Larry Clark is a ‘polarizing’ figure, as they say about Hillary Clinton. You either deplore him for exploiting screwed up young people or admire him as a fearless artist with a unique vision.
After reading a piece in the LA Times this morning about Brad Renfro, I find myself feeling very angry at Larry Clark. In fact, I’m thinking, What a heartless motherfucker.
Clark recalls visiting Brad at his grandmother’s house just before the film “Bully” was set to go into production. Clark describes 18 year old Brad as looking “Horrible, bloated, he looked around 35.” Seeing the bloody tracks running down Brad’s arms, Clark remembers, “I just saw the whole movie going down the drain.”
Well, Larry, what can I say that you would understand? Larry Clark went on to ‘kidnap’ Brad Renfro, forcing him to ‘kick’ his cocaine addiction in the car, on their way to the film set in Florida. For this, I imagine Larry wants a medal.
I’m pretty sure that if you have an injured horse, it would be not only immoral but illegal to put him in a race. Yet, a poor young drug addict can be propped up with a babysitter in order to perform his role in a movie, where money can be made. Brad Renfro was still a commodity to be squeezed for every last drop, even when everybody he worked with says he was clearly on the downward spiral of a serious drug addict.
It’s not all Larry Clark’s fault. But since he’s made his career from the excesses of lost teenagers, I’m starting with him.