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Reconsidering "Elephant" in the Wake of Newtown

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • December 20, 2012 9:06 AM
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  • 1 Comment
In 2003, I ranked Gus Van Sant's "Elephant" the best film of the year. I was entralled by its mesmerizing long-take visuals, its unconventional sound design, and its eerie, unsettling position on an American tragedy. And then after last week's shootings in Newtown, I suddenly found my favorite movie of 2003 to be a little distasteful and perhaps irresponsible. Everything I loved about it nine years ago I now disliked. Everything that impressed me now repelled me. Reaching middle-age may have something to do with it, but my shift on the film opened up an area of discussion--an age-old one, I might add--that I thought was worth revisiting.

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