Ever since the creation of the first motion picture, there have been numerous debates over the effectiveness of a vast multitude of movies. The term effectiveness is a very broad expression and can be used to cover a huge variety of areas. On a generic basis, did it make the viewer exert a certain emotion, laughter or tears; did it outrage the viewer; did it leave you thinking? Each of the above questions can be used to rank the effectiveness of any given movie. There are movies, however, that when viewed can evoke every possible emotion, outrage and teach you valuable lessons at the same time, and all around leave a lasting impression in the minds of those watching with both negative and positive connotations. In my generation, Larry Clark is a director that is renowned for creating such films. In his 1995 eye-opener, KIDS, Clark directs a movie that is the best example of this phenomenon I have seen. KIDS is a movie that has the capability of making you cry, laugh, become extremely angry, grow curious, etc. The fact that this movie was an effective one goes without question. It is a movie that after watching it for the first time is capable of lingering under your skin for a long time. The real question is what kind of effect does the movie actually have after it is viewed.
[...] They believed that by depicting some of the worst- case scenarios of today's youth, others would try to prevent such problems. Some critics believe that this movie can be used as a learning tool. For example, the first time I actually saw this film was in my health class in high school. We were deemed mature enough to witness the grotesque behavior of these contemporary teenagers, and told to act nothing like that. The reason as to why some critics have given such positive feedback is because they somehow believe that these plot twists are what happens to modern day youth in America. [...]
[...] In the movie, a perfect example of this can be found when the group of degenerate boys is discussing sex. One actually states that “AIDS is not a real thing, just something made up by adults to scare kids.” His reasoning for this was that he knew no one with the disease except for people on television. In my opinion, today's youth is more intelligent than that, but the connection is still there. For example, many teenagers nowadays may believe it is impossible for them to become pregnant or impregnate someone. [...]
[...] Well, judging by the personalities portrayed by the actors, the children who do need some sort of reform would probably sit through the movie laughing or wanting to keep whatever negative habits they may have and add some more. There is no point in the movie made to say that they should change. Kids that are that uneducated enough to act like the ones in the movie do, in real life, would not be able to take away the points Clark is trying to convey. [...]
[...] Clark plays off of the ideal that today's youth believe that they are invincible. Like everything else in the motion picture, he abuses this idea and greatly exaggerates several examples. I can agree with him that to a certain point kids do believe they are invincible. The younger you are the less afraid you are of most things. If you fall you wipe the blood off of your knee and begin playing again; when you get sick you try to hide it so your mom will let you go and play with your friends. [...]
[...] They took it a step further in saying, “Kids is a series of nightmarish sequences serving no purpose but to further negative stereotypes and shock the viewer.” The debate is one that should be placed under a microscope and looked at in much greater detail. I agree strongly with the second argument, that the film was a terrible depiction of adolescent life, and should not be regarded as an eye opening experience. In order to properly argue my points, I believe an extremely brief plot summary is necessary. [...]
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