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IS THIS KISS CHILD PORN?; Fury over underage sex romps in banned film.

This is the screen kiss that's been branded kiddie porn. She is just 12 years old ... he is 15.

The stars of the controversial new movie Kids are over the age of consent.

But they won the parts because they all look under 16.

The film, which features explicit scenes of underage sex, will be released in Scotland on May 17.

But it has already been banned by one cinema chain in England.

As director Larry Clark struggled to weather the storm of protest, church leaders declared: "Enough is enough."

Kids first sparked outrage at last year's Cannes Film Festival where charges of "kiddie porn" quickly prompted Disney to disown it.

In the first of many shocking sequences, Telly, who is HIV positive, deflowers a 12-year-old virgin - and boasts about it later.

It ends with Telly's friend Casper forcing himself on an unconscious reveller at a drugs party - unaware she contracted HIV from his mate.

Shot in New York, and trailing shock-horror headlines, Kids comes to Scotland with an 18 certificate.

I have seen Kids and found it one of the most depressing, downbeat and desultory movies I have been forced to sit through.

Scotland's own Trainspotting tells its grim tale with humour. There isn't a single moment of light relief in Kids.

Larry Clark yesterday defended his decision to cast teenagers who looked younger than the age of consent.

The 52-year-old director said: "Kids may raise a lot of issues society doesn't want to confront - but one thing it isn't is pornographic."

Clark added: "I was trying to make a movie young people would watch and say: `This is what it's like to be a kid'.

"None of the kids had any acting experience - but they were streetwise. The virgin at the start was playing 12 but, in reality, she was 17."

Kids is the latest in a long line of big-screen shockers that includes Reservoir Dogs, True Romance, Natural Born Killers - and Trainspotting.

UK censor James Ferman only granted it a release after assurances from Clark that the actors were over 16, but he dubbed it "one of the most painful movies I have seen".

Yesterday, the Church of Scotland joined in the condemnation of Kids.

The Rev Bill Wallace, convener of the Kirk's Social Responsibilities Committee, said: "There are enough movies around about sex, drugs and whatever else and I think it's time for society to say enough is enough."
COPYRIGHT 1996 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Smith, Aidan
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 1, 1996
Words:403
Previous Article:Fears on pollution.
Next Article:Cinemas divided.


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