Kids (film): Wikis


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Directed by Larry Clark
Produced by Christine Vachon
Gus Van Sant
Cary Woods
Cathy Konrad
Written by Larry Clark
Harmony Korine
Starring Leo Fitzpatrick
Justin Pierce
Chloë Sevigny
Rosario Dawson
Music by Lou Barlow
Cinematography Eric Edwards
Editing by Christopher Tellefsen
Distributed by United States:
Shining Excalibur Films(theatrical)
Lionsgate (DVD)
Release date(s) July 28, 1995
Running time 91 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Kids is a 1995 American drama film written by Harmony Korine and directed by Larry Clark.[1] The film features Chloë Sevigny, Leo Fitzpatrick, Justin Pierce, Harold Hunter and Rosario Dawson, all of them in their debut performances. The film is centered on a day in the life of a group of sexually active teenagers in New York City and their unrestrained behavior towards sex and drugs during the era of HIV in the mid-1990s.

Kids created considerable controversy upon its release in 1995, and caused much public debate over its artistic merit, even receiving an NC-17 rating from the MPAA.[2] It was later released without a rating.



17-year-old Telly (Leo Fitzpatrick) and a 12-year-old girl are kissing. Telly convinces the girl, who is a virgin, to have sex with him. Afterwards, he meets his friend Casper (Justin Pierce). Telly tells Casper about his sexual experience in graphic terms. They go inside a local store, and Casper shoplifts malt liquor as Telly distracts the cashier. They then steal a peach, using the same set-up just outside the store from a sidewalk display. Looking for drugs and food, they head to their friend Paul's apartment, though they express dislike of him on the way there. They arrive at Paul's house, inhale nitrous oxide out of balloons, talk about sex, and smoke marijuana while skating videos play on TV. The scene intercuts with a group of girls, among them Ruby (Rosario Dawson) and Jennie (Chloë Sevigny), talking about sex and contradicting what the boys say, especially about oral sex.

Ruby and Jennie mention that they were recently tested for STDs at Ruby's request. Ruby's test is negative, though she has had multiple sexual encounters, many of them unprotected. Jennie tests positive for HIV. She claims to have had sex only once, with Telly. Jennie spends the rest of the film trying to find Telly, who has taken to only having sex with virgins on the premise that he cannot get STDs this way. Telly and Casper walk to Telly's house and steal money from Telly's mother. They go to Washington Square Park and buy a "dime bag" of marijuana from a Rastafarian. They then meet up with a few friends, one of whom gives a blunt-rolling tutorial, to talk and smoke. Casper rides on a skateboard and carelessly bumps into a man, who furiously threatens him. He pushes Casper over, but is struck in the back of the head with a skateboard by Harold (Harold Hunter), a friend of Telly and Casper's, causing him to collapse. Many of the other skaters join in, kicking and hitting the man until he is unconscious.

Telly and some of the group from the park pick up a 13-year-old girl named Darcy (Yakira Peguero). She is the younger sister of an acquaintance and Telly wants to have sex with her because she is a virgin. He convinces her to go with them to a pool. The other girls engage in pseudo-lesbian kissing and flirtation, but Darcy is restrained, though not shocked by the others' behavior. Telly and the group go to another friend Steven's house to smoke, drink and talk about sex. Meanwhile, Jennie goes to a rave called NASA trying to find Telly, but instead bumps into "Fidget" (Harmony Korine), who gives her "a euphoric blockbuster drug that is supposed to make 'special K' look weak". After taking the drug, which has effects similar to a depressant, she finds out that Telly is at what has become a party at Steven's house.

Jennie arrives at the party to discover Telly having sex with Darcy, exposing her to HIV. Exhausted by her ordeal and with the drugs still affecting her, Jennie passes out on a couch among the other sleeping party-goers. A drunken Casper proceeds to rape Jennie. The film ends with a soliloquy by Telly about how without sex he would have nothing to live for. The last shot of the film is Casper sitting on a couch naked as he says, "Jesus Christ, what happened?"



