Non-Realism and Ontology in Gus Van Sant's Paranoid Park

  • Alessandro Zir


BEYOND SUBJECTIVENESS: NON-REALISM AND ONTOLOGY IN GUS VAN SANT'S PARANOID PARK AbstractThis paper focuses on Gus Van Sant's Paranoid Park (2007), in order to raise ontological issues that are understood to be fundamental to quite idiosyncratic, "authorial" movies, which are frequently mischaracterized as being merely personal and subjective. It starts with a consideration of how ontology must have a primacy over what is merely subjective or psychological in aesthetic experience. Paranoid Park is then analyzed in detail, with special attention to the apparently random elements that pullulate both in its soundtrack and in its visual texture. It is defended that the material with which the movie is made is emancipated from what would be their mere functionality in respect to the story. The same is true about a vagueness that is conspicuous to its characters. The violent scene of the railway accident, the dramatic apex of the movie,...