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Paranoid Park (France)

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Paranoid Park (France)

Old 01-31-08, 03:45 AM
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Paranoid Park (France)



I can confirm now that Gus Van Sant's Cannes entry is indeed going to be released on April 24th as a single DVD, 2DVD SE, and a Blu-Ray* in France/Monaco. I will add up the specs as they become available. The discs arrive via MK2.

Variety:

By TODD MCCARTHY
Another immersion in the slacker/grunge milieu by Gus Van Sant, "Paranoid Park" is a deeply subjective portrait of a teenager's state of denial about a death he has inadvertently caused. Through immaculate use of picture, sound and time, the director adds another panel to his series of pictures about disaffected, disconnected youth. Aesthetically in line with "Gerry," "Elephant" and "Last Days," this is a rarified, arid artwork that will register with Van Sant's hardcore fans but leave anyone looking for more conventional satisfactions, notably teenagers themselves, impatient and unfulfilled. Commercial career of this French-financed feature will follow in the very modest footsteps of the helmer's recent work.

Based on a novel by Blake Nelson, who grew up in Portland, Ore. -- where Van Sant lives and works -- "Paranoid Park" exists in a world of "throwaway kids" who are into skateboarding above all else, and for which the writer-director clearly has an enthusiasm he is unable to stimulate in the viewer. Title refers to a homemade boarding facility popular with the sport's more renegade practitioners.

At the center of the tale, which has been severely fractured into a nonlinear form intended to convey a state of mind more than a series of events, is Alex (Gabe Nevins), a good-looking, shaggy-haired 16-year-old who is variously seen writing in a diary and watching, more than participating in, skateboarding, at which he feels he's not that good.

Early on, it's revealed a security guard has been run over in the rail yards and that foul play is suspected. A detective's ginger questioning of Alex, then of the school's entire skateboarding community, suggests that the unassertive, mild-mannered Alex was somehow involved. But the pic, along with Alex, bides its time, tending to quotidian matters, including his strictly reactive relationships with a couple of girls, and navigation between his divorcing parents, while postponing any action stemming from his guilt over what he did, however unintentional it was.

Viewed from the most mordant perspective, the pic could be considered a caustic critique of a kid's total unwillingness to assume responsibility for a grave action, a refusal to face the moral, not to mention legal, dimensions of his accidental act. But this wouldn't seem to be Van Sant's intent, as the impressionistic use of beautifully lit, often mobile images and idiosyncratic use of musical overlays appear more generously designed to portray Alex's paranoia and fear, his avoidance syndrome, his unwillingness to weigh and meditate on the ramifications of his actions.

The style eliminates so many potential dimensions of the story that the film is devoid of the elements audiences normally expect of films, beginning with drama, emotion, engagement and insight. On a moment-by-moment basis, one is most often objectively admiring the lovely work of cinematographer Christopher Doyle, whose 35mm shooting stands in marked contrast to the raw Super 8 skateboarding footage done by Rain Kathy Li.

Just as noticeable and/or distracting is the diverse musical collage that comprises the soundtrack. Dominating are the strains of Fellini stalwart Nino Rota, several of whose themes from "Juliet of the Spirits," and one from "Amarcord," stand in drastic emotional contrast to Alex's benumbed state.

As Alex drives around at one point, snippets of rap, classical music and ambient sound are successively intercut, and there are many other similar juxtapositions. As with the visual style, these artistic elements stand at the fore of the film's experience, acting independently on the viewer rather than discreetly serving the material.

Casting was done via MySpace, and young thesps are generally all right, although a bit stiff at moments. Girls portrayed by Lauren McKinney and Taylor Momsen come across with particular credibility, although a (notably ungraphic) loss of virginity scene must certainly be unparalleled in screen history for its lack of impact on one of the participants.

Camera (FotoKem color), Christopher Doyle, Rain Kathy Li; art director, John Pearson-Denning; set decorator, Sean Fong; costume designer, Chapin Simpson; sound (Dolby), Felix Andrew; sound designer, Leslie Shatz; assistant director, Jonas Spaccarotelli; casting, Lana Veenker, Berney Telsey, David Vaccari. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (competing), May 21, 2007. Running time: 84 MIN.
*I only had the info for the BR before which I posted in the BR International thread.
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Old 01-31-08, 08:30 AM
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Didn't like this one at all, but it's nice to see BR getting another arthouse type of title.
Old 04-05-08, 02:59 AM
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The UK cover:



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Old 04-05-08, 07:56 AM
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The french release has been cancelled, they stopped working on this project, according to people from MK2.
Old 04-11-08, 06:30 AM
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Really? It's still up on their online store with the 4/24 release date. And it seems very odd that they would stop work on the DVD altogether, given that the film is an mk2 production.

