Indie Classics: Kids
Larry Clark directed Kids in 1995. The film is about teens and kids age 18 and younger growing up in an urban city setting with little parental influence or supervision. One boy named Telly (played by Leo Fitzpatrick) makes it a goal of his to sleep with as many virgin girls as he can due to his fear of getting an STD. Unfortunately, Jennie (played by Chloe Sevigny) a 16-year-old girl, slept with Telly and no one else only to find out she has HIV, given to her by Telly. His biggest fear of gaining an STD is already a reality for him without his knowledge. In the movie you see him sleep with two virgin girls and one is only 13 years old. Unknowingly, he does not use protection and risks every girl he sleeps with.
The movie is littered with underage drinking, violence, drug use, and stealing only adding to the horror of the life these kids are leading; some looking younger than 10 years old. The New York Times quoted the movie as “a wake-up call to the world” which I agree with. This movie, although disturbing in plot line was beautifully shot. When I initially heard of this movie I thought it was going to be completely pornographic and disturbing but I think now after watching it that even the sex scenes were tastefully shot so you can know what’s happening without it seeming weird. However, the younger kids smoking weed and talking about sex (when they’ve probably never kissed a girl) while drinking their 40’s made me cringe. Growing up when my friends parents left their house for the night we would have parties and some people would drink or smoke weed but I never remember looking to my left and seeing a 10 year old with a blunt in his hands. That just wasn’t done because you know an older kid is supplying it and I guess none of my friends were willing to be that person.
There are some beautiful shots in the film and aesthetically it was well thought out and well done. Although it may seem raunchy and strange the plot is tense and for the most part the characters are interesting and certainly relatable to teens. I would defiantly recommend this movie to people looking for an unconventional film and something to wrap your brain around.