Elephant

Elephant

DVD - 2003
Average Rating:
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Loosely based on the violent events at Columbine High School, the film captures one day in the life of a group of students at an American high school, and how their lives are forever changed by a shocking and traumatic event.
Publisher: New York : HBO Video, c2003
ISBN: 9780783127910
Branch Call Number: ELE
Characteristics: 1 dvd (80 min.) : sd., col. ; 12 cm
Additional Contributors: Van Sant, Gus
Frost, Alex
Deulen, Eric

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1aa
Jan 17, 2017

This was a really good (4.5 stars) film, until the final scenes which were just gratuitous violence, though its not theatrical or sensational: the victims just flop down. There are several moments when the film goes into slow motion, and then resumes. Its also misleading, for it fails to represent the several thousands of hours the murderers spent playing 'first person shooter' video games (to understand why this is so important, I suggest you read the books by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (_Stop Teaching Our Kids To Kill_ , and other resources mentioned therein)).

e
eiknarf
Sep 06, 2014

For me, it just wasn't worth the time.

**SPOILER ALERT** Seemed like an hour of watching people walk around, the killings. I grant that the movie had a style to it, but it wasn't a compelling enough style to feel like the time watching was well-spent.

k
karmafarmer
Feb 10, 2014

I can understand viewers enjoying the build-up of suspense, rewards of connecting time lapses, etc. but amongst other problems I have with this film is: Can someone explain why exit doors were ignored? Specifically, when "the action" is under way, one student is seen choosing to run up stairs rather than going out the doors; in the final scenes there again is an exit door option… Maybe in an Elementary school setting...

m
Matisse
Nov 27, 2013

Almost a documentary. The movie attempts to show an average day of average teenagers at an average highschool. Then evil unexpectedly shows up. Disturbing and chilling.

voisjoe1 Mar 05, 2013

If this is a true representation of the kind of day it was, then this is a 5 star movie. Action fans, looking for an action film will give it one star. Gun corporations don’t mind this film being shown, as they have bought off the Congress, so they know nothing was done, and they hope never will be done. All those corporations want is to make more money, and they don’t really care what happens. Their CEO’s safely live in gated communities and they don’t have to worry about the consequences of their sales.

g
GailRoger
Jan 14, 2011

A movie that follows about half a dozen students through the same ten minutes leading up to a Columbine-type school massacre. It takes a while to realize that with the introduction of each new character (announced by their names appearing on the screen), we move back to about the same point in time. The camera falls in behind, and follows each student as he or she move through the endless halls of an American high school. (I remember the shock of traveling in the States when I was a teenager and seeing how enormous the high schools are there. They call them "campuses", like universities.) It's only when we meet the young shooters that we drop further back in time to see their strange detached manner while they plan to murder their peers. What's even more disturbing is that their detachment matches that of their future victims who move through the few minutes they have remaining of their lives with little genuine interaction with each other. I understand much of the dialogue was improvised, which may add to the isolation.

I watched this for the first time in the company of elder daughter who was still in elementary school at the time. This didn't do much to ease her jitters about high school, although I assured her that although this may reflect the atmosphere of a typical high school in the United States (and anyone with an experience of this may correct me if I'm wrong), it bears little resemblance to the Canadian high school experience, at least as I remember it. Now that she's graduated, I should ask her if I was right...

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1aa
Jan 17, 2017

Violence: Final scenes are gratuitously violent, and realistic.

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