Official | Update : 13.02.18 . 10:48 AM

Press Conference: “Paranoid Park” by Gus Van Sant

Conf Paranoid2

Conf Paranoid2 © AFP

The film crew of Paranoid Park were on hand to answer questions from the international press today. Present were director Gus Van Sant, actors Lauren McKinney, Taylor Momsen, and Gabe Nevins, cinematographer Chris Doyle, and producers Marin and Nathanael Karmitz. Excerpts follow.

Gus Van Sant spoke about youth: “I think that Elephant was the first film with an all-young cast… Yes, I’ve been attracted to characters that were young; it’s my calling I guess. (…) I really like working with non professionals, because I think in doing that I try to bring out things that are natural to them, sort of filming that side of them rather than creating from scratch an imaginary piece or having the actor build it. I’ve done both through the different films…I think I was working backwards because I was working with some professionals early on and have become more and more attracted to non-professionals… There are great things to both sides… When you’re casting below a certain age, say 20, you start to need to go the non professional route; there are only certain areas of the world where kids are professional actors.”

Gus Van Sant on filming bodies in movement and the use of slow motion: “Coming from a visual background, it’s the movement and the blocking, the things that are usually moving are the bodies, the people... Recently there’s been a dislocation from dialogue, that the dialogue is its own idea and entity, and in some ways, some of the films haven’t been a concern of the story or the audience, it’s more coming from the movement, the characters or the movement of the bodies, like a dance. I think that comes from just trying to work with the movement, what I call blocking. It’s always eluding me; it’s not quite the way I want it… Slow motion, it really comes from Chris.”

Chris Doyle on slow motion: “I think it’s because neither of us are skaters and the only way to approach what we assume is the emotional and physical experience of skating was to give it a form that we know and obviously to celebrate this incredible energy and the beauty of movement and the physicality of skating.”

Gus Van Sant on his pessimistic view of adults: “When I was 12 going into high school, I don’t think I was pessimistic but I was afraid because I thought that what lay ahead was blackboard jungle or something like that. I thought that as a teenager, you have to fight for your life…Maybe today you could think that growing older means fighting in Iraq. There are these things like where will I be in 6 or 7 years.”

Gus Van Sant on the continuity or non continuity of your films: “Some of the psychological voice over or inner journey via voice over was obviously the way of the book; it was pretty much from his point of view, an entire first person account. That was coming mostly from the source material, although I think there’s maybe the same thing going on in all the films when there’s not a specific voice, a character speaking or a voice over. You’re less inclined to nail down the psychology; you’re freer to roam around decide on your own psychology for the film like in Elephant. It comes from the source material. It wasn’t really a reaction or a development.”

Photo Copyright AFP

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