Wouldn’t it be nice if one day, while passing the time idly on your stoop, a world famous photographer randomly approached you to offer a starring role in his debut film? Yeah, sounds kinda ridiculous, but that’s what actually happened to Rosario Dawson with her breakout role in Larry Clark’s unsettlingly real, morally outrageous 1995 feature Kids. In fact, nearly the entire cast — along with nineteen year old screenwriter Harmony Korine — were culled from the unsuspecting ranks of NYC’s Washington Square skate punks. Yup, one day they were minding their own business perfecting varials and hollering at NYU girls, and the next they were shooting a multi-million dollar cult phenomenon that would launch several of their careers into Hollywood A-List status.
So, what has become of these innocent adolescents who were thrust so suddenly into a world of critics, awards ceremonies, and tinseltown talent agents? The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) has taken it upon themselves to answer that question, and this coming June 25th Clark, Korine, Dawson, Chloë Sevigny, and Leo Fitzpatrick will be reunited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of that potty-mouthed, vaguely pornographic classic of youth nihilism in the age of AIDS.
Of course, those who have followed the film’s afterlife know that two names are sadly missing from BAM’s lineup: “Casper,” played by Marble Hill runaway Justin Pierce, who tragically took his life in 2000 after embarking on a promising dramatic career and Harold Hunter (he basically played himself) who died of a drug-related heart attack in 2006. But other than Pierce and Hunter’s unfortunate passing, it’s clear that Kids was the best kind of film school for all involved, and the feature continues eating away at our national moral conscience even two decades after it first shocked polite society.
NY residents: be sure not to miss this unique opportunity to ogle movie stars as they reflect on an unlikely encounter that took them from being just another New Yorker, to a life as red carpet celebrities. And I think it’s safe to say we’re all the better for it.