Spring Breakers

Spring Breakers ★★★★

Of the couple of film's I've sat on whilst I was overseas, Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers was one of the most intrusive. It never really left my brain. It lodged itself in there, somewhere deep, and festered. It turned itself over and over. It lined my insides like some decrepit fast food burger. It repeated itself. And it kept me up at night. I've been sitting on it for a good while now.

That's not making the film sound particularly appealing, is it? And it is not. But that's not to say that it is a bad film. It is certainly not that either. It's actually mesmerising... but it is still a film about four high school girls who take to robbing convenience stores to score enough cash to get them to Miami for spring break.

Look behind Spring Breaker's vacuous façade and you won't find much. It wouldn't be much of a comment on the state of the film's central foursome if it attempted to give them any substance. Korine's film is celebration-cum-exploitation of all things surface: bouncing barely-bikini-covered boobs, oiled pecs, easy money, flash-pan violence and an infinite loop of alcohol binges, drug hoovering and sex, sex, sex. It is everything we are force fed as American "culture" in the youth/sex/violence/bling obsessed media, only intensified.

It is also incredibly poetic.

Taking a leaf out of Terrence Malick's folio, Korine uses the juxtaposition of sound and image to force his audience into a constantly evolving state of redefinition. And what sounds. And what images. David LaChapelle-esque booties dripping sweat, grinding in close up against the screen to screeching dub-step is counterpointed with delicate calls home to grandma. Even the casting in Spring Breakers comments on the decay of wholesomeness. Ex-Disney stalwarts Selena Gomez and High School Musical's Vanessa Hudgens g-string up as two of the girls and clean cut James Franco puts himself through the ringer, gold teeth and all, to play the girls' dim-witted mentor, Alien.

Debauchery is reimagined as innocence. Vacuousness is celebrated as high culture. And with every soundover-loop, Korine consciously and very vocally shaves away at the American Dream, twisting it into a lurid, violent nightmare. It is not subtle but it is unsettling. It is insipid. It is amoral. And it is mesmerising.

Spring Break 4eva!!!

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