Larry Clark in 2013 at the Deauville American Film Festival
Lawrence Donald Clark
January 19, 1943
Lawrence Donald Clark (born January 19, 1943) is an American film director, photographer, writer and film producer who is best known for his controversial teen film Kids (1995) and his photography book Tulsa (1971). His work focuses primarily on youth who casually engage in illegal drug use, underage sex, and violence, and who are part of a specific subculture, such as surfing, punk rock, or skateboarding.
Clark was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He learned photography at an early age. His mother was an itinerant baby photographer, and he was enlisted in the family business from the age of 13.His father was a traveling sales manager for the Reader Service Bureau, selling books and magazines door-to-door, and was rarely home. In 1959, Clark began injecting amphetamines with his friends.
Clark attended the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he studied under Walter Sheffer and Gerhard Bakker.
In 1964, he moved to New York City to freelance, but was drafted within two months into the United States Army. From 1964 to 1965, he served in the Vietnam War in a unit that supplied ammunition to units fighting in the north. His experiences there led him to publish the 1971 book Tulsa , a photo documentary illustrating his young friends' drug use in black and white.
Routinely carrying a camera, from 1963 to 1971 Clark produced pictures of his drug-shooting coterie that have been described by critics as "exposing the reality of American suburban life at the fringe and ... shattering long-held mythical conventions that drugs and violence were an experience solely indicative of the urban landscape."
His follow-up was Teenage Lust (1983), an "autobiography" of his teen past through the images of others. It included his family photos, more teenage drug use, graphic pictures of teenage sexual activity, and young male hustlers in Times Square, New York City. Clark constructed a photographic essay titled "The Perfect Childhood" that examined the effect of media in youth culture. His photographs are part of public collections at several art museums including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Photographic Arts, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
In 1993, Clark directed Chris Isaak's music video "Solitary Man". This experience developed into an interest in film direction.After publishing other photographic collections, Clark met Harmony Korine in New York City and asked Korine to write the screenplay for his first feature film Kids, which was released to controversy and mixed critical reception in 1995. Clark continued directing, filming a handful of additional independent feature films in the several years after this.
In 2001, Clark shot three features Bully , Ken Park , and Teenage Caveman over a span of nine months. As of 2017, they are his last films to feature professional actors.
In 2002, Clark spent several hours in a police cell after punching and trying to strangle Hamish McAlpine, the head of Metro Tartan, the UK distributor for Clark's film Ken Park . According to McAlpine, who was left with a broken nose, the incident arose from an argument about Israel and the Middle East, and he claims that he did not provoke Clark.
In a 2016 interview, Clark discussed his lifelong struggle with drug abuse, although stating he maintained total sobriety while filmmaking. He confessed that the only exception made to his practice of abstinence while filming was Marfa Girl. Clark explained that while filming that movie he used opiates for pain due to double knee replacement surgery.
Directors such as Gus Van Sant and Martin Scorsese have stated that they were influenced by Clark's early photography, according to Peter Biskind's book Down and Dirty Pictures.
Roger Ebert was a fan of his work, giving positive reviews to Kids ,Another Day in Paradise , Bully , and Wassup Rockers .
In Kids (1995), his most widely known film, boys portrayed as being as young as 12 are shown to be casually drinking alcohol and using other drugs. The film received an NC-17 rating,and was later released without a rating when Disney bought Miramax.
Ken Park is a more sexually and violently graphic film than Kids, including a scene of auto-erotic asphyxiation and ejaculation by an emotionally rattled high-school boy (portrayed by James Ransone, then in his early 20s). As of 2015 [update] , it has not been widely released or distributed in the United States.
In 2015, Clark collaborated alongside notable skateboard and clothing brand, Supreme , to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Kids with a collection of decks, T-shirts, and sweatshirts that feature stills from the iconic film. The collection was released on May 21, 2015 in Supreme's New York, Los Angeles, and London locations and on May 23 in their Japan location.
In Australia, Ken Park was banned for its graphic sexual content, and a protest screening held in response was immediately shut down by the police. Australian film critic Margaret Pomeranz, co-host of At the Movies , was almost arrested for screening the film at a hall.The film was not released in the United States, but Clark says that it was because of the producer's failure to get releases for the music used.
Clark has won the top prizes at the Cognac Festival du Film Policier (for Another Day in Paradise), the Stockholm Film Festival (for Bully) and the Rome Film Festival (for Marfa Girl). He has also competed for the Golden Palm (Kids) and Golden Lion (Bully).
Roger Joseph Ebert was an American film critic, film historian, journalist, screenwriter, and author. He was a film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, Ebert became the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times said Ebert "was without question the nation's most prominent and influential film critic," Tom Van Riper of Forbes described him as "the most powerful pundit in America," and Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times called him "the best-known film critic in America."
Small Soldiers is a 1998 American science fiction film directed by Joe Dante from a story by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. It stars Kirsten Dunst and Gregory Smith, along with the voices of Frank Langella and Tommy Lee Jones. The film depicts two conflicting factions of action figures who turn sentient after being programmed with a military microprocessor, putting lives in danger when one faction turns violent in their efforts to eliminate their enemy toys and anyone assisting them.
Ken Park is a 2002 erotic drama which revolves around the abusive and dysfunctional lives of several teenagers, set in the city of Visalia, California. It was written by Harmony Korine, who based it on Larry Clark's journals and stories. The film was directed and shot by Clark and Edward Lachman. The film is an international co-production of the United States, the Netherlands, and France.
