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Powerful and passionate, colorful and compelling, Larry Clark's KIDS is 24 frenetic hours in the life of a group of contemporary teenagers who, like all teenagers, believe they are invincible. With breathtaking images from one of the world's most renowned photographers, KIDS is a deeply affecting, no-holds-barred landscape of words and images, depicting with raw honesty the experiences, attitudes and uncertainties of innocence lost. KIDS gets under the skin and lingers, long after it is viewed. The kids at the core of the story are just that: teenagers living the urban melee of modern-day America. But while these kids dwell in the big city, their story could, quite possibly, happen anywhere.
||Leo Fitzpatrick, Justin Pierce, Chloë Sevigny, Sarah Henderson, Joseph Chan|
||Color, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC|
||English, Spanish, French|
|Number of Discs:
||Lions Gate / Trimark|
|DVD Release Date:
||November 07, 2000|
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 405 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
( 405 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 70 found the following review helpful:
Raw. Like watching a documentary on a different speciesAug 09, 2005
My pets behave better than this. And yet, this is what kids are doing. This is not an exaggeration or a class statement; these are real kids in real neighborhoods strolling the streets with no moral direction.
It really was almost like watching a documentary on a primate species, how the males and females gather in separate groups to chirp and chatter at each other until it's mating season. Then they all get together in a big pile and have at it with whoever is handiest.
The plot? A day in the life of aimless kids: virgin conquests, shoplifting, public urinating, drinking, smoking, getting high, breaking into a pool for a skinny dip, street fighting (complete with a brutal, perhaps deadly beating for a simple transgression), raves, public fornication, and one girl's discovery that she has AIDS.
There are two scenes that stand out in the movie, the first being when Telly briefly comes home, and his mother is sitting on her hinder, smoking, nursing her new baby, and watching TV. She barely notices Telly is in the room, except to tell him to be quiet so he wouldn't wake the baby. Parenting at its very worst, and you just know that little baby will grow up the same as Telly.
The second is the scene where Casper wakes up after the party. He moves from the tub he passed out in, past his friend who is unconscious over the toilet, to the kitchen where he immediately drains the dregs of the leftover beer bottles and lights a cigarette. He then goes on to take advantage of a girl who is passed out. Wow. Another morning in hell.
Larry Clark has done pretty well with Kids, though his work with 'Bully' was better, smoother, less raw while still being on the cutting edge. The performances from Leo Fitzpatrick (Telly), Justin Pierce (Casper), Chloe Sevigny (Jennie), and Rosario Dawson (Ruby) are more than acceptable. Clark certainly has a talent for bringing teenage angst and degradation to the screen, and for using brutal scenes to hone his dagger of truth home to those brave enough to watch his films. Enjoy!
81 of 97 found the following review helpful:
A depressing and numbing view the idle times of kidsJul 07, 2002
By Patrick L. Randall
"Kids" goes right to the heart of everything that parents fear will become of their children. The youths that inhabit this film are not just wayward... they are violent, amoral kids whose state of evolution seems to have regressed to something more primal. The male lead, if you can call him that, in this movie is a truly horrific animal named Telly (played with scary realism by actor Leo Fitzpatrick). Telly seems to exist for no other reason than drink, get high, get into fights, and, oh yeah, deflower as many virgins as possible. He cajoles his conquests by telling them exactly what they want to hear, and once he's accomplished his mission, he will have nothing to do with them. He says he prefers them because they aren't all dirty or have diseases. Yet, the irony is, he is unknowingly carrying the AIDS virus around and endangering his conquests because it would seem that one of his 'virgins' was not quite honest with him. It's not hard to see how Telly can become such a monster. He has no moral compass around which to develop. One brief scene takes place during a brief stopover at his house before he and his friend, Casper, take off for more mayhem. His mother is sitting in the living room, folding laundry and watching TV while being almost totally oblivious to Telly being there. When Telly asks for some money, she says no and asks him when he's going to get a job, he just says that he's looking and then he goes into her room and takes some money, anyway. She wouldn't know if it was missing.
