Friday, April 19, 2013

Egress from the Winter 2013 Graveyard, or Finally Some Interesting Movies Come Out

Spring Breakers
Try as you might to disassociate yourself from the parts of Spring Breakers that have already entered our cultural consciousness - Disney bikini ass boobs murder gun fellatio piano James Franco??? - there's really not much else to the movie, so you kind of have to accept its lack of substance out of the gate. It is almost totally repetitive, probably a deliberate decision when you take Harmony Korine's enfant terrible status into consideration, but there's a method to this droning madness. Korine's subjects are four girls who flee college toward this soulless liturgy of party-party-party-party-party, under the pretense of "finding themselves" and "changing their boring lives." That this is achieved through scene after scene of constant drinking and carnage, all set to a Skrillex soundtrack, is a fairly transparent irony. But Spring Breakers has a sneaky streak, realized primarily through the fates of these young women. These supposed heroines are delinquents in training, securing their travel funds by robbing a Chicken Shack with sick ferocity. They knowingly exert seductive power over local crime lord/hip-hop demicelebrity Alien, played by James Franco with a degree of conviction that suggests actual interest in this project. And if Franco is involved and intrigued, you can only imagine what kind of raunchy, dopey, entry-level Social Welfare 101 nonsense this unholy alliance will birth. He and his cohort stumble through a series of bizarre events, all linked by the connective tissue of booze and tits on the beach of St. Petersburg and all ending in totally unexpected ways. When the end finally arrives, seemingly half an hour too late, he and the girls splinter from each other in unexpected ways in a climax designed for neither a vindictive nor a sympathetic audience. Selves are found, lives are changed, but these inevitabilities are livened by the details. Harmony Korine's message may be somewhat obvious, but his delivery is not, and the thumping machine that is Spring Breakers chugs on regardless of what anyone thinks of or expects from it. B-