G us van Sant is so laid back, it's almost impossible to believe he's hovering in the midst of one of the most hype-driven, well-attended film festivals in the world. Van Sant is appearing to introduce and promote his latest film, Paranoid Park, a pleasingly off-kilter teen drama about a young man who's a suspect in the murder of a train engineer. The north American premiere of Paranoid Park is happening at September's Toronto international film festival, now regarded as a crucial launch point for Oscar hopefuls. But despite the throng of coffee-infused publicists, actors, critics and groupies, Van Sant is surrounded by an aura of Zen. He answers questions clearly, in a soft, gentle voice.
Back in Portland, the Latest Outsider Has a Skateboard
Teenage kicks | Gus Van Sant | The Guardian
Paranoid Park is a psychological drama film written and directed by Gus Van Sant. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Blake Nelson and takes place in Portland , Oregon. It's the story of a teenage skateboarder played by Gabe Nevins set against the backdrop of a police investigation into a mysterious death. Van Sant wrote the draft script in two days after reading and deciding to adapt Nelson's novel. To cast the film's youths, Van Sant posted an open casting call on social networking website MySpace inviting teenagers to audition for speaking roles, as well as experienced skateboarders to act as extras.
A s Larry Clark once put it: "There is more life in a skateboarder skating down the street than in a hundred Hollywood actors. There are plenty of reasons: they are the quintessential urban tribe; they are romantic radicals on the edge of society; and they are generally photogenic teenagers. Their sport has never been uncool; Avril Lavigne's Sk8er Boi notwithstanding, it's possibly cooler now than ever. And, occasionally, they get out of the house and do something cinematic.
A teenage skateboarder's life begins to fray after he is involved in the accidental death of a security guard. Alex : I just feel like there's something outside of normal life. Outside of teachers, breakups, girlfriends.