How do you feel about Macaulay Culkin? Hes always fascinated me, both for his unshakable standing in pop culture on par with Michael Jackson (cameo in Black or White, whattup) but particularly when Im reminded of some of his more off-beat projects.
The Bad Son was a photo book published in 1998 focusing on Culkin and his wife at the time. The images, by Kids-screenwriter and controversial director Harmony Korine, are grainy and almost unsettling. The included excerpt, attributed to Culkin, is equally so like a real-life Harmony Korine story:
I have never been one to enjoy watching cartoons. When I was a child, I read the book Oliver Twist and I liked it very much. My father was upset at me because he told me that a child my age should watch cartoons and not read books until I was the proper age. I began starring in movies when I was five years old. Most notably the Home Alone movies. It all happend very quickly. My fame at first was fun for me. It allowed me to run amok and make money acting and doing things that I did in real life. Once, I set my older brother on fire when he was asleep. I felt guilty because my brother suffered severe pain and agony. I was not trying to be mean. I was just born with a purpose.
I can remember being born. I was born a young pale prince. I recall at a very young age that the lord spoke to me while I was climbing a tree in my backyard. He said very clearly, “you are different from all other children. You, my son, are a prince. I have chosen three princes to be born in your era. One has already been born and died. He was a child who walked alone and chose a path of loneliness and solemn grace. You are the second prince to be birthed, but your path is much different. You will stand in front of others and your ivory skin will separate you. You must make up your own rules as you go. It is your duty to cause trouble, to make people angry, and to go against your natural father for you are a special son. A son who need not to worry, a son who gifts the world but causes heartache to all who interfere. You will not pay for your evil deeds because the world beckons your haunt. You are my child, the second prince birthed in this era. You are the ivory prince… the bad son.
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Take a look, too, at the Sonic Youth video for Sunday off their album A Thousand Leaves which resulted in many of the images featured in The Bad Son. Its a collaboration thats completely unexpected; in essence, the very best kind.