Gus Van Sant's 2003 film, Elephant is one of the most powerful and chilling films I have ever seen. The film follows a number of students throughout the halls of their high school for roughly 10 minutes each, and as each character's life intertwines with each other, you get closer and closer to the student. Though the kids fall into their own stereotypical groups - jocks, outcasts, nerds, artists - they all meet the same fate when two students arrive at school fully armed and begin to senselessly murder any student who comes across their path. Although gruesome and creepy, Elephant is dynamic and beautiful, and is unquestionably a film that will make you think.
Two wonderful French actors, Romain Duris & Louis Garrel, star in 2006's indie Dans Paris from director Christophe Honore. Dans Paris (Inside Paris) starts with Paul, who, after splitting up with his girlfriend, moves back in with his father and brother, Johnathon, and continues to slip roughly into a deep depression. Johnathon, a lazy and unclean part time student, full time womanizer spends his time sleeping around and unsuccessfully cheering up his brother. The entire family is equally affected by the previous suicide of their sister Claire on top of all else they have to deal with. After each brother jumps off a bridge, witnesses a visit from their mother, and reconnect with some old friends, they come to a realization about human struggle and coping with loss. Dans Paris is an extroadinary tragic-comedy with terrific acting and an insightful, in depth look at human frailty, family bonds, and dealing with what life throws at you.
Part two of this series will be coming soon, along with a new series of my favourite male models.