The actual plot of this movie, as thin as it is, focuses on a girl named Jennie (who was one of Telly's conquests) searching the streets of the city to find Telly and stop his virgin conquest because of the AIDS virus she just found out he gave her. Her search is intercut with scenes of a brutal gang beating by Telly and his friends of guy who popped off his mouth, club kids engaging in animalistic carnal behavior, and a morally bankrupt party where kids as young as 10 are drinking up, getting high and participating in even more carnal behavior.
"Kids" gets a positive rating because there is nothing phony about its unflinching view of the existence of kids with too much time on their hands and no direction in their lives. It does not get a higher rating because the images are extremely graphic and difficult to digest. This movie is not for everyone, but, if someone feels the can handle the subject matter, it is a valid tale.
10 of 10 found the following review helpful:
RealApr 10, 2007
By Taurean Graves
To all of the moms who are upset because they got tricked into buying this for their teens: This movie is not a parent. This movie is not for Kids (I know the title is deceiving). The movie is an accurate depiction of one side of life as it was experienced by inner-city youths in the early 90s. But maybe your kids need to watch it because the wildest kids i know are the ones who are sheltered from reality. Moms and dads do your jobs and let filmmakers make movies that actually mean something. HIV is real and that is the theme of this drama. But I guess that is what a parent is supposed to teach...
31 of 38 found the following review helpful:
Bloody scary film...Oct 13, 2004
By Big Joe '83
What sets Kids apart from Clark's later films is its grimly realistic acting and it's very easy to believe while Clark's later efforts such as Bully or Ken Park (And clones such as Thirteen.) tend to be more exploitative with dodgy casting choices at that. You can just sense that almost everything that occurs in this film despite the slightest creative license has most likely occurred in real life and the convincing acting of the teenagers who look the part (Not looking like they're 21.) really justify that. A perfect example includes a scene where teenagers mock a smaller kid because he hasn't been laid amongst other scenes.
While I think it's brilliant in its depiction I just can't give it five stars because quite frankly I really wouldn't want to see this again. I understand it's not meant to give any answers and just be a voyeuristic look at a failed generation but it's so grimly realistic that it leaves the viewer bitter and disgusted with no sense that a kid can turn out being anything but a degenerate, the film gives the impression it's a tad too late.
However I think EVERYONE should see this before they start a family as it'll either make you hate teens or show that we've got to clean up our act if we intend future generations to grow up with any sense of conscience and moral decency, ESPECIALLY in economically struggling and socially broken homes. Then hope a film like this is never needed again in the future.
10 of 11 found the following review helpful:
UncompromisingJul 20, 2004
First off, "Kids" is a phenomenal movie in absolutely every respect. Harmony Korine's script is amazing (I can already tell I am going to run out of superlatives.) It blows me away that someone so young could write something so self-assured, so masterful. The performances are impossibly real. Add to this Clark's voyeuristic, documentary style and the result is some of the most uncompromising naturalism in cinematic history.
Kids is the kind of movie that makes mainstream filmmakers blanch. It is also the kind of movie that makes mainstream film goers confused and angry. Naturalism has never been a particularly popular style of theatre. If a viewer doesn't have an appreciation for the style, he/she may think the film lacking. Naturalism depicts life objectively, imposing no value judgements. The question of value is left up to the observer, the viewer. It does not shy away from ugliness or uncomfortable situations. Naturalism is often seen as nihilistic, but that is the challenge that is presents. Being truer to life than other dramatic forms, it's meaning is more obscured.
Many have interpreted "Kids" to be a "wake up call" concerning the growing menace AIDS poses to young people (I think it was even printed on the box cover.) That is one interpretation. I see a much more sinister theme at the heart of "Kids." For me, AIDS just served as a metaphor for a diseased culture. These kids are sick mentally and emotionally. To me, these hopeless characters represent an entire generation of lost youth. Their general apathy and animalistic hedonism is a perfectly understandable response to the empty, violent, plastic, consumer/commercial culture that raised them. Yes, they are contracting AIDS; but what about those that escape it? What are they going to do with their lives? Of course, this is just my interpretation. The film itself remains objective and impartial. In fact, I think Korine would disagree with me and that is why I love this movie so much.
Watch this if you like powerful, unflinching films that challenge assumptions and make lasting impressions.
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