Saturday, July 20, 2013

3 Short Paragraphs: Spring Breakers

2012, Harmony Korine (Gummo, writer Kids) -- download

Harmony Korine is a highly lauded indie director and writer, most known for his writing of the skaters meet AIDS movie Kids. The followup cult movie Gummo was equally panned and raved about by critics for being idiosyncratic and / or indecipherable. Trash Humpers was at the TIFF, and yeah, that is enough said about it. He is the kind of art-trash indie director that your hipster film school ex-boyfriend goes on and on about when he is stoned. Think Gregg Araki for this generation. But me? I don't know, this was the first movie of his I have seen. I read some good reviews, but I admit, part of the reason I wanted to see it was dirty old man voyeurism. What? Shoot me.

So yeah, this is really a movie about the current generation of sex fueled wild teenagers, the kids who grew up exposing themselves in digital cameras or smart phone selfies and non-stop 24 hour free internet porn. Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine (yes, his wife) are four post-high school girls in Kentucky -- the bored bad girls smoking, drinking and doing cocaine. OK, Selena is the good little Christian girl but these are her BFFs. They want to do Spring Break on Florida but barely have enough for the bus ride. So, three of them rob the local diner armed with hammers, squirt guns and gangsta rap inspired foul mouths. And off they go.

This is the post-Girls Gone Wild world where kids trash the cheap Florida hotels doing drinks, drugs and sex to excess. We are presented with over-saturated montages filled with beer bongs, boobs and big booties all the while listening to Selena's good girl dialogue about how they are here to find themselves. This is what makes a 20 year old desperate to go there for Spring Break and a 40 year old wonder why his youth missed all that, for better or worse. OK, mostly for worse -- these kids would make my parenting peers hide their daughters away forever. Things actually only get worse for the girls when the police raid a party and the creepy, ever fascinating Alien (James Franco) shows up to bail them out. Presented with real bad behaviour (guns, violence, etc.) some of them fall into it naturally and some of them realize the spring fantasy really cannot last forever. And Alien? Alien realizes life is not Grand Theft Auto. Is it a good movie? No. Is it fascinating? Yes, oh yes, and I am sure that is all Korine committed to.