Before Larry Clark was a known figure in controversial filmmaking he was a brilliant photographer. Some might argue that his photography is considerably better than his films, and I'd have to agree. By "better" I mean that they have a deeper effect on you and, despite the often bleak subject matter, they are clean, provoking images with good form. However, Clark's first film Kids, co-written by Harmony Korine, should be considered his directorial masterpiece.
In the early '90s Clark shot a series of photos that were documents of New York skate culture and depravity within the lifestyles of young people. Clark enjoyed interacting with his subjects, often finding a muse and/or love interest among them. Many of those New York kids would later be in his first film, more or less dramatizing and extending what could be felt through the grizzly portraits of them. The energy of the film is fresh and the entire line-up, omitting the producer, was quite amateur; Korine was 19 when he wrote the script; Leo Fitzpatrick, Justin Pierce, Chloe Sevigny, and Rosario Dawson were all debuting on the screen. Clark's ability to compose a frame filled with images you can't ignore ultimately stabilized the film, and Korine's efforts, matched with an ambitious cast, made it something to be realized and respected.Continue Reading