Director Larry Clark gained international notoriety for his 1995 film Kids, which featured a candid depiction of sexually active teenagers in New York City. That film was the subject of considerable controversy and received an NC-17 rating, but it was a commercial success and clips from the movie have been viewed millions of times on YouTube (for all the wrong reasons? Possibly.)
17 years later, Clark is making a different sort of splash. He is releasing his latest film, Marfa Girl, exclusively through the Internet, with no releases planned for theaters or home video.
Marfa Girl, which tells the story of a culture clash in the small town of Marfa, Texas, made a big splash at the Rome Film Festival, where it won top honors. Clark wasn’t the only person at Rome who embraced online video; the festival itself featured plenty of online footage in hopes of making it less of an insider experience.
Marfa Girl will be available through Clark’s website, and it will cost $5.99 for an HD download. Considering the niche nature of the indie film audience, the film is a great choice for a pay-to-view feature. In an interview with Slashfilm, Clark explained his decision to put the film online:
“I wanted to make a movie for the Internet. These days everyone one is on it — emails, social networks and all that. I have kids and they are constantly connected to it. I send them a message and they get back to me straight away. It’s so hard to get a film made, especially an art film with your own final cut. So I thought, “Why don’t I just do it myself, set up a website and get it going.” I decided to get rid of the middlemen, producers and the like. Anyway, they’re all crooks; I never got paid for my movies. The Internet is happening, people make a video and it gets a million hits, so fuck it, let’s do it.”
Larry, on behalf of the entire Internet, I’d just like to tell you one thing: epic win.