Ken Park (2002)

Starring: Adam Chubbuck, James Bullard, James Ransone, Stephen Jasso, Tiffany Limos, Maeve Quinlan

Plot: Journey in life of youth skateboarders in California. Their day to day life and struggle of fitting in and surviving family life and the ordeal of discovering sex and where they belong in life.

My Review and Thoughts:

This is a shocking and blunt depiction of the life, reality, and of the sexual escapades of youth and the destruction and overall struggle of today's kids lost in unhealthily lifestyles and families. From the very first action of a teenager blowing his head off to the eye opening fellatio of a grown woman and a kid.

You know the reality you're getting into as you discover this film. As our main characters are introduced, each one of them in some type of ordeal, some type of attitude or surroundings.

Most people going into this already know what kind of film you're about to watch because it is scripted by one of the gifted talented visionary reality-based writers Harmony
Korraine who scripted such stark examples of society in the brilliant and mind numbing Kids and the ultra-twisted avant-garde art-house Gummo among others.

Watching Ken Park I was shocked by this movie. I was floored by its imagery, by its actions, by language, by situations. I was captivated and almost a little obsessed with what was going to happen next. This film held me mainly with its shocking imagery and blunt atmosphere and disturbing nature. Seeing youth used in some of the scenarios and ordeals taking place on the screen totally floored me and my thinking process.

This is a movie that is brilliantly created in the sense that it's almost like everyday life being expressed, being filmed. To think that stuff like this happens, to think that our youth is slowly falling apart compared to what it was 50 to 60 years ago when people tended to have respect for life, respect for others, manners and morals and the idea of good and bad.

Harmony teamed with Larry Clark and both know how to shock the viewer. Where Harmony and Clark are different is that they don't just shock for shock, there is always a story behind the shock. Harmony knows how to write a script to express the darker sides, sexual sides. Larry Clark created the story and Harmony scripted. Harmony expresses himself through words and images that tend to bleed into reality and come together as brilliant cult films of twisted ideas of hidden society.

This is directed by a master visionary. He creates small little underground cult masterpieces that those that have seen them, understand them, expresses them and are in awe of the reality of the films. Larry Clark creates memorable films. He created two of my favorite films of all time such as 1995's Kids, and the shocking and blunt over looked true story Bully (2001).

Larry Clark had a directing partner for Ken Park and that is the extraordinary cinematographer Edward Lachman.

This makes a bold statement. A statement of family values. A statement of youth in today's culture. A statement of love and lust. A statement of wanting to belong, of wanting to have a place. It shows youth thinking they have nothing, showcasing that their life is leading nowhere. Their family dynamics, their family life, their parents are more screwed up then they are.

This does have some stars the amazing Amanda Plummer. She has graced television and cinema for many years from Pulp Fiction to Needful Things. From small Budget to big-budget she's done it all. She plays Claude's mom in Ken Park and does a wonderful job capturing the character.

This also has the wonderful character actor that has graced television and movies for many years usually always the bad guy or the one in the background, Wade Williams. He plays Claude's father the drunk abusive asshole. He knows how to bring the emotions out in the viewer.

This also stars acting veteran Julio Oscar Mechoso who has graced movies and television since the 70's. He played the crazy religious father in Ken Park. Truly an angry twisted persona acted flawlessly.

The true stars of the movie are four amazing actors. The ones portraying the youth in the film. The character of Tate is played wonderful in all its twisted disturbing glory by James Ransone. Ransone captures this part that will remain with me. He created and gave it his all in this amazing part of a somewhat bored psychotic youth.  Stephen Jasso played the character of Claude and created another memorable persona that was tragic, lost and nowhere to fit in life. Abusive drunk father, a mother who turns her back and a free will that seems to be his only companion. He made you believe his plight in life. Tiffany Limos plays Peaches. She is so believable as this character. Her crying performance made you personally feel the emotions because she captured it so we'll. I think the golden ticket would have to go to James Bullard. He is awesome as the character Shawn. His performance flowed on screen as if your where there. He was brilliant in the persona of the lover boy Cupid type character.

All the acting and all the actors created their characters flawlessly. They played the parts perfect, no matter how Shocking they were. They owned the parts no matter how blunt and in-your-face they were. Each one created a persona to a believable reality that made the movie flow and feel like a landmark film that stated what it wanted to say.

The whole movie has very frank shocking ordeals, situations, images and they run throughout the whole movie. I was utterly floored with the scene depicting autoerotic asphyxiation. James Ransone stripped, put the bathrobe tie around his neck and master-bated which totally blew my mind that they filmed this moment.

If you go into this, be warned for this shows full-blown nudity, masturbation, fellatio, sex, drug use and graphic scenarios of abuse and sexuality. This is truly a film I will not forget.