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Film: Kids

Kids is a 1995 Drama film directed by Larry Clark and written by Harmony Korine

Leo Fitzpatrick and Justin Pierce star as Telly and Casper, two New York teenagers of around 17. Telly's mission in life is to deflower virgins, referring to himself as the "virgin surgeon". His latest sexual conquest has been Jennie (Chloe Sevigny). The film charts a day in Telly and Casper's lives, as they go about their daily activities of using black slang, smoking pot, shoplifting, beating up a passerby who crosses them in the park, and attending midnight raves, whilst Jennie and her friend Ruby (Rosario Dawson) attempt to track them down and give Telly some information of life-and-death importance.

The film was extremely controversial for its frank, unabashed depiction of teen sexuality, deliquency and drug use, landing it an NC-17 rating. It is notable for using untrained actors actually recruited from the street (this was Sevigny and Dawson's debut). Critical reception of it was mixed; with some calling it "a wakeup call to America's youth" and others decrying as nothing more than a glorified exploitation film bordering on child porn. Such is the case with all of Larry Clark's films.


This film provides examples of:

  • Adults Are Useless: It's not that the parents don't care, it's just that they are completely clueless.
  • Big Applesauce
  • Cluster F-Bomb: About 90% of the dialogue in this movie consists of profanity.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The skateboard scene in the park.
  • Death by Sex: Not before the end of the movie, but eventually.
  • Dude, She's Like in a Coma: In the next-to-last scene, a girl is raped while unconscious.
  • Drugs Are Bad
  • Good Bad Girl: Ruby's extensive resume of sexual experience is actually kind of astonishing, but she's really a very sweet girl.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Telly and Casper.
  • Instant Seduction: Occurs not once, but twice, the first time involving Telly talking a young virgin into having sex in literally a minute and a half.
  • Irony: Quite a bit.
    • Ruby really gets around, but it's Jennie that turns up HIV-positive.
    • See Laser-Guided Karma for what happens to the rapist.
    • Among Telly's stupid ideas about virgins, he particularly cherishes the idea that the girl will remember him for the rest of her life. Cut to Ruby telling a bunch of giggling girls that she can't even remember the name of her first. About Telly himself, Jennie states flat out that "It wasn't that he took my virginity. It was that he never spoke to me again!"
  • KidAnova: Telly.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The rapist probably contracted HIV.
  • Nature Adores a Virgin: Telly is obsessed with the allure of virgins and virginity.
  • Parental Abandonment: The kids' parents are hardly seen or mentioned.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy
  • Rape as Drama: A more complicated version. The victim is an AIDS victim. The subtext would tend to indicate the victim is much more concerned for the rapist.
  • Really Gets Around: Telly and Ruby.
  • Sex Is Evil: It's not exactly clear if the characters have sex because they're evil, or if they're evil because they have sex, but there's a definite correlation in there somewhere.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Well duh. It's a Larry Clark film.
  • Villain Protagonist: Telly
  • Wild Teen Party: The climax takes place at one of these.


A Kid in King Arthur's CourtFilms of the 1990sThe Last Supper

alternative title(s): Kids
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