Thursday, February 26, 2015
Unfortunately, Larry Clark can no longer attend this screening. There will be a Q&A with lead actress Diane Rouxel.
Set in the streets and rave clubs of Paris and updated to a world of iPhones and digital cameras, The Smell of Us revisits the world of Kids for an impressionistic, immersive study of the lives of teen skateboarders and rent boys that delivers a strong dose of explicit sex and substance abuse. A bleak, nonjudgmental look at an amoral, heartless generation, The Smell of Us is an outing in what might be called ethnographic voyeurism, fixated on adolescent sexuality and the young bodies of a largely anonymous assortment of teens, with the accent on hanging out and getting high. The plot is pared to the minimum, following the comings and goings of its ensemble cast, occasionally crossing paths with Rockstar, a middle-aged homeless man who might almost be a self-portrait of Clark. If there’s a main character among these descendants of Buñuel’s Los Olvidados, it’s Math (Lukas Ionesco), who turns tricks and roams the streets with his sidekick JP (Hugo Behar-Thinières). Math is strictly gay-for-pay and doesn’t reciprocate JP’s infatuation with him—he’s “too selfish to have any friends,” according to his mother (Dominique Frot). Collaborating with writer “Scribe” (24-year-old Mathieu Landais) and cinematographer Hélène Louvart, Clark makes a strong return to the ground zero of his debut film, capturing this teeming urban setting with a bracing immediacy.