A provocative look at adolescent sexuality

In award-winning cinematographer with an impressive record of more than 50 films, including «Far From Heaven,» «Erin Brockovich,» and «The Virgin Suicides,» Ed Lachman has directed along with Larry Clark the highly provocative «Ken Park,» which opened at Greek cinemas last Friday. A man who appreciates image and the directors who use it to tell their stories – including filmmakers such as Theo Angelopoulos – Lachman spoke to Kathimerini at the recent Thessaloniki International Film Festival. How did you meet Larry Clark? I met Larry about 10 years ago at a festival. His photographic publications seemed to be like movies, so I asked him if he would be interested in making one. He said, ‘I’d love to, but how?’ I answered that we should hang out together. What I singled out in Larry’s work was the way in which he presented his childhood through his work. He even kept his childhood memories in a diary. So I told him that that was good material to start with. I thought we could made a patchwork of all the stories, culminating in the main issue. Having worked in both Hollywood and American independent film, you have thought about the limits, What can you show and what can’t you show on film? The basis of my work is rooted in documentaries – I always wondered why one can’t do in narrative cinema what you can do in documentaries. We felt that if we didn’t show some things that would be a sort of exploitation. It wouldn’t be honest, on a sentimental level. We are not trying to excite the audience with this movie. We are talking about abuse of sentiment, and I believe that that is sentimental realism. When it comes to true stories – the movie is based on stories from real life – I don’t think that we had to cover or hide what goes on behind closed doors. I find what goes on in advertising far more insulting. That is where exploitation reigns. Are you worried that people might see the movie more as an oddity rather than as a film? A film’s completion has to do with what it offers and what the audience receives. That is something beyond my control. I hope that some people will understand it, and will take something in. Will you go on directing? I will not abandon the camera, but there are stories for which I would like to have more image control. Many cinematographers know how to turn a story into images, but they don’t have the story. I think that I have plenty of stories to tell.

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