Kidd Life (2012) 2nd Nordic Film Festival 2013

November 11th, 2013
Author: Meredith Taylor

KIDD LIFE

Dir.: Andreas Johnsen, Cast: Nicholas Westwood aka Kidd;

Denmark 2012, 97 min.  Music Documentary

Denmark, a country of reason and rationality, seems an unlikely place for a music phenomenon like Kidd (alias Nicholas Westwood), whose 2011 Hip-Hop song on the internet became an overnight sensation and paved the way for a short but meteoric career for him and his group. Born 1989 in Dundee, Scotland, to an alcohol-loving father (with whom Kidd still has issues), Westwood struggles to make the transition from boy to adult – his anarchic life style has no place for responsibility – a girlfriend complains that he made her pregnant against her will, but this message does not reach him, like everything else in his life – he can only take himself seriously.

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After March 2011, when  ‘Kysset med Jamel’ went viral on the internet, the group was invited to many festivals, including the prestigious Roskilde festival. Their (only) LP “Greatest Hits” reached No. 10 in the Danish charts. On New Years Eve 2011, after having performed at the Danish Music awards, Kidd announced that he was finished with music. True to his word, only one more single -‘Fetterlein’- followed in February 2012, reaching No. 15 in the Danish charts.

After one LP and four singles Kidd and his group fell back into total obscurity and Johnsen shows why: in diary-like scenes, we see the inability to connect with anybody: this permanent play-acting becomes a stylised life form, which becomes a substitute for the interactions of real life. We watch bewildered that Kidd can take himself so seriously, that he believes that all his comments really matter – even though he forgets them immediately, together with his outspoken provocation that leaders of the right-wing “Danish People’s Party”, according to him, deserve to be killed.

The film is shot mostly with a hand-held camera producing a particularly suitable mode of aesthetics, since the waving and sometimes out-of-focus images represent Kidd and his chaotic life style. Often we are reminded of the b/w slapsticks of the early cinema: Kidd lurches through space like one of the early silent stars on the run from their enemies. Hectic and without any sort of continuity, the film tries to catch the essence of Kidd, but he is always racing to another event, into another mood, needing another drug to speed up his life even further. The music of the group is secondary, but this is only right, since it is near accidental. The question of an identity for the rapper can’t be answered: this is a life in transit, fuelled by immaturity and self-centred monomania, which makes him more of a child than the adult he should be. He is not so much a shooting star, but a falling star. AS

KIDD LIFE SCREENS AT THE RIVERSIDE STUDIOS LONDON ON 1ST DECEMBER 2013.  FOR FULL DETAILS SEE OUR PREVIEW

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