Thursday, September 15, 2005

Wassup Rockers (Larry Clark)

Wassup Rockers
(Larry Clark) 60 – To simply describe Wassup Rockers as an L.A. version of Clark’s Kids would belie its lighter tone and better-developed sense of humor. Not at all a cautionary tale aimed at negligent parents, Rockers is a casually observed road movie that sees a group of 13 to 16-year-old Latino boys from South Central venture into the precarious terrain of Beverly Hills.

Beginning with a series of near-verite scenes in which Clark helps us get to know his likable cast, the movie casually picks up significance as it develops into a full-fledged adventure. Too informal to be a true coming-of-age, this plot moves forward with an active disregard of consequence, grounding its come-what-may attitude in its central characters. Murders and deflowerings are treated with the same nonchalance as the prevalent class issues. The wildly exaggerated behavior of the characters in Beverly Hills suggest that we’re getting a skewed perspective, but perhaps it’s because the movie so well captures the teens’ point of view that it’s so fun to watch.

One disappointment is the muddy video imagery, which belies Clark’s background as a photographer.

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