• James Rutherford

'Kids': A Searing 90's-Era Depiction of Delinquency on the Streets of New York City


Movie poster for the film Kids starring Leo Fitzpatrick and Justin Pierce

Kids (1995) is a highly provocative independent drama that follows a cluster of teenagers as they ramble through the streets of New York City over the course of a single day. Central to the disparate group is Telly (Leo Fitzpatrick), a starkly amoral miscreant dedicated to stealing the virginity of as many young women as possible.


Telly and his best friend Casper (Justin Pierce) roam Manhattan in search of alcohol, drugs and unassuming female victims, while robbing convenience stores and rabble rousing with fellow skateboarders. Elsewhere in the city, young Jennie (Chloë Sevigny) chats with female friends including Ruby (Rosario Dawson) about their sexual escapades—Jennie meanwhile fearing that Telly may have infected her with a sexually transmitted disease. When her worst fears are ultimately confirmed at the local clinic, Jennie sets off on a desperate quest to inform Telly of her terrifying diagnosis.


Co-written by Harmony Korine (Spring Breakers) and directed by renowned photographer-turned-filmmaker Larry Clark (Bully), Kids is a brutally realistic yet undeniably immersive cinematic escapade. Korine and Clark eschew all sentimentality to deliver a raw and inflammatory exhibition of wayward youth, lost in a sea of abject escapism and debauchery. Disquieting yet undeniably affective, it's an eye-opening viewing experience—one sure to stay with you long after the credits have rolled.

 

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