Ken Park focuses on several teenagers and their tormented home lives. Shawn seems to be the most conventional. Tate is brimming with psychotic rage; Claude is habitually harassed by his brutish father and coddled, rather uncomfortably, by his enormously pregnant mother…
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Written by Harmony Korine, who by 2002 had already directed himself the cult piece Gummo and the dogma 95 #6 Julien Donkey-Boy. From the prortraits of disfunctional youth that Clark and Korine (and we could add Gus Van Sant) have given us, this is (though disfunctional and disturbing enough, including suicide and homicide) perhaps the most romantic of all. There is, or it's just me, a glimpse of hope there.
Does this film have a message? I don't know! Does it have a point? It certainly does! I respect any film that attempt to break down the boundaries of political correctness, something I wish more filmmakers would take upon themselves and Clark and Korine certainly do it here! What an absolutely insane fucking film. Its over the top to the point of ridiculousness and yet still manages to really disturb. I love it!
A dystopic vision of cross-generational shagging culminates in a utopic vision of intra-generational shagging, and then The Shaggs play us out. (Also, Ziggy from The Wire does a number of things you wish he wouldn't.)
Angst and libido are the forefront emotions of the transition into adulthood and Larry Clark captures rebellious youth without diverting the camera for fear of hurting anyone's feelings. We see the darkness behind the closed doors of traditional American middle class suburban values - parents suck, skating rules (and even that's not enough sometimes).