Elephant (1989) 1080p

Movie Poster
Elephant (1989) 1080p - Movie Poster
Short | Crime
Frame Rate:
Run Time:
39 min
IMDB Rating:
7.2 / 10 
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Directors: Alan Clarke [Director] ,

Movie Description:
A depiction of a series of violent killings in Northern Ireland with no clue as to exactly who is responsible.


  • Elephant (1989) 1080p - Movie Scene 1
  • Elephant (1989) 1080p - Movie Scene 2
  • Elephant (1989) 1080p - Movie Scene 1

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style over substance, but the style is brilliant

A series of scenes depicting acts of sudden violence absent of character and plot. A premise so repetitive sounds like it would be a bore to watch but Alan Clarke's cinematic eye helps make the 1989 short film 'Elephant' almost hypnotic. Using a wide lens and constant stedicam shots following anonymous killers, Clarke sculpts a vision that is unique and, in many ways, powerful. Clarke's visual style makes almost every shot, aside from the brief closeups of gunfire found in each scene, feel as if it is depicting something from afar. The audience is always made to feel somewhat distant from the cryptic figures at the center of the sequences. Almost everything about Clarke's approach makes the film feel cold and, in a way, brutally nihilistic. The differences of each scene's location, actors, etc. become more notable than the careless murders said scenes depict. There is a point somewhere in the middle of the film in which a character actually says a line or two of dialogue and it is legitimately more shocking than the violence that inevitably follows. Alan Clarke makes you numb and coats the viewer with an unnerving deadpan atmosphere. It's a miserable film that almost certainly goes on for longer than it needs to, but it is also fascinating and, in a way, oddly investing.

An incredibly emotional film without words

A movie that you are so moved by that you are brought to confusion and then despair and ultimately to witnessing unforgettable atrocities of sadness and destruction. The name of this movie is clearly a metaphor for the mass destruction seen by gun wielding individuals and the gigantically senseless violence caused which is just as powerful and moving as Gus Van Sant's inspired film of the same name.

Slacker with double barrel shotguns

This short film serves two purposes. It provides a chilling perspective on the anonymity of civil conflict and it offers a meditation on violence in the media. The premise is equally primitive and thought- provoking.

It simply follows around random, casually dressed men (who look like members of The Smiths and Big Country) as they slay other men in dilapidated Belfast settings. The minimal soundtrack of footsteps and gunfire creates a hypnotic and creepy atmosphere. All of the sound and lack thereof is necessary. The closeups of the handguns are necessary, as are the lingering shots of post-mortem bodies. Seconds can feel like minutes. Clarke's attempt to confront the audience forces us to ponder the dehumanization of The Troubles in Northern Ireland.

The irony behind the appeal of this film is that for those who wish to watch violent action movies just for the sake of the spectacle of violence will be the most disappointed. That is exactly why this film is so important. It numbs us to violence. The lack of a narrative provides us the question of why we want to see what we are seeing. To turn gratuitous, prolonged violence into something boring becomes a statement on how desensitized a society can become to death and war.
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