• hankiro

    ★★★½ Watched by hankiro 27 Sep, 2014

    I gave it an extra 1/2 for the interesting editing style, but this def isn't my favorite of Gus Van Sant's. Not a bad movie but I guess I was expecting more.

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  • Tyler Ward

    Added by Tyler Ward

    Mass violence is unfortunately an issue that affects every single student in the United States. With every new school shooting comes lock-down drills and preparation classes that teach kids what to do in case the unthinkable happens. But how many high school students are taught about the things that could drive a mentally-unstable teenager to gun down his or her own classmates? “Elephant” explores the psyche of the school shooter, and ponders several different potential causes for such violent and…

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  • Ali Moneib

    ★★★½ Watched by Ali Moneib 23 Sep, 2014

    One of the most prominent films about the dire issue of high school shootings, Gus Van Sant's Elephant is a very well crafted film, that handles the subject matter with care and respect.

    The film takes place during one school day, where we see the lives of multiple students, all of whom are different in their own unique ways. All of them are going about their business as usual, unaware of the horrible events that will unfold later in the…

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  • Jason Ooi

    ★★★★ Watched by Jason Ooi 22 Sep, 2014

    Most importantly, have fun.

    Cue the chills going down my spine.

    Elephant is a documentation of an event very similar to the Columbine shooting. It's a terrifying, unbiased film that neither glorifies the shootings like the media would, nor does it completely criminalize the shooters too harshly. There is no explanation as to why; nor is there an attempt to look into the psyche of the perpetrators.

    The directing style employed by director Gus Van Sant is a very slow…

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  • mangum_pi

    ★★★★★ Rewatched by mangum_pi 18 Sep, 2014

    sort of an anti-rashomon. a very effective, chilling work

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  • Carlos Rodríguez

    ★★★★½ Watched by Carlos Rodríguez 08 Aug, 2012

    I enjoyed Elephant very much. I found it really entertaining and full of tension at the right moments. The experimental filmmaking and storytelling, in my opinion, fitted perfectly the plot and its strange characters. Although director Gus Van Sant employed mostly non-professional actors, the acting was really solid and that is something worth of admiration. What stood above the rest, however, was his flawless and overwhelming direction. I would say it is perhaps one of the most brilliant works of…

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  • Cityzen Kano

    ★★★ Watched by Cityzen Kano 17 Sep, 2014 5

    Palme d’Or Winners Project, 2003

    Van Sant isn't particularly interested in exploring the reasons or motivations that drive young men to commit these sort of atrocities. Looking at the wider social structure of the Western world and a culture that may encourage such violence doesn't seem to appeal much to him either.

    His approach of 'that's how it is' is despairing and wholly nihilistic, turning the experience of watching this film into a cold, detached one. Given we spend two…

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  • eevade

    ★★★★½ Watched by eevade 15 Sep, 2014

    Although this can be simply categorized as a style exercise, the resulting atmosphere was so good I really enjoyed the build up to the final act. In fact, I think that the stylistic excess helps the movie become more effective.
    The weakest part is probably when we're not in the school, where the tension and the pace which were pleasant at the beginning are lost for a while.

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  • Joshua Brown

    ★★★★ Added by Joshua Brown

    (This is a student analysis for Syracuse University and not a review)

    The year was 2003, America was four years removed from the horrific events that occurred at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado. While mass shootings had happen before this, the nation hadn’t reckon with one in a very long time or could comprehend what was brewing in the ether with this generation of teenagers that could possess two of them to commit such a heinous act. With the…

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  • Kit

    ★★★½ Watched by Kit 14 Sep, 2014

    the pacing was a bit off-putting but everything else was so dreamily horrifying it more than makes up for it

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  • JMKE

    ★★★ Watched by JMKE 09 Sep, 2014

    i can't believe i want to say 'whatever' about a school shooting film

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  • Paul Donovan

    ★★ Rewatched by Paul Donovan 06 Sep, 2014

    Nine Things About the Movie "Elephant" (USA, 2003)

    1. This is Gus Van Sant’s minimalist interpretation of a school shooting. It was the second “school shooting” movie released after Columbine (that I know of). As an indie art film, this movie is decent. As a Van Sant film, it’s below average. As a depiction of the circumstances surrounding a school shooting, this movie is laughably terrible.

    2. The young actors did a lot of open improvising as they did their…

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