with all the resources available to hollywood, why do they have so much trouble capturing the authenticity of subcultures?

with the exception of 8 mile, every studio film i can think of that tries to focus in on the fringes of popular culture ends up feeling contrived and out of touch. now try to imagine 8 mile without the involvement of eminem, an artist who helped build the vehicle that the story was based around. the credibility is almost certainly crushed.

shown above is a picture of justin pierce who played casper in the hyper provocative larry clark indy film kids. although pierce’s career was abruptly ended when he took his own life in july of 2000, this role stands out to me when i think of authenticity in film.

skateboarding culture has always been particularly subject to misrepresentation in mainstream film and television. therefore it should come as no surprise that larry clark took to the streets of new york city to find real skateboarders to capture the underground cultural zeitgeist of the mid 90’s. in justin pierce he found a kid who knew nothing about method acting or character development but naturally was able to show off the spirit of the culture he belonged to.

in the next couple of posts i’d like to take the opportunity to explore a couple of actors, musicians and writers who exude authenticity because they were given the right opportunity to speak to an audience in their natural voice.


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