Jack has become… A SPRING BREAKER!
Yep, our indie movie guide has gone only slightly mainstream. LOL… I don’t think Spring Breakers is totally mainstream but it’s kinda close… Especially for Harmony Korine. He’s the man who did the indie fave Kids and then Gummo.
Now, I hated Kids. Hated it! I haven’t seen it since it was in theaters but I remember leaving the theater angry. That’s not to say it was a bad movie. There are films that are popcorn fun and then films that are supposed to challenge us and elicit a response. This is definitely the latter.
Jack checked out Spring Breakers, Harmony Korine’s new film and met the director himself at a rare Q and A!
Check out his Cult Classic Corner after the jump!
Hello, loyal MTF readers. This week’s Cult Classic Corner with Jack will be somewhat different from previous posts. Usually I mention a “midnight movie” or a film with a “cult following” before connecting it with a fanboy experience(s). Don’t worry, there will only be a slight alteration to my usual template. However, after seeing “Spring Breakers” last week during its (official, albeit limited-only three theater) opening weekend, I felt compelled to discuss a certain writer/director’s filmography to give this week’s column justice.
There is only one man who can lay claim to the following:
-Wrote one of the most successful NC-17 films of all time (“Kids”) by the age of 18
-Played O.J. Simpson in a film with Johnny Depp (“The Devil, Sinner, and His Journey”)
-Filmmakers Werner Herzog, Gus Van Sant and Bernardo Bertolucci are outspoken fans of his
-Made a Dogme 95 film (filmed on location, sound must only be produced within the scene, hand-held camera, filmed in color, no optical/filters used, not a temporal/geographical film taking place at another future/past tense, not a genre film, formatted to Academy 35 mm and the director is not credited) with “Julien Donkey-Boy”
-Made a film composed of actors representing “look-alikes” Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, etc. (“Mister Lonely”)
-Won Best Documentary (CPH:DOX Award) at the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival for a fake drama (“Trash Humpers”) shot on worn VHS home video in Nashville, Tennessee.
For the past 20 years, Harmony Korine persists as one of the world’s most remarkable, yet bizarrely revered auteurs. Although his films primarily deal with subculture, they somehow have connected with audiences worldwide, including yours truly. What astounds me is Korine’s complex aesthetic never loses focuses and demonstrates wonderful pieces of art without following conventional story structures. This unique brand of filmmaking entertains a limited audience, yet stimulates people to think beyond the images on the screen. There is an emotional connection conveyed and its impressive Korine is still courageous enough to make unique films on his own terms.
That being said, “Spring Breakers” is not your typical “Harmony Kroine film.” Unlike his previous films, there’s a mainstream narrative audiences can follow and may very well be his best/most successful film thus far. The film tells the story of four college girls Faith (Selena Gomez), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Brit (Ashley Benson) and Cotty (Rachel Korine), who want to attend Spring Break in Florida, but can’t afford the trip. After robbing a small restaurant, the girls finally are able to fund their dream Spring Break trip. While partying out of control, the girls are busted on drug charges, but rapper/hustler Alien (James Franco) bails them out. Soon they’re seduced by Alien’s charm, but at what point does having a “good time” become excess?
Some people have nicknamed “Spring Breakers,” Disney Princesses Gone Wild and you can understand the argument. However, Korine challenges these actresses Gomez, Hudgens, and Benson along with his wife Rachel, to become these characters. After awhile you completely become obsessed with these characters and forget the A-list/ “teenie bopper” stars acting. Yes, there is tons of nudity and the girls (for the most part) are only scantily-clad in bikinis throughout the film. Beyond the gratuitous skimpy outfits, the film contains one of the coolest soundtracks of the year with a score by Skrillex and Cliff Martinez (“Drive”) along with tracks by Gucci Mane, Ellie Goulding, James Franco and more. Also James Franco owns the role of “Alien” and if he wasn’t an A-list actor you would be saying, “Who is this guy? He can really act!” To sum it up, “Spring Breakers” is one of the must see films and party experiences of the year. You would be stupid to miss it.
That being said, last Friday I had a chance to see the film during its opening weekend with writer/director Harmony Korine at the Arclight Hollywood. Joining me on my adventure was Steve, who also really wanted to check out “Spring Breakers.” Although we were going clubbing later for a friend’s bday bash, I brought along my “Kids” and “Trash Humpers” DVDs just in case. We had a few drinks before the screening and were buzzing once the film started.
The entire audience is comprised of twentysomethings erupting in laughter and enthusiasm throughout the screening. Once the film ends, Harmony Korine is introduced, but we hear some devastating news, “He is losing his voice and won’t be able to stick around too long.” Fortunately for us, Harmony pushes through and as he put it, “actually felt a lot better” as the Q&A progressed.
Most of the questions were very generic and cliché with four different people asking about improvisations during the film shoot. Still, Harmony was in great spirits the entire time laughing and smiling. By the way, did I mention the screening was sold out???
Once the Q&A ended, Harmony graciously posed for pictures and signed DVDs. Films from his entire career were brought out, especially hard to find ones like “Gummo” and “Julien Donkey Boy.’
After thanking him for coming out, he signed my DVDs and Steve managed to get my “Trash Humpers” insert booklet signed too.
Soon afterwards, he became swarmed with picture requests, yet continued posing/signing until he was out in the Arclight lobby accommodating everyone’s requests with security “pushing him out of the theater.”
Dear celebrities, pay attention to Korine’s demeanor. Despite being sick/losing his voice, not only did he pose for picture and sign autographs with people surrounding him, but hugged people, shook hands and thanked people for coming out! Talk about a class act. Needless to say I was ecstatic when news emerged “Spring Breakers” broke box office records with one of the highest screen averages ever (almost $90,000 on three screens). Great job Harmony and I look forward to your next film. For everyone else, go check out “Spring Breakers” this weekend and until the next time, happy autograph hunting!
Share on Facebook