Gus Van Sant’s cinema is full of characters who have been confronted with a traumatic event. It is difficult to ignore the recurrence of trauma in the filmmaker’s work, from the very first films to the last. In this work, we examine some modalities of narrative treatment through the exemplary case of Paranoid park to highlight the fact that Gus van Sant is less interested, from the point of view of the character, the trauma itself or his painful consequences, only to a possible overtaking of the event through its elaboration. This will bring out what this motif reveals about the filmmaker’s work, his approach to the image and the power it exerts on the viewer, and thus its very conception of the function of cinema.
Key Words: Trauma | overcoming the event | image | power | function of cinema