Sunday, April 4, 2010

Alan Clarke's Elephant

Clarke gives you a lot of time to think in this film.  Sans dialogue and very little sound in general, except for the footsteps and the odd bird twittering, there are very little distractions.  I am focused on what the character is about to do, what he is thinking and going through mentally.  Each time there is a pause before the killer shoots, and I think, he could change his mind...but he never does.  To me its all about this moment (as seen in the pictures)where the camera goes back to the shot of the person who has just been shot and murdered.
All the people killed are in the process of doing something, daily activities such as; playing footie, mopping, working at a store and doing the deeds that get them through the day.  The relatively long shot of the murdered individual gives me a lot of time to think about the person, we know nothing about them, this just makes me question their life and wonder if they would have ever expected that this would be the day or the way that they would die.  Imagine being killed while you are mopping the floors in a deserted tragic.  
Also it seems that there are no witnesses around.  All the places are deserted and lonely.  When someone gets shot I'm expecting someone to run up screaming, crying and calling for help.  I'm expecting a reaction, both from the victim and someone around.  In general the film makes me feel like its very easy to kill someone.  Like, oh, I could do that!  Just shoot it and walk away!  There is no pleading or screaming by the victims, no significant hesitation and not too much blood or gruesomeness.  Save for some light blood splatters on the camera lens.  
After each killing life goes on as usual, the cars keep driving by, the birds keep chirping and the silence continues.  Life as usual.  No one is missed.    

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