Easy A
Directed by: Will Gluck
Written by: Bert V. Royal
Starring: Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Thomas Hayden Church, and Patricia Clarkson

There’s a moment in this John Hughes-wannabe that actually lives up to its intentions.  Daughter (Emma Stone) and mother (Patricia Clarkson) sit on a car overlooking their valley,  comparing high school reputations and laughing while the world around them sleeps.  It’s an evolution of the Hughes parent-child relationship.  For a moment, they understand each other. The rest, unfortunately, is far behind.

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Directed by: Gus Van Sant
Written by: Gus Van Sant
Starring: Alex Frost, Eric Deulen, John Robinson, and Kristen Hicks

Had the tracking shot never been invented, Gus Van Sant’s searing humanization of the Columbine shootings wouldn’t have made it.  As we literally wonder the halls of a fictional suburban high school,  the camera follows several students in a semi-warped time frame.  We often see the same event from different perspectives, much like the end of Tarantino’s Jackie Brown.  The time before and after these intersections shows us the same setting in very different lights.

Van Sant is one of the leading auteurs of the gay film movement, and though not all of his films have those themes, his best films often do.  Elephant contains a controversial shower kiss between the two shooters, Eric (Eric Deulen) and Alex (Alex Frost), before they embark on their killing spree.  It’s not a romantic moment, or even a passionate one, it’s just there.

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