Lunch with Larry Clark
Larry Clark is a legend. He started photographing the darker side of society when he was just a teenager, and later in his career turned his attention to film, making seminal movies like Kids, Bully, and Wassup Rockers (to name only three). His work has won more awards and been shown in more places than we can count. He is also simultaneously a really nice guy and a total bad ass. His new film, Marfa Girl, was just released on his website and can be streamed in high definition for around $6, completely sidestepping the suffocating and stupid theater circuit and ratings bureaucracy. The film follows a loose group of friends in Marfa, Texas while they have sex, take drugs, play in bands, and get harrassed by malicious border patrolmen. You should definitely watch it. Last week, I met up with Larry and celebrated the end of his recent juice cleanse by eating some pasta.
VICE: I saw the film as soon as it came out. I went to our little screening room in our office and watched it there.
Larry Clark: You projected it from the computer? That’s cool, man. They did that in Marfa. They projected it at a bar and over a hundred people came to see it. If someone buys it, that’s fine, they can do whatever they want with it. I don’t care.
What were their reactions to it?
Someone called me and said that when Chachi, who’s a bass player in the movie, is fucking the Marfa girl, his relatives all started cheering, “Fuck that white girl!” The mother of Adam Mediano, the star of Marfa Girl, texted me and said that it was my best movie yet. She said, “Go get ‘em.” I teared up at that text. People are having really positive reactions to the film. The critics are saying that I’m evolving, which is kind of funny.
Do you think that’s true?
I think I am getting freer. I just kind of wrote it and made it up as I went along. I’m not going to use any kind of devices to drive the plot. If there’s a scene with people just talking and it slows down, it slows down. If it speeds up, it speeds up. I just thought that I’m only going to put in this movie what I cared about, and nothing else.
And by releasing it online, you can do whatever you want.
I can do whatever I want anyway. I have final cut. But usually you have to give up the vision so you’ll get an R rating. So you have to cut it to an R and then you can do the other version on DVD. This one doesn’t have another version with more nudity or more anything. The best thing about going online is that you don’t have to deal with the MPAA and the censorship board. Who needs these people, anyway? I don’t need them. My films do great business in Europe and in France, and there’s no problem. Things are changing. The world is getting more conservative, especially America. And everybody under 35 or 40 watches all their media on their laptops. Older, even!