There’s handful of movies that I can remember having a big impact on me as a kid. Of course the classics like Scarface, Goodfellas, Wallstreet, etc are a given. However, certain flicks, low-budget ones at that, resonated with those...
There’s handful of movies that I can remember having a big impact on me as a kid. Of course the classics like Scarface, Goodfellas, Wallstreet, etc are a given. However, certain flicks, low-budget ones at that, resonated with those of us that were actually “kids” in the 90s more than those Hollywood classic. Specifically, I can remember Belly and Harmony Korine & Larry Clarks’ KIDS having a lasting impression on me. KIDS definitely came first. Honestly, I think I was way too young when I first watched it. It’s portrayal of young Manhattan teens running wild through the city was almost memorizing. In retrospect, a lot of their behavior with sex and drugs weren’t that different from what a lot of city kids from all over the map experienced but to see it captured so honestly and vividly made these group of KIDS underground stars. Most of the characters had never acted before, which just made things even more realistic. Stars like Chloe sevigny, Rosie Perez, Leo Fitzpatrick, Justin Pierce (RIP) and of course Harold Hunter (RIP) were introduced to the world. It’s been nearly two decades since the film was released, but it’s still a cult classic to this day. Fans of the movie must read this retrospective piece on the film. It covers EVERYTHING.
Two decades after a low-budget film turned Washington Square skaters into international celebrities, the kids from “Kids” struggle with lost lives, distant friendships, and the fine art of growing up.
Read the article after the jump
August 1990, St. Marks Place. Priscilla Forsyth, one month shy of her fourteenth birthday and just home from summer camp, straddles one of the two lion statues guarding the downward staircase to the apartment building her family has owned since 1975. Naturally blonde Liza and dyed blonde Margaret idle with her. It’s hot out, and Priscilla is becoming more curious about the world beyond her sidewalk.
An energetic kid with a scrawny but chiseled build named Harold Hunter rides up on his BMX bike. “I’ve never seen blonde people in New York” before, he tells the girls, giggling. He was from the Campos Plaza Housing Projects nearby–a different world, to be sure, although he’d obviously seen blonde girls before.
“That was his little excuse to start talking to us,” Priscilla recalls. “Harold was known for that.” The superlatives, the tall tales and jokes, the genuinely amicable first encounters–anyone who knew him knew that was Harold.
A month later, Priscilla and her friends were meandering downtown drinking forties, celebrating her birthday. They passed the Astor Place cube, a favored location for New York City’s premiere skateboard crew at the time. Priscilla and her girlfriends exchanged numbers with the skaters, and joined them the next day at the Brooklyn Banks, a world-renowned skateboarding mecca underneath the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge–that is, until the city shut it down a few years ago to use as storage space for bridge restoration.
When the girls arrived at the Banks, they met Harold and his friends, an infamous crew of amateur and professional skateboarders who rode alongside moving taxicabs and jumped off building and museum steps. Wherever they went throughout the city, the boys rode with a gutsy and fluid style. “It looked like art on a skateboard,” says Peter Bici, a skater and close friend of Harold’s. “It was a combination of New York City and the movement of streets and constant continuity of the city’s energy.” The kids loved each other like family, and didn’t give a shit about what anyone else thought of them. “We were minding our own business,” says Peter. “We don’t bother you. You don’t bother us. We all had each other’s backs.” It was an era when skateboarding wasn’t cool. If they heard wheels coming down the street, they’d run after them.
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