First Look Pictures To Theatrically Release
(Los Angeles, CA) - Widely regarded as one of the most important and influential American photographers of his generation, Larry Clark is known for both his raw and contentious photographs and his controversial films focusing on teen sexuality, violence, and drug use. First Look Pictures is pleased to release his sixth feature-length film, Wassup Rockers in June 2006. Clark (Writer/Director) continues to use the camera to explore urgent social issues pertaining to youth culture. In the near future, please check out www.wassuprockers.net.
Larry Clark’s New Film
Nationwide in June 2006
Wassup Rockers made its World Premiere at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival and will make its US Premiere at the 2006 Slamdance Film Festival as the opening night film Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 7:00pm. It will screen again the following night, Friday, January 20th at 8:30pm.
Ten years after Kids, Larry Clark hits the streets of South Central, Los Angeles. Clark’s latest film, Wassup Rockers dives into the world of a group of Latino teenage boys who live to skate and skate to survive their brutal neighborhood. The film is based on the real life experiences of Johnny and his friends, a group of (mostly) Salvadorian and Guatemalan teenagers who, instead of conforming to the hip-hop culture of their gang-infested neighborhood, wear their clothes tight (Ramones style), listen to (and play) punk rock and ride their skateboards. Constantly harassed for being different in their neighborhood, they have to fight to be themselves.
Seeking to experience the exhilaration of the famous Beverly Hills "Nine Stairs," the boys take a whirlwind odyssey through the schoolyards, backyards and bedrooms of LA. Along the way, they discover that violence and bigotry surround them wherever they go. On their brief journey they catch the attention of some rich Beverly Hills girls - leading to trouble with the girls' boyfriends as well as the police. The police bust them simply because they're there and they escape into Beverly Hills where they meet up with the girls and a variety of Beverly Hills characters, getting into more trouble as they are chased by the police and residents. The boys have to get away and try to make their way to the (relative) safety of South Central.
The film convincingly blurs the line between documentary and narrative filmmaking with gritty cinéma vérité camera work as it tells a story drawn from the harsh real life experiences of teenage boys (non-actors) who play themselves. Johnny and his band look more like sweet skater punks than the drug-peddling gangsters that plague their neighborhoods. They are punk rock, not hip-hop, with their tight pants and long greasy locks.
Village Voice film critic, Dennis Lim writes, "Consolidating on the expansiveness of Ken Park, Clark fashions an impressively uncreepy - in fact, downright sweet - love letter to Latino skate kids in South Central. A companion piece to Morrissey's "First of the Gang to Die," Wassup throws in its lot with a band of outsiders, Salvadoran teens who shun the hood's peer-mandated hip-hop for the Ramones - and have the lank hair and drainpipe jeans to prove it. Scored to Suicidal Tendencies-style punkcore. As Angeleno social comedy, this is what Spanglish should have been."
American outlaw photographer-turned-filmmaker Larry Clark was already well known for his revolutionary photographic body of work long before he directed a picture. He first burst into public consciousness with his landmark book Tulsa in 1971. According to The Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com), "His book of photos, Tulsa, inspired several filmmakers and their films: Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976), Francis Ford Coppola's Rumble Fish (1983), and Gus Van Sant's Drugstore Cowboy (1989)."
€€ Considered a "cult anthropologist of American adolescence," two more books followed: Teenage Lust (1982), and Perfect Childhood (1992). Clark's groundbreaking first feature film, Kids (written by Harmony Korine, starring Chloë Sevigny, Rosario Dawson), was released in 1995 to critical acclaim. In 2005 the International Center Of Photography held a photographic exhibition to coincide with a film retrospective of Clark’s. His work is represented in the permanent collections of museums around the world including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, The Guggenheim, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Frankfurt Museum für Moderne Kunst. His other films include Another Day in Paradise (1998, James Woods, Melanie Griffith), Bully (2001), Teenage Caveman (2002, TV), and Ken Park (2002).
Clark is currently promoting another film project along with some of the most acclaimed artists and directors from around the world entitled Destricted. An official selection at Sundance Film Festival 2006, Destricted is a compilation of erotic films intended to illuminate the points where art meets sexuality. The innovative, risk-taking visionaries from film, fashion photography and the art scene were asked to reinvent and challenge the genre of erotic film. These short films form a collection of uncensored responses to the social and aesthetic questions of how we represent ourselves as sexual beings. Other directors include Marina Abramovic, Matthew Barney, Marco Brambilla, Gaspar Noé, Richard Prince, and Sam Taylor Wood.