Harmony Korine is not a filmmaker that easily lends himself to straightforward analysis. Those who attempt to critique his films head-on often fall short – either by mistaking something for nothing or vice-versa.
His latest film, Spring Breakers, is particularly confounding. While it may seem that this is his most audience-friendly film to date, which it is, its ease of consumption betrays the complexity of its design. This is a film that is meant to be felt, not thought about. Now think about that. At once an expert aural-visual hand-job and the greatest cock-block ever shown on screen, it should incite recklessness, not somber reflection.
The tale of four co-eds who, by way of simulated violence, trade in the trappings of collegiate responsibility for the raw sex vibes of St. Petersburg, Florida, Spring Breakers seeks not to deliver a narrative about liberation, but to liberate its audience from narrative.
There is a story here, but it’s secondary to the film’s rhythm – a hot swampy mix of .giffable iconography and jail bait aesthetics. It’s Scarface, chopped and screwed, for girls who can’t legally drink but already know they don’t need a man to rule the world.
For everyone else, to see the film is to answer a very blunt question – do you want to get fucked up? For those that opt in and let the film wash over them like a sketchy batch of Mountain Dew-flavored ecstasy, the high is worth the hangover. For those who don’t, there’s plenty of suspect messaging and rank objectification to deconstruct at the coffee shop afterwards.
[Interview by Douglas Haddow / Photo by Terry Richardson / Styling by Heathermary Jackson]
Hobo #15 | Harmony Korine