Zero Day | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Like Gus Van Sant's Elephant, this 2002 feature presents a fictionalized version of the Columbine massacre with teenage actors using their own given names. But in contrast to the other film's arty structure and elegiac tone, director Ben Coccio creates a horrifying verite-style portrait of two high school misfits (Andre Keuck and Calvin Robertson) as they spend ten months meticulously planning their bloodbath and documenting every step with a digital camcorder. The story is especially disturbing because, unlike the duo in Elephant, Coccio's protagonists are bright, funny, ironic, and perceptive kids whose loving friendship is clearly the best thing in their lives, even as it propels them toward an orgy of murder. 92 min. Reviewed this week in Section One; a 35-millimeter print will be shown. Gene Siskel Film Center.

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