Why it's Portlandy: The 2003 film's notoriously long shots wind through Portland's former Whitaker Middle School at Northeast 39th Avenue and Killingsworth Street, a soul-sucking labyrinth of water-damaged halls and plastic paneling. The school closed one year before filming, after WW revealed in 2001 it was contaminated with radon gas. The building was demolished in 2007, and in 2013, City Commissioner Nick Fish led an initiative to make the site a community garden.
NW Film Center professor Mario Falsetto's notes: "Made with a mostly nonprofessional cast, it's a frightening yet poetic response to the issues surrounding teen violence, and leaves the viewer in something of a numbed state."
Van Sant said: "Going postal isn't accepted—there has to be reason why, because there has to be control. There have to be psychological reasons behind it. It's too scary to our organized minds."
Best line from the film: (Last line) "Eeny…meeny…miny…moe. Catch a…tiger…by the...toe."
SEE IT: Elephant plays at NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park Ave., on Thursday, May 21. 7 pm. $9.