On the opening scene, Telly (Leo FitzPatrick) seduces a young girl into having sex for the first time. He looks caring and sensitive to her needs, but when he’s boning her, he’s hardly paying attention to her whimpers. When he joins his friend Casper (Justin Pierce), Telly brags about his latest virgin conquest in sleazy details. We learn he has a mission to deflower as many girls as possible. He sees the big picture. He envisions his own legacy, when all these duped girls will remember him when they think of their first time in the sack. Whether they like it or not, Telly is an inerasable part of their history.
Later in the day, Telly attempts for another conquest and bets with Casper he can deflower two virgins in one day. They drop by at a hangout place where they discuss with their buddies about sex. They agree that the hype about condom is bull because they don’t know anybody with HIV or AIDS. We also overhear a group of girls take on the subject. One girl favors being ridden hard while another girl select sexual partners by his finger skills. The dialogue is gasp worthy but the movie is not all about shocking us. In fact, the whole style of the movie is not appearing to be a movie. It’s gunning for a documentary approach. It wants us to observe and learn. This isn’t for the wide-eyed innocent audience. It’s for the open-minded (Democrats?). The movie also ventures on drugs, alcohol, and violence. It also has subplot about Jenny (Chloe Sevigny), one of Telly’s victims, who discovers a bad news and is determined to find Telly before the day ends.
The sad thing about most serious films about teens is that they aren’t accessible to teens. They are usually rated R or Unrated because it features some “shocking” things. When Larry Clark’s “Kids” came out in 1995, I was around the same age as the actors in the movie. There was much buzz of what an eye-opener it was and how it was the most important movie of that year. But that’s all I got from the movie – all this hyped-up talk. I wasn’t allowed to see it and it opened in very few theaters.
Ten years later, I rent the DVD and it’s like going back in time. I have been there under the sun on those merciless summer days in New York and wandered aimlessly on the streets to keep boredom at bay. The place is very real to me. While I haven’t intimately known teens that were wild as the ones in the movie, the kids seemed real to me too however unreal their activities are. The genius of the film is that it is very convincing. There are many shots in the movie where you wonder how Larry Clark pulled it off. And for that matter, where did he find a cast of young and inexperienced actors that are this credible? It’s an astonishing achievement. It is easier to believe these kids are really playing themselves.