Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson (2008) is a highly stylized and embellished film biography of a man known as the most famous prisoner in Britain. Born Michael Peterson in 1952 and raised mostly in the city of Luton, Charles Bronson, renamed after the American movie star, has spent all but a few months of the last 35 years in prison, mostly in solitary confinement. [Read more…]
The beggar on the New York subway has a body truncated at the waist and he rolls on a cart, chanting “I have no legs!” in a singsong as he passes. Just for a moment, he attracts the notice of Telly (Leo Fitzpatrick) and Casper (Justin Pierce), who look young and healthy but are actually much more damaged than this legless man.
As Larry Clark’s Kids (1995) so harrowingly demonstrates, these two are part of a spiritually dead teen-age culture built on aimlessness, casual cruelty and empty pleasure. Mr. Clark’s vision of these characters is so bleak and legitimately shocking that it makes almost any other portrait of American adolescence look like the picture of Dorian Gray.