As an addendum, it appears the UK DVD from Tartan is 1.85:1 instead of the proper 1.33:1. I fear the BD will be the same.
Old 04-11-08, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan Average
As an addendum, it appears the UK DVD from Tartan is 1.85:1 instead of the proper 1.33:1. I fear the BD will be the same.
1.85:1 is the theatrical ratio, that is how the film was shown at Cannes. It was approved by Van Sant.

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Old 04-11-08, 11:46 PM
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I was lucky enough to see this projected in it's proper 1.37:1 ratio. Here's an article discussing this very subject: http://blogs.walkerart.org/filmvideo...-aspect-ratio/
Old 04-12-08, 02:23 AM
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As I posted earlier Van Sant was well aware that his film was being projected at 1.85:1. I can not find the Variety piece from Cannes that talked about it (they only have the review up now) but what you have here is exactly the same scenario that took place with Godard's Eloge De L'amour: the UK disc is in the "correct" 1.33:1 ratio while the New Yorker disc offers the widescreen version.

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Old 04-12-08, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Dan Average
Really? It's still up on their online store with the 4/24 release date. And it seems very odd that they would stop work on the DVD altogether, given that the film is an mk2 production.
I meant the Blu-Ray edition is cancelled.
Old 04-12-08, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist
As I posted earlier Van Sant was well aware that his film was being projected at 1.85:1. I can not find the Variety piece from Cannes that talked about it (they only have the review up now) but what you have here is exactly the same scenario that took place with Godard's Eloge De L'amour: the UK disc is in the "correct" 1.33:1 ratio while the New Yorker disc offers the widescreen version.

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I'm not sure I understand Van Sant's thinking on this. Why bother framing in "academy" if you're going to approve significant cropping in the dvd release? Naturally, it makes sense that some screens aren't set-up to project a film at 1.33:1, but they certainly could've accommodated him at Cannes. Right?

Needless to say, this scenario bothers me because it end up throwing off the compositional integrity of the film. Gus needs to either start framing his films for 1.85, or make a stand on how they are released. How about a compromise of including both versions of the film, like HBO films did with Elephant.
Old 04-12-08, 01:00 PM
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It seems quite clear that Academy ratio is the intended AR for Paranoid Park, with Van Sant and Doyle protecting for 1.85:1 only as a commercial sop (given the large number of theaters -- even so-called "arthouse" venues -- that can't handle Academy ratio). I have no idea what AR it was shown in at Cannes, but multiple reviews from the fest mention the intended Academy AR and it was even discussed at the press conference.

Originally Posted by carax09
How about a compromise of including both versions of the film, like HBO films did with Elephant.
This is exactly what mk2 appears to be doing with the DVD (the two-disc version, at least). Shame on Tartan for not following suit.
Old 04-12-08, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by carax09
Needless to say, this scenario bothers me because it end up throwing off the compositional integrity of the film. Gus needs to either start framing his films for 1.85, or make a stand on how they are released. How about a compromise of including both versions of the film, like HBO films did with Elephant.
I understand your point and as Dan mentions above perhaps the best solution would be to have every distrib offer the two versions (I don't know if MK2 have indeed folded their plans as the only discussion on the subject I've seen, which I presume Tutut has in mind, is the one from DVDClassik).

What I wanted to point earlier however is that the fact that you are seeing a 1.85:1 version passed around by the distribs isn't something Van Sant isn't aware of. Obviously there is very little info to discuss at this point but Paranoid Park did make plenty of international runs with the 1.85:1 print and this isn't something a mindless distrib did. As to Cannes I believe that the film was projected in the 1.33:1 ratio - the piece that I wanted to post here talked about how it was being sold to distributors.

I personally will pick this film regardless of how it is offered as I happen to like Van Sant's work a lot but hope that if MK2 indeed offer the two versions perhaps someone in the US would copy their idea (which realistically is very unlikely as Van Sant and his work have traditionally been treated with much more respect by the French, Mr. Karmitz in particular, than our own distribs).

