Ken Park

Year: 2003
Production Co: Busy Bee Productions
Director: Larry Clark
Writer: Larry Clark/Harmony Korine
Cast: Amanda Plummer

Another victim of Australia's puritanical censorship laws that was guaranteed to get more attention than it deserved. And like its predecessors Baise Moi, a crap movie not worth all the argument.

No it shouldn't have been banned, but this is a movie review and not political statement - banning movies because they're offensive would mean half the production in Hollywood would grind to a halt.

Once again Larry Clark gives us a very one sided view of teenagers - that they're all pot smoking hedonists having as much casual sex as they can (including with a girlfriend's mother this time). To be fair, all directors' movies are his experiences, and he's said his childhood was pretty dysfunctional, so this is the picture of teenagers he knows. But on no account should it be considered authoritative or a warning to parents that their kids' lives are dangerously out of control (which is the way Clark films are usually marketed). This time however, he shows the moral bankruptcy across the whole blue collar community that spawns these children, personified in Claude's alcoholic father.

With regards to the story, each episode in the kids' lives is fairly interesting in themselves, even if it's hard to rustle up the least bit of empathy for the characters. But the bookending of the movie with the fate of Ken Park and the final scene, of Peaches, Claude and Shaun laying around, laughing, talking and fucking each other seems to have nothing to do with the continuity of the story.

There was obviously a point in i just like there was in the rest of the movie, and while I'm not one for banning explicit sex, there's rarely been a movie where it advances the telling of the story, and Ken Park is no exception - Clark may or may not court controversy to keep his cult edge, but you can imply with as much effect as showing in full frontal glory and wasting three minutes of film.

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