Matthew Raymond Dillon is an American actor and film director. He made his feature film debut in Over the Edge (1979) and established himself as a teen idol by starring in the films My Bodyguard (1980), Little Darlings (1980), the three S. E. Hinton book adaptations Tex (1982), Rumble Fish (1983), The Outsiders (1983) and The Flamingo Kid (1984). From the late 1980s onward, Dillon achieved further success, starring in Drugstore Cowboy (1989), Singles (1992), The Saint of Fort Washington (1993), To Die For (1995), Beautiful Girls (1996), In & Out (1997), There's Something About Mary (1998), and Wild Things (1998). In a 1991 article, famed movie critic Roger Ebert referred to him as the best actor within his age group, along with Sean Penn.
Bully is a 2001 crime drama film directed by Larry Clark, and starring Brad Renfro, Bijou Phillips, Rachel Miner, Michael Pitt, Leo Fitzpatrick, Daniel Franzese, Kelli Garner, and Nick Stahl. Its plot follows a group of teenagers in South Florida who enact a murder plot against their mutual friend who has emotionally, physically, and sexually abused them for years.
Kids is a 1995 American coming-of-age drama exploitation film directed by Larry Clark and written by Harmony Korine. It stars Leo Fitzpatrick, Justin Pierce, Chloë Sevigny, and Rosario Dawson, all in their film debuts. Primarily set during the course of one day, Fitzpatrick, Pierce, Sevigny, Dawson, and other newcomers portray a group of teenagers in New York City with hedonistic behavior toward sexual immorality and substance abuse during the year 1994. The film was controversial when released in 1995 and caused public debate over its artistic merit. It received an NC-17 rating from the MPAA, but was released without a rating. Critical response was mixed, and the film grossed $20.4 million on a $1.5 million budget.
Harmony Korine is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, actor, author, artist, photographer and skateboarder. He is best known for writing Kids (1995) and for writing and directing Gummo (1997), Julien Donkey-Boy (1999), Mister Lonely (2007) and Spring Breakers (2012). His film Trash Humpers (2009) premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and won the main prize, the DOX Award, at the CPH:DOX. In 2019, Korine directed his first project in six years, The Beach Bum.
Tulsa is a collection of black-and-white photographs by Larry Clark of the life of young people in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Its publication in 1971 "caused a sensation within the photographic community", leading to a new interest in autobiographical work. Later better known for directing the movie Kids, Clark was a Tulsa native and a drug addict during the period (1963–1971) when he took the photographs. The book is prefaced by the statement:
i was born in tulsa oklahoma in 1943. when i was sixteen i started shooting amphetamine. i shot with my friends everyday for three years and then left town but i've gone back through the years. once the needle goes in it never comes out. L.C.
Allen Garfield was an American film and television actor.
Bruce Sinofsky was an American documentary film director, particularly known for his films the Paradise Lost trilogy, Brother's Keeper and Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, all created with Joe Berlinger.
Q – The Winged Serpent is a 1982 American monster horror film written, produced and directed by Larry Cohen and starring Michael Moriarty, Candy Clark, David Carradine, and Richard Roundtree.
Another Day in Paradise is a 1998 American crime drama film directed by Larry Clark and starring James Woods, Melanie Griffith, Vincent Kartheiser and Natasha Gregson Wagner. It was released by Trimark Pictures. It is based on the novel Another Day in Paradise written by Eddie Little. The movie won the Grand Prix award at the 1999 Festival du Film Policier de Cognac.
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock 'N Roll Generation Saved Hollywood is a book by Peter Biskind, published by Simon & Schuster in 1998. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls is about the 1960s and 1970s Hollywood, a period of American film known for the production of such films such as The Godfather,The Godfather Part II,Chinatown,Taxi Driver,Jaws,Star Wars,The Exorcist, and The Last Picture Show. The title is taken from films which bookend the era: Easy Rider (1969) and Raging Bull (1980). The book follows Hollywood on the brink of the Vietnam War, when a group of young Hollywood film directors known as the "movie brats" are making their names. It begins in the 1960s and ends in the 1980s.
Back Roads is a 1981 American romantic comedy film starring Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones. It is directed by Martin Ritt. It got middling reviews and grossed $11 million at the box office. This was the first film produced by CBS Theatrical Films. The film was distributed by Warner Bros.
Wassup Rockers is a 2005 film directed by Larry Clark.
Tex is a 1982 American drama film directed by Tim Hunter and written by Charles S. Haas. It is based on the novel of the same name by S. E. Hinton. Matt Dillon and Jim Metzler play brothers who struggle after their mother dies and their father walks out on them.
Frozen Assets is a 1992 American comedy film directed by George T. Miller. It stars Shelley Long and Corbin Bernsen.
Spring Breakers is a 2012 American crime film written and directed by Harmony Korine and starring James Franco, Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine. Gomez, Hudgens, Benson, and Korine portray four college-aged girls on their spring break in Florida where they meet an eccentric local drug dealer (Franco) who helps them in a time of desperation, and their eventual descent into a world of drugs, crime, and violence.
Marfa Girl is a 2012 drama film written and directed by Larry Clark, and released on his website. The film follows a group of young people living in the West Texas town of Marfa. It won the Marcus Aurelius Award for Best Film at the 2012 Rome Film Festival.
The 39th Deauville American Film Festival took place at Deauville, France from August 30 to September 8, 2013. Steven Soderbergh's drama film Behind the Candelabra served as the opening night film. Snowpiercer by Bong Joon-ho was the closing night film of the festival. The Grand Prix was awarded to Night Moves by Kelly Reichardt.