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Lightweight movie too heavy on sex

"CONTROVERSY at any price" must have been the motto of the makers of the film Ken Park, particularly Larry Clark who made headlines a few years ago with the movie Kids. In this film he returns to his pet topics: lack of communication between parents and children, and teenagers who kill boredom with sex, violence, and drug abuse.
The characters in Ken Park are a medley of weirdos, like one girl whose father forces her to marry him because she resembles his dead wife. The other kids are not much better off - one has a perverted, alcoholic father and another has truly lovely grandparents whom, for some reason, he hates and later kills. Additionally, the narrator of the story sleeps with the mother of his girlfriend.


FILM lacks sparkle.
photo: Intersonic

Ken Park

Starring: James Ransone, Tiffany Limos, Stephen Jasso, James Bullard, Mike Apaletegui,
Directed by: Larry Clark, Ed Lachman,
Running time: 96 min.,
Rating: 1 out of 10

"CONTROVERSY at any price" must have been the motto of the makers of the film Ken Park, particularly Larry Clark who made headlines a few years ago with the movie Kids. In this film he returns to his pet topics: lack of communication between parents and children, and teenagers who kill boredom with sex, violence, and drug abuse.

The characters in Ken Park are a medley of weirdos, like one girl whose father forces her to marry him because she resembles his dead wife. The other kids are not much better off - one has a perverted, alcoholic father and another has truly lovely grandparents whom, for some reason, he hates and later kills. Additionally, the narrator of the story sleeps with the mother of his girlfriend.

All the individuals portrayed in the film would probably qualify for professional counselling, but they do nothing to try to improve the state of their mental health. Furthermore, any one of the characters could be the focal point of their own film.

If the directors Larry Clark and Ed Lachman had wanted this film to be watchable, they should have included much more analysis into the causes - as well as the effects - of their characters' depraved behaviour.

The most irritating aspect of this movie is its shallowness. The dialogue is superficial, and even though this might be justified by claims that it represents how teenagers really speak, it is extremely repetitive and therefore boring. The directors gave the film a pseudo-documentary feel, but the concentration of so many bizarre characters has nothing to do with reality - unless the film had been set in a psychiatric hospital.

Some of the young actors could be praised for their performances, if the movie was more than just soft porn. Viewers get almost no chance to see their faces, but plenty of opportunities to observe their butts, tits, and genitalia.

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