Larry Clark's Ken Park is a pensive, albeit cynical look into a group of troubled teenagers and their parents/guardians living in sunny Southern California. The film opens in a skate park, where a troubled young man puts a gun to his head and pulls the trigger. From there the film proceeds to chronicle the boys classmates, interweaving their somewhat connected lives into a portrait of a dysfunctional America. Ken Park isn't a film interested in blaming anyone in particular for the dysfunctional families which we witness, with each storyline providing its own unique set of circumstances. Instead the film is merely interested in presenting these people to the audience, providing a portrait of their everyday lives, which are often shocking and explicit in nature. While there is no denying that Clarks' other films deal with similar subject matter, Ken Park is by far his most explicit and raw film. There will be many who simply write off this film as shock over substance but that is simply unfair and untrue. Ken Park works so well because it's able to balance its shocking elements with its more touching sequences, which together create a clear and effective portrait of the dysfunctional America which Larry Clark sees. I was particularly enamored by the story of Peaches, a young girl who lives under the strict catholic upbringing which her father provides. The juxtaposition of religion and Peaches carnal desires is really well done, effectively creating an argument that her father's strict beliefs are in fact driving Peaches to experiment. Ken Park is certainly not a film for everyone but for those interested in this type of film it's engrossing, brutal and fascinating stuff.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.