Chris Hipp said:
quote:
I was disappointed that there was no real character development particularly in the two boys doing the shooting. I mean the worst it shows is him getting mashed potatoes (or someting) thrown at him, and this makes him want to kill everyone??
Most of the scenes dragged on without point and the story line was virtually non existent.

I took that to be the point, and those factors are what made me appreciate the film. The film is not trying to justify or explain how or why things happened, but give the audience some perspective on what happened.

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Chris Hipp
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1462
From: Mesquite, Tx (east of Dallas)
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted 12-04-2003 02:50 PM      Profile for Chris Hipp   Email Chris Hipp   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, Just like Aldo said, this movie has to work its way into your head. I stil think they should have given us a little more insight into the two boys killing everyone, but I now think that it was a good thing to not explain any of the other characters. It was showing how they didnt really know any of the people they were killing, and that was conveyed to the audience.

also, at first I thought showing the same scenes from different points of view was dumb but I realize now why they did it.

Bumping up to 3.5 of 5

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 8004
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 12-07-2003 06:48 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Loved it. Much better than I had expected. The style of direction fits the subject matter perfectly, with the long drawn-out shots, gratuitous Steadicam shots (which I usually hate, but works well here), etc. Then, again, I loved "Gerry" (Van Sant's previous film) and thought that "Good Will Hunting" was overrated.

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Josh Jones
Redhat

Posts: 1207
From: Plano, TX
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 01-16-2004 08:48 PM      Profile for Josh Jones   Author's Homepage   Email Josh Jones   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We opened this film tonight, played it in academy, thank you. I witnessed something I havent seen in my six years or so in film. Everyone, with the exception of two, sat through until the curtains closed.

I watched it as well, and was quite impressed. The suspense was killing me (no pun intended).

Nicely done, 4 'outa 5 [Smile]

Josh

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Phil Hill
I love my cootie bug

Posts: 7595
From: Hollywood, CA USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 01-18-2004 10:30 AM      Profile for Phil Hill   Email Phil Hill       Edit/Delete Post 
Yous have to be kidding. What a predictable, B O R I N G, stupid, POS film.

"My Own Private Idaho" is the only original thing Van Sant has done. Everything else is a variation of that film...but they never seem to hit the original mark.

>>> Phil

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James Leon Rockett Jr
Film Handler

Posts: 7
From: McKinney, TX, USA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 01-21-2004 05:04 PM      Profile for James Leon Rockett Jr   Email James Leon Rockett Jr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It was an... interesting movie. I was with some friends at the time and we had a general "it sucked" consensus after viewing it. I really liked the cinematography, and didn't have a problem with the timing, but really, they could have done so much more with it.

(We also saw it at the Angelika in Dallas... go Angelika!)

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