Saw Spring Breakers last night (trailer here). I haven't been so engaged and inspired by a film in a long time. I've been a fan of Harmony Korine from back in the day. The film Kids (1995), directed by Larry Clarke and written by Korine when was like 18 or so, totally blew me away. And the night I saw his debut feature Gummo, is perhaps one of the more defining moments in my creative life. That film was and still is a revelation to me.
Between Gummo and now he has had a few hits and misses in my opinion, but his work has always remained singular in vision and in and of it's own specific world. The films are not always perfect, but I don't think he's seeking perfection. I think he is exploring other things. He is a bit like Herzog in this way, Korine is searching for deeper truths and in the process discovers the absurd and the beautifully surreal.
Spring Breakers is perhaps Korine's most accessible film, in many ways it's his most extreme and experimental. The approach of using the non-linear narrative aspects of music videos and applying it to a feature drama structure makes perfect sense and mid way through the film I wondered why I hadn't seen this done before . The neon skittles colour palette, the sound design and the dark essay of youth culture, hedonism and materialism.
There was a point in the movie where I wished the film would last a for days and how great it would be to just sit back and let it wash all over me for hours and hours. Thats a rare feeling for me in the cinema these days. I woke up buzzing with enthusiasm and with a very clear and defined feeling that there is still so much potential in cinema and story telling. Spring Breakers got me all totally excited about it all again!
Part 2 of the above interview here.
And just give James Franco ALL of the awards! He is amazing in this!
Enjoy some other Harmony Korine highlights below...