A story centered on a directionless 16-year-old living in Marfa, Texas and his relationships with his girlfriend, his neighbor, his teacher, a newly arrived local artist, and a local Border Patrol officer.
Jeremy St. James
Instead of adhering to the norms of their South Central neighborhood, a group of skater boys opt to bus into Hollywood and Beverly Hills, where they attract local rich girls - and plenty of... See full summary »
On a sunny day in an affluent suburb of central Mexico, a teenager mysteriously appears in the middle of a residential street. He's mute and dirty, wearing only a pair of briefs. Dangling ... See full summary »
A group of skateboarders in Paris are at the heart of a loose coalition of young people who do drugs and have sex. Several of them are rent boys, including the Dorian Gray/Narcissus of the group Math (Lukas Ionesco) and his friend JP (Hugo Behar-Thinieres) who is in love with him, but is continually rejected because Math reckons he's only gay for pay. There's a girl who sometimes comes over and is jealous of JP's closeness to Math, and so she snitches on JP to his parents, and there's an indigent old man nicknamed Rockstar (Larry Clark) whom the group tolerate as a kind of mascot/despised pet. And there's Michael Pitt (who featured in Clark's "Bully") with a guitar in a couple of scenes looking slightly uncomfortable at being so clearly surplus to requirements.Written by
Larry Clark, as many have said before, is a divisive filmmaker and doesn't make art to please people, he has never done, he makes it to show what someone else wouldn't.
Which a reasonably respectable goal I would have thought. Now when that includes the interesting and "self destructive" life's of skateboarders in Paris this ethos I believe works well. It's a subject probably fairly niche (I don't know I'm not sure how big skating is in Pairs) but either way he's bringing something "new" to the table.
I was also surprised at how well incorporated the themes of social media and attitudes to filming sex and the care in protraying youth views of sex and sexual situations (not something Clark is unfamiliar with you alright we'll give him it anyway).
Where I feel it falls short is mainly routed in its lack of character development or any form of change. It's fine to have a "no real plot", "stuff happens" film but even the most void of plot movies have some over arching idea to hold it together and push the characters, even a little, through their lives. It's easy to criticise this and for someone to say "well that's the point" and it's like yeah but you need something more. Just a little.... Please Larry. Otherwise all the nicely shot scenes and interesting themes will be for nothing and whatever message you're trying to portray will be lost.
The obvious comparison is Larry's own film "Kids" which has little structure but has one over arching idea of AIDS to tie it together and made it engaging. Or Marfa Girl had the threat of the border control guy and the threat of being found out doing dodgy stuff I dunno.
Larry Clark has all the skills and interest to do something genuinely powerful. He can show all the "realism" he wants, all the hardcore sex, but without anything to truly make us care, beyond it being "real", then I find it hard to believe people will take it on as well as Larry would hope.
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