Despite my avid interest in 90′s Independent Cinema I have surprisingly not seen ‘Kids‘ until now. I should start by saying the film was(and arguably still is) Controversial given the subject matter, sexual scenes(both consenting and not), foul language and drug use involving minors(who make up the majority of the cast). Whilst it could be argued nothing particularly explicit is shown in the film; it was enough to earn it a NC-17 rating in the US. Therefore, viewer beware! (this is not a film for the easily shock-able).
The storytelling is partly a pseudo ‘fly-on-the-wall’ style; with narration from some of the main characters. Another key device used is ‘boys vs. girls’; as we see their contrasting but some-what similar stories of their sexual experiences. For me this film has the same ‘hyper-reality‘ element I have enjoyed in other pictures such as The Breakfast Club(1985) & Dazed and Confused(1993) .
Visually, the film uses a lot of what may now be regarded as Indie pastiches such as slow fades to black and POV camera shots; however in this film their use is stylistically justified. While this is clearly a first film in terms of the cinematography this only adds to it’s indie credentials.
My opinion; a must see if you like independent cinema and are not easily shockable.