READ MORE: Here’s How ‘Kids’ Happened 20 Years Ago
1. It completely changed the “teen movie” genre.
Larry Clark is said to have set out to “make the Great American Teenage Movie, like the Great American Novel.” Before “Kids,” teen movies were relegated to the soft high school comedy (“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “The Breakfast Club,” “Sixteen Candles,” “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “Dazed and Confused”). “Kids” put a much darker, grittier spin on the high school story, opting for the depraved underbelly of teenage counterculture rather than the meet-cute suburban sex comedy that largely comprised the genre.
2. It helped normalize non-actors.
Along with Richard Linklater’s 1991 portrait of Austin youth, “Slacker,” “Kids” was among the first films to showcase the merits of using so-called “street kids” and other non-actors to enhance…