Archive for May, 2008

May 20, 2008

Has he lost his mind?

We were the only two people at Friday night’s showing of Paranoid Park but that suited the movie well. I’d never even heard of it until a couple of hours before we went, so all I knew was that it featured skateboarding and was directed by Gus Van Sant. Years ago I sat in a packed Chicago theater totally mesmerized by My Own Private Idaho, a flawed but deep and moving film about love and betrayal and friendship. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues was such a total mess that I assumed that GVS was a mere mortal director and promptly forgot about keeping up with his stuff. I’ve never seen Good Will Hunting (and I actually like Robin Williams) nor did I bother with the remake of Psycho he did a few years back. But Paranoid Park was intimate and light and lazy, showing so much more than telling. There’s some great super-8 POV skateboarding footage mixed in here and there, and some very keen slo-mo sequences that I’m sure are used all over MTV but seemed anything but cliche in this movie.

I’d actually been gearing up for weeks to see Iron Man with a fellow comic book enthusiast and we finally made that on Sunday afternoon. It really is one of the finest superhero movies ever. Robert Downey Jr. is a true movie star and deserves to be making this sort of comeback. And it had been a decade since I’d fallen deeply in love with Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love so it was great to have her melt my heart again. I was trying to describe Iron Man to Deanna and she remarked that Paranoid Park was probably its polar opposite; low budget, simple plot, no special effects, non-actors performing more or less as themselves. My passion and patience for film isn’t what it used to be but a two movie weekend IN THE THEATER is a rare treat that I am still savoring.