It was inevitable that director Larry Clark would end up in Los Angeles — he’s almost as obsessed with youth as we are. The photographer and director moved to Santa Monica in 2003 after 25 years in New York, where he had made his name with the teen fuck fest Kids in 1995 and, later, the banned Ken Park, featuring more extreme teen fucking, this time with autoerotic asphyxiation, a threesome and a granny murder thrown in for good measure.
On his second day in L.A., Clark met a bunch of pubescent Latino skateboarders from South-Central. They dug the Ramones, they wore their jeans skinny, and they were rocker hot. Clark had found the cast of his next movie. “The peer pressure in the ghetto is such that if you don’t wear baggy clothes and listen to gangsta rap, it’s a daily battle,” says Clark. “That was the reason why I wanted to make the film, because these kids are good kids, just trying to be themselves.”
The film, The Wassup Rockers, being released at the end of June, follows his young muses as they skate their way from South-Central to Beverly Hills, picking up a couple of nubile Beverly Hills High School girls along the way, before getting hit on by fashion designer Jeremy Scott (check out his cornrows) and taking a bath with a fabulously wasted Janice Dickinson.
Although Clark is probably as familiar with South-Central as he is with his froufrou neighborhood on the Westside, he has no plans to move to the hood just yet. “I was actually thinking about it for a while, because I was spending so much time down there,” says Clark. “But the boys made me promise I wouldn’t. They were scared I’d get in trouble.”
— Caroline Ryder