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Urs Peter Halter
Ken Park focuses on several teenagers and their tormented home lives. Shawn seems to be the most conventional. Tate is brimming with psychotic rage; Claude is habitually harassed by his brutish father and coddled, rather uncomfortably, by his enormously pregnant mother. Peaches looks after her devoutly religious father, but yearns for freedom. They're all rather tight, or so they claim. But they spend precious little time together and none of them seems to know much about one another's family lives. This bizarre dichotomy underscores their alienation # the result of suburban ennui, a teenager's inherent sense of melodrama, and the disturbing nature of their home environments. Written by
Considering I grew up in Visalia, and spent much of my youth at the skate park featured at the beginning of the film, I can attest there is plenty of realism in this film. Our society is deeply troubled, and maybe YOU don't see things like this every day, but I certainly have. In fact, just this week one of the locals that starred in this film came to my friend's house in the middle of the night spun out of his gourd on meth. It would have fit perfectly as a scene in this film.
To those who argue detractors don't "get it", I promise you I do. My problem is for those who won't. I get it because I've lived in this town and seen its dirty side, which I'm positive can be seen in many other cities in this country. To someone who has led a sheltered and fortunate life, watching this movie will not help them to understand anything. To someone like me who hasn't led a sheltered and fortunate life, well there isn't much difference, this film is pure shock value with absolutely no plot.
It's possible to make a movie as shocking and graphic as this and still provide some sort of coherence and plot, but that's not Larry Clark's style. He simply confronts you with tragic and disturbing situations, with little empathy, understanding, or context. You're left just feeling disgusting.
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