Clark is reported to have said that he wanted to "make the Great American Teenage Movie, like the Great American Novel."[3] The movie is filmed in a pseudo-documentary style, although all of the scenes are scripted.

In Kids, Larry Clark cast New York City "street" kids with no previous acting experience in the film, notably Leo Fitzpatrick (Telly) and the late Justin Pierce (Casper). Some have faded back into relative obscurity; meanwhile, others, such as Rosario Dawson (Rent, Sin City, Men in Black II, Alexander) and Academy Award-nominee Chloë Sevigny (Boys Don't Cry, American Psycho, Big Love, Party Monster), have since found success in their acting careers as well-recognized actresses. Jon Abrahams also continues acting and starred in a string of successful movies including The Faculty, Scary Movie, and Meet the Parents, as well as the television series Boston Public. In addition, the film's writer, Harmony Korine, makes a cameo in the club scene with Jennie, as the kid wearing glasses and a Nuclear Assault shirt who gives her drugs, though the part is credited to his brother Avi.[2] Pierce appeared in a number of movies before committing suicide in 2000.[4][5]

Harmony Korine reportedly wrote the screenplay for the movie in 1993, at the age of 18.[2] Contrary to perceptions on the part of many viewers, the film, according to Korine, was almost entirely scripted, with the only exception being the scene with Casper on the couch at the end, which was improvised.[6] Gus Van Sant had originally been attached to the film as a producer. After insufficient interest had been generated in the film, he left the project; under incoming producer Cary Woods, the project found sufficient independent funding for the film. Harvey Weinstein of Miramax, wary of (or perhaps even pressured by) the parent Walt Disney Company's opinion of the risky screenplay, declined to involve Disney in funding the production of the film. After Woods showed him the final cut, however, Miramax paid $3.5 million to buy the worldwide distribution rights of this film.[7]

Controversy and critical reaction

Because of its unexpurgated subject matter centering on relatively young teenagers, Kids has been controversial. The film includes much explicit sexual dialogue, and depicts scenes of date rape, physical violence, drug dealing, theft, seduction of barely post-pubescent minors, and (non-explicit) teenage sexual displays, as well as (apparently) adolescent actors/actresses in near but not quite explicit exposure. The original version of the film was rated NC-17 in the US.[2] It was later released without a rating.

The film received mixed reviews, with 55 percent of critics giving it a positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.[8] Film critic Janet Maslin of the New York Times called the film a "wake-up call to the modern world" about the nature of present day youth in urban life.[9] Meanwhile, other critics have labeled it exploitative (in the lascivious sense) as borderline "child pornography".[10] Korine attributes the negative reaction to Kids to the expectation on the part of audiences for a specified moral-compass when there was none.[11]

Miramax, which was owned by Disney, paid $3.5 million to buy the worldwide distribution rights of this film.[12] Later, Harvey and Bob Weinstein (the co-chairmen of Miramax) were forced to buy back the film from Disney and created Shining Excalibur Films (a one-off company) to release the film, due to Disney's policy forbidding the release of NC-17 rated movies.[2] Eamonn Bowles was hired to be the chief operating officer of Shining Excalibur Films.[13]

Box office

The film, which cost $1.5 million to make, grossed $7.4 million in the United States box office[14] and over $20 million worldwide.[15] According to Peter Biskind's book Down and Dirty Pictures, Eamonn Bowles had stated that Harvey and Bob Weinstein might have personally profited up to $2 million each.


