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ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE

USA, 1998 (MIFF 1999, International Panorama)

Director: Larry Clark

Larry Clark's first feature, Kids (1995), was heralded as a realist masterpiece for its powerful veracity. Here, he pulls apart the archetype of the American family, then reconstructs it with the odd bindings of drugs, crime and most everything else deemed 'un-American'. Based on a true story, the film follows teenage runaways Bobbie and his girlfriend Rosie; deeply in love but struggling to get by. Life takes an odd turn when they are embraced by an older couple, Mel (James Woods) and Sid (Melanie Griffith). While deeply concerned about the teenagers. Mel and Sid have their own career to han­dle... as criminals. Everything tracks well for a while, as the 'family' embarks on a low-key crime spree lucked up in a black Cadillac. A bungled heist and shootout, how­ever, turns the outlaw life sour and sorrowful.

Photographer-turned-filmmaker Larry Clark based the film on his seminal photo essay on Midwestern drug and street subculture of the 60s and 70s called Tulsa. While Tulsa was an acknowledged influence for both Taxi Driver (1976) and Drug Store Cowboy (1989), Clark reclaims the inspiration with a film that serves as con­temporary tribute to both. Rivetting from start to finish, Another Day in Paradise opens new territory, bridging the gulf between notions of family and counter-culture.

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