As a longtime Harmony Korine fan, I can’t wait to see his latest film later this week.
DID HARMONY KORINE JUST TROLL AN ENTIRE GENERATION?
When Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers” premiered at the Venice Film Festival late last August, it was received warmly by critics well-prepared for another provocation from one of the American cinema’s most reliably incensing auteurs. Its reception at the Toronto International Film Festival a week later seemed even more enthusiastic, with many critics, myself included, feeling certain that it ranked among the best of the slate.
That was nearly eight months ago now, and in the down time since its premiere, the hype machine has worked quite a number of “Spring Breakers”, raising anticipation to a fever pitch. The film’s distributor, A24 Films, made the savvy decision to wait until spring break itself kicked off to bring the film into wide release, which very quickly proved a lucrative strategy: its opening weekend, when it played a handful of theaters in only New York and Los Angeles, broke records for per-theater numbers, outgrossing Korine’s last film in a single day, and the combined sum of every movie he’s ever madeby the end of the weekend.
“Spring Breakers” stars a trio of immensely popular teen idols whose lucrative brand has clearly meant big business for the film. But it’s also unabashedly an arthouse film, one whose canny use of Disney icons is central to its deeper intentions; it so thoroughly deconstructs preconceptions that it wouldn’t much work without them. A major consequence of its motives—and in particular its desire to both relish and undermine certain cultural signifiers—is that its veneer of carefree spring breaking is pretty misleading, especially to audiences familiar with the stars but not with the director (whose most recent feature is called “Trash Humpers”).
READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON FILM.COM TO FIND OUT IF “SPRING BREAKERS” IS THE WORST MOVIE EVER MADE