Kids Original Soundtrack
Released 1995
Genre Lo-fi
Length 41:16
Label London

Track listing

  1. Daniel Johnston - "Casper"
  2. Deluxx Folk Implosion - "Daddy Never Understood"
  3. Folk Implosion - "Nothing Gonna Stop"
  4. Folk Implosion - "Jenny's Theme"
  5. Folk Implosion - "Simean Groove"
  6. Daniel Johnston - "Casper The Friendly Ghost"
  7. Folk Implosion - "Natural One"
  8. Sebadoh - "Spoiled"
  9. Folk Implosion - "Crash"
  10. Folk Implosion - "Wet Stuff"
  11. Lo-Down - "Mad Fright Night"
  12. Folk Implosion - "Raise The Bells"
  13. Slint - "Good Morning Captain"

Other songs

Songs featured in the movie but not on the official soundtrack include:


  • 1995 Cannes Film Festival - Golden Palm Award (nominated; Larry Clark)[16]
  • 1995 Independent Spirit Awards
    • Best Debut Performance - Justin Pierce
    • Best First Feature (nominated; director Larry Clark and producer Cary Woods)
    • Best First Screenplay (nominated; Harmony Korine)
    • Best Supporting Female (nominated; Chloë Sevigny)[17]

See also


  1. ^ " - Kids" (html). Retrieved 2007-01-12. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Trivia for Kids (1995)". Internet Movie Database Inc. Retrieved 2007-01-12. 
  3. ^ Bowen, Peter. Summer 1995. "The Little Rascals." Retrieved 2009-10-29.
  4. ^ "Justin Pierce, 25; Starred in 'Kids'". The New York Times. 2000-07-13. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  5. ^ "Actor Justin Pierce hangs self in Las Vegas hotel". Reuters. 2000-11-01. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  6. ^ Lyons, Tom. 1997-10-16. "Southern Culture on the Skids". The Eye. Retrieved 2009-11-6.
  7. ^ "Controversy: 'Kids' for Adults", Newsweek, February 20, 1995
  8. ^ Kids at
  9. ^ Kids at Rotten Tomatoes; last accessed May 22, 2007.
  10. ^ Rita Kempley (1995-08-25). "'Kids' (NR)". Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 
  11. ^ Ebert, Roger. 1995-6-5. Harmony Korine Interview Retrieved November 2, 2009
  12. ^ "Controversy: 'Kids' for Adults", Newsweek, February 20, 1995
  13. ^ Roman, Monica; "Bowles distrib'n prez for Shooting Gallery: Ex-Goldwyn arthouse exec brings sound instincts to Gallery"; January 8, 1998.
  14. ^ Box Information for Kids at
  15. ^ Klady, Leonard. "Bookie bets on 'Paradise'" Daily Variety May 7, 1997
  16. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Kids". Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  17. ^ Awards page for Kids at the Internet Movie Database

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Telly: 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 pussy. 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 - fucking is what I love. Take that away from me and I really got nothing.

The Taxi Driver: You look like the prom queen. I dated the prom queen when I was your age. She was the first girl I stuck my tongue in.

Telly: Condoms don't work. They either break, or they slip off, or they make your dick shrink. Nah, but you still gotta use em, yo. At least I did once.

Telly: When you are young not much matters, when you find something you like that's all you got.

Telly: Virgins. I love 'em. No diseases, no loose as a goose pussy, no skank. No nothin. Just pure pleasure.

Kim: So this is your new girl, huh? Telly: I hope so. For now. Kim: You like 'em kinda young, right? Babies? Telly: I like 'em new. Not like you.

[singing, drunk in a bathtub] Casper: I'm Casper, the friendly ghost / The DOPEST ghost in town / All the bitches love me 'cause I'm fuckin' CASPER / The DOPEST ghost around.

Casper: How did she smell? Did her puss stink? Telly: Take a whiff. [Telly holds up his fingers and Casper smells them] Casper: Mmmmm. Butterscotch, yo. That's the best.

Jennie's Nurse: Jennie, you've tested positive for the HIV virus. Jennie: What? Jennie's Nurse: The test isn't one hundred percent accurate. You should... Jennie: I tested positive? Jennie's Nurse: I'm sorry. Jennie: But I only had sex with Telly. [the nurse is silent] Jennie: I just got tested to keep Ruby company.

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