Paranoid Park

Synopsis: The teenager and skateboarder Alex is interviewed by Detective Richard Lu that is investigating the death of a security guard in the rail yards severed by a train who was apparently hit by a skate board. While dealing with the separation process of his parents and the sexual heat of his virgin girlfriend Jennifer, Alex writes his last experiences in Paranoid Park with his new acquaintances and how the guard was killed, trying to relieve his feeling of guilty from his conscience.
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Director(s): Gus Van Sant
Production: IFC First Take
  5 wins & 13 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
85 min

Oh hey, Uncle Tommy.


During the last week of summer,

we were downtown... one fine day.

One day, I was with Jared,

who's a little older than me.

He said we should check out

Paranoid Park.

I had heard of it, of course...

But I'd never thought of going there.

I assumed it was out of my league.

But when I said,

"I don't think I'm ready... "

Jared laughed

and said something like,

"Nobody's ever ready

for Paranoid Park."

We went to the park together

the next day.

Dude, this place is tight.

We should hit it up on Saturday.

About a month later,

halfway through math class,

there was an announcement. My name.

My name, and no others.

OK, so today I really really want to

teach you guys about buoyant force,

and... buoyant force is the force

that's exerted upon an object...

um, but... The funny thing is objects

tend to uh... differ... in shape...

Will Alex Tremain report

to the front office.

Alex Tremain to the front office.

We have objects like this,

like you see,

divided in the middle...

But an object can also... Oh.

OK, sorry about that...

Hey there, Alex. Come have a seat.


Sorry I pulled you out of class.

Uh, that's all right.

So... Anyway,

I talked to your friend Jared.

He says you almost went

by the Eastside Skateboard Park

on the night of the seventeenth.

Is that right?


OK, did you drive around out

that night or...?

Did I what?

Did you drive around that night?

Um... yeah...


Did you drive... by there that night?

The park itself.


Where did you go?

That night, I drove around downtown,

and got something to eat,

parked down near the waterfront

and then walked around.

OK. Were you skateboarding?

Yeah. Well, no.

I had my skateboard but...

I'm not that good

so I try to practice by myself.

OK. And... so you can give me times

for these things,

right, I mean approximately?

Yeah. Um, I went to Jared's around

seven or eight...

and then I dropped him off

at the bus station shortly after that.

And then drove around...

Oh yeah, that's something I got confused

about before 'cause...

I didn't go back to my house,

I went back to Jared's 'cause...

Jared and I planned to stay at his house

that night... originally.

OK, that's fine.

So, where was his parents?

His mom was... in Las Vegas and...

his dad doesn't live with them.

OK, so no brothers or sisters,

so the house was totally empty then,



Did your parents know this?

I mean that...

nobody was home at Jared's?

Uh, it's not like

they cared or anything.

OK... Uh well no, that's... that's fine,

I mean... it's probably

that old trick where...

you tell your parents you're gonna

spend the night at Jared's house and...

your parents don't realize

that his parents aren't home and...

basically you get to do

whatever you want.

Pretty much, I m...

it's not like my mom cares.

No, that's fine, I used to do that.

I mean that's an old one. No big deal.


What is your parental situation?

What do you mean?

Well, your parents.

Are they... still together?

They've been separated

for a while and they're...

gonna get a divorce soon.

Yeah, all right.

Yeah, my parents got a divorce.

I mean... in fact I think

I was about your age.

I know it's kind of a tough thing to...

go through...


Uh... do you have any...

brothers or sisters?

Yeah. I have a little brother,

and he's thirteen.

OK, how 'bout a sister?


Uh... how 'bout a girlfriend?

Yeah... Jennifer.

Jennifer? And where was she that night?

- My girlfriend?

- Uh huh.

She was with... just some other friends.

OK. Did you happen to call her

that night at any point?

I mean, do you have a cell phone?

No, I didn't call her and,

I don't have a cell phone.

OK. Uh... well...

Just goin' through my notes,

I'll tell you what... uh...

Let me tell you what my situation is...

I have this security guard...

and we find him deceased

on the railroad tracks.

And so we're thinking maybe he tripped,

or he fell.

But, the autopsy says he was struck

by an object.

And... we also have a witness

that says...

he saw somebody throw something over

the bridge into the river.

We happen to have that object

and it's a skateboard.

Now the funny thing is there's

some DNA evidence on the skateboard,

that puts it at the scene of the crime.

Where did you go?

I... drove around, downtown a little

to Subway and got something to eat.

OK, there's about a thousand

and two Subways.

- Which one did you go to?

- By the waterfront.

OK, and the one... over in the,

World Trade Center? That one?


OK. What'd you get?

Turkey and ham on... Italian herb

and cheese bread, toasted...

tomato lettuce pickle olive mustard oil

and vinegar...

Did you get mayo?


Gotta have mayo with that.

Mayo's sick.

Mayo's sick. What kind of bread was it?

Italian herb and cheese.

OK, you have a receipt

in your pocket for that?

No, I don't keep... Subway receipts.

OK, how much did it cost then?

Like... six something,

Subway's expensive.

Six-inch twelve-inch?


Six-inch, for six bucks,

so you must have got the meal,

then, right?

No, I just got a drink.

OK, all right...

Large, Dr. Pepper.

Who'd you eat with?

Myself. I drove by myself, so...

OK... You know I gotta cut

this short... um...

Let me give you my business card.

If you have anything to add...

I want you to give me a call all right?

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Gus Van Sant

Gus Green Van Sant, Jr. is an American film director, screenwriter, painter, photographer, musician and author who has earned acclaim as both an independent and more mainstream filmmaker. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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