Wednesday, February 13, 2008

KEN PARK (2002)

Rating: Not Rated
Length: 96 minutes
Director: Larry Clark (Kids; Bully) and Edward Lachman
Writer: Harmony Korine (Kids; Gummo)
Starring: Amanda Plummer, Maeve Quinlan, Wade Williams, James Bullard, Tiffany Limos, Stephen Jasso, James Ransone, Bill Fagerbakke, Larry Clark

Ken Park” has topped “Happiness” as the number one film I would not want to watch with either of my parents. Banned in the United States (and pretty much every where else), “Ken Park” is Larry Clark’s sad attempt to re-create the brilliance he had with his debut film, “Kids”. He even re-teams with “Kids” screenwriter Harmony Korine. I say sad attempt because the film seems to exist only as a source for cheap shock value. “Kids” worked because there were fully realized characters (even if they were totally unlikable). The characters in “Ken Park” are nothing more than props for Clark’s perversions. The film opens with the suicide of the title character and then moves on to show Park’s circle of friends and their troubled lives. Shawn (James Bullard) is having an affair with his girlfriend’s married mother (Maeve Quinlan); Claude (Stephen Jasso) is a pothead who’s Dad verbally and sexually abuses him; Tate (James Ransone) has some kind of bizarre hatred for his grandparents (he cusses his grandmother out for offering to make him lunch); Peaches (Tiffany Limos) is viewed by her strict religious father (Julio Oscar Mechoso) as a replacement for his dead wife. There’s a lot of oral sex, full frontal nudity, masturbation, incest, and even a threesome thrown in at the end for good measures (followed by a clumsy conclusion that explains why the Park character offed himself). I’ve seen all of Clark’s films (except “Bully” which I’ve heard mixed reviews on) and all of them, “Kids”, withstanding have been let downs. I’d say “Ken Park” is his worst, but it’d be hard to ignore his sci-fi porno “Teenage Caveman”. Harmony Korine (who has far surpassed Clark as a film maker) ended his friendship with Clark over this film (Clark altered his script considerably). Good career move.

Download Soundtrack MP3s:
Rancid- Antennas
Black Star- Brown Skin Lady

Buy the DVD here

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