Gus Van Sant continues to plough his furrow far from Hollywood on the mean streets of his hometown of Portland with this tale set around skateboarding culture, which continues his recent themes of youthful alienation. His decision to adopt a nonlinear approach to the narrative could prove to be taxing and a turn-off for some viewers, as the action jumps off in all directions. But Van Sant believes the style reflects how we live our lives.
As with the Columbine-inspired Elephant, he uses an amateur cast with Gabe Nevins playing Alex, a teenage skateboarder who accidentally kills a security guard—and then decides to say nothing about the incident. Van Sant’s belief that all teenagers at that age are “acting to a certain extent” lends the film its edge of raw authenticity.
Distributor: IFC First Take
Cast: Gabe Nevins, Taylor Momsen, Jake Miller, Dan Liu, Lauren McKinney and Scott Green
Director/Screenwriter: Gus Van Sant
Producers: David Cress, Charles Gilbert, Nathanael Karmitz and Neil Kopp
Rating: R for some disturbing images, language and sexual content
Running time: 85 min.
Release date: March 7, 2008
Reviewed: Festival de Cannes 2007