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Monday, 11 November, 2002, 16:52 GMT
Director's film dropped after punch-up
Ken Park
Ken Park is about the lives of Californian skateboarders
US director Larry Clark was arrested and his film dropped from the London Film Festival after he was involved in a fight with his distributor.

The film, Ken Park, is the latest from the 59-year-old director best known for his controversial 1995 film Kids.

It was supposed to have been shown as part of the film festival on Saturday.

But it was dropped after Clark got into an argument with the boss of the film's distributors in the UK, Metro Tartan and, according to the company, tried to strangle him.


If I had awoken this morning after listening to him last night and hadn't hit him I don't think I could have looked at myself in the mirror

Larry Clark
Clark attacked Hamish McAlpine in a London restaurant, the Charlotte Street Hotel, when an argument developed over dinner, Metro Tartan said.

Clark leapt from his seat, punched Mr McAlpine in the face and then thrown a table over him, said a Metro Tartan spokesperson.

Caution

The company added Clark then leapt on Mr McAlpine and tried to strangle him. The director had to be pulled away by restaurant staff.

Mr McAlpine was taken to hospital and treated for his injuries.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that they were called to the restaurant and arrested Clark, but are taking no further action.

"On arrival officers found a 47-year-old man with a cut nose. He alleged assault against a 59-year-old man," said a police spokesperson.

"The man, who was known to the victim, was arrested on suspicion of ABH and taken to Marylebone Police Station, where he was later given a caution and released.

"The two men, who were dining together, became involved in an argument during which the suspect hit the victim in the face."

Metro Tartan says it refuses to have anything more to do with the film - and adds it is unlikely it will ever deal with Clark again.

'Disappointed'

"It was an unfortunate incident on Thursday night, the result of which the staff have decided we will remove the film from our release schedules," a spokesman told BBC News Online.

The spokesperson denied the argument that sparked the fight was anything to do with comments McAlpine made about 11 September, as press reports had suggested.

It is the first time Metro Tartan has pulled a film from its schedule for such reasons.

Clark told BBCi's Collective website: "All the people who were coming to see the film are being denied because of his outrageous comments and my inappropriate actions.

"But if I had awoken this morning after listening to him last night and hadn't hit him I don't think I could have looked at myself in the mirror."

He earlier told the Observer newspaper he was "hugely disappointed" with Mr McAlpine's decision to withdraw the film.

"If Hamish wants to get his own back, I'll tie my hand behind my back and he can have a few free punches. But to take it out on my film is just absurd."


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