Saturday, November 13, 2010

142. Kids (1995)


When you're young, not much matters. When you find something that you care about, then that's all you got. When you go to sleep at night you dream of *#$$&. When you wake up it's the same thing. It's there in your face. You can't escape it. Sometimes when you're young the only place to go is inside. That's just it - #*&$ing is what I love. Take that away from me and I really got nothing.

For any adult who has ever wished they could be a fly on the wall in a large group of unsupervised teenagers, this movie gives you that wish, and you probably will regret it. This movie is a brutally honest look at poor, misguided youth in Manhattan. The film centers around Telly and Casper as they spend a hot summer day "boosting" 40's, smoking weed, skateboarding, taking whippets, looking for girls, and talking (a lot). Telly's obsession has become exploring the wonders of deflowering young girls. What makes this movie meaningful is that the viewer finds out that Telly is ignorant of his HIV status. Chloe Sevigny (in her breakout role) gets tested to support her friend (Rosario Dawson, also in her first role), and is shocked to discover that she is HIV positive even though her only sexual partner was Telly.

I see this movie as a "scared straight" exercise. So many young people are misinformed about the dangers of unprotected promiscuity (and how that doesn't mix well with alcohol and drugs). "Kids" speaks to this target audience in their own language. Scenes are very uncomfortable because of their painful realities. No punches are pulled as the viewer is taken along with the group of young people and see everything that they see. For this reason, I don't recommend this film for most people, but if you are curious about how powerfully real a non-documentary film can feel, then you should probably start here.

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