The Smell of Us (2014)

  |  Drama


The Smell of Us (2014) Poster

A story centered around a group of self-destructive skateboarders in Paris.

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18 February 2019 | tjwcreations
6
| Not really Kids II
Larry Clark, as many have said before, is a divisive filmmaker and doesn't make art to please people, he has never done, he makes it to show what someone else wouldn't.

Which a reasonably respectable goal I would have thought. Now when that includes the interesting and "self destructive" life's of skateboarders in Paris this ethos I believe works well. It's a subject probably fairly niche (I don't know I'm not sure how big skating is in Pairs) but either way he's bringing something "new" to the table.

I was also surprised at how well incorporated the themes of social media and attitudes to filming sex and the care in protraying youth views of sex and sexual situations (not something Clark is unfamiliar with you alright we'll give him it anyway).

Where I feel it falls short is mainly routed in its lack of character development or any form of change. It's fine to have a "no real plot", "stuff happens" film but even the most void of plot movies have some over arching idea to hold it together and push the characters, even a little, through their lives. It's easy to criticise this and for someone to say "well that's the point" and it's like yeah but you need something more. Just a little.... Please Larry. Otherwise all the nicely shot scenes and interesting themes will be for nothing and whatever message you're trying to portray will be lost.

The obvious comparison is Larry's own film "Kids" which has little structure but has one over arching idea of AIDS to tie it together and made it engaging. Or Marfa Girl had the threat of the border control guy and the threat of being found out doing dodgy stuff I dunno.

Larry Clark has all the skills and interest to do something genuinely powerful. He can show all the "realism" he wants, all the hardcore sex, but without anything to truly make us care, beyond it being "real", then I find it hard to believe people will take it on as well as Larry would hope.

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Drama

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