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Last edited by pro-bassoonist; 04-12-08 at 02:32 PM.
Old 04-13-08, 12:42 AM
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I haven't seen it myself, but I've read that the IFC pay-per-view broadcast is 1.33:1, so it seems likely that their eventual DVD will at least offer the preferred ratio, if not both. Too bad they don't support Blu-ray yet. Doyle for his part seems fairly militant about the AR issue, if these (unsourced) remarks posted at the Criterion forum are accurate.
Old 04-13-08, 02:24 AM
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Thanks for the link Dan!

Again, though, Van Sant knew and agreed with the 1.85:1 framing. After Cannes most every theatrical release in Europe has been in 1.85:1. If Mr.Doyle and Mr. Van Sant were so outraged with the new presentation they should have voiced their concerns. In the US Van Sant isn't such a big name but amongst arthouse circles in Europe he is very well-respected. I don't buy for a second the theory that somewhere, somehow, someone reframed the film and sold the new print to world distribs.

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Old 04-13-08, 04:11 AM
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Er, nobody's even suggested that theory. But it seems abundantly clear that there is a preferred AR for this film and that it isn't 1.85:1. For Tartan to ignore this for their DVD/Blu-ray releases (where there is no technical obstacle to presenting the film in its intended ratio) strikes me as a dereliction of duty.
Old 04-13-08, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Dan Average
This is exactly what mk2 appears to be doing with the DVD (the two-disc version, at least). Shame on Tartan for not following suit.
I don't think there's a 1.85 version, MK2 specs probably mean 1.37 for the film and 1.85 for the extras.
The first review (in french) on filmsactu.com, nothing about a 1.85 version.

Last edited by Tutut; 04-13-08 at 05:27 AM.
Old 04-13-08, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist
I understand your point and as Dan mentions above perhaps the best solution would be to have every distrib offer the two versions (I don't know if MK2 have indeed folded their plans as the only discussion on the subject I've seen, which I presume Tutut has in mind, is the one from DVDClassik).
If you mean the thread about the Blu-Ray release, yes, the member named Ubik works for MK2. I noticed dvdfr confirmed the Blu-Ray release has been cancelled.
Old 04-13-08, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Tutut
I don't think there's a 1.85 version, MK2 specs probably mean 1.37 for the film and 1.85 for the extras.
The first review (in french) on filmsactu.com, nothing about a 1.85 version.
A friend sent me a grey market release of Paranoid Park, from a certain asian country, and the feature is preceded by the MK2 logo and is in 1.85. The packaging has the IFC logo, so I'm guessing that this is the version that has been purchased for stateside home video distribution. My friend may not have been aware that this dvd was grey market, as the packaging looks totally in line with other IFC dvds I've seen. Likewise, the dvd itself has the IFC logo, and is replete with animated menus, a full host of subtitle/audio options, and previews for extras (though not the same ones that are set to appear on the MK2 French release). The feature, itself (aside from the "incorrect" AR) is presented well, and the disc is dual-layered.

The reason I initially posted in this thread is that I had seen PP at 1.37 in theatrical presentation right before receiving this dvd in the mail, and I didn't understand why IFC would "air" the film correctly, and distribute it incorrectly. Things may change, but with this in my hand, I'm not too hopeful...
Old 04-13-08, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Tutut
If you mean the thread about the Blu-Ray release, yes, the member named Ubik works for MK2. I noticed dvdfr confirmed the Blu-Ray release has been cancelled.
This is precisely the discussion at Classik I had in mind Tutut. Then the UK BR remains the only option for now.

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Old 04-18-08, 04:08 PM
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specs update:
1.78:1 Widescreen Transfer (1080p MPEG-2)
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, Dolby TrueHD 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 5.1
Future Shorts Secret Cinema Event
Making of
Original Theatrical Trailer
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Old 04-19-08, 12:09 AM
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MK2 specs :

Region 2
85 mins
Format 1.33 - 16/9 compatible 4/3 - DVD9
Languages : English DD 3.1, English PCM 2.0, French DD 3.1
Subtitles : French

Extras : Making of Paranoïd Park (26min), In the Labyrinth (24min), Interview with Gus Van Sant (13min), trailers of his films in the MK2 collection.

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