Get a drink or two in me and I'll spend a few minutes talking about why Harmony Korine is a childish hack. Yet in the cold light of day it all boils down to: I'm just not interested in his films. He makes garbage on purpose, and as artistic and fascinating as that may to some, I just don't like garbage.
Shlock? Sure, I'm there. Camp? Golden. But deliberately making bad shit, just because it's weird and provocative? No thanks.
An article in SLATE today claims the film is racist. From my armchair I doubt that's an accurate judgement of Korine himself, but I can say he's irresponsible enough to make lazy, uninformed choices in his quest for "hyper-reality" without stopping to consider whether he's made something truly abhorrent. This quote touches on the kind of thing that sent up red flags for me after watching the trailer:
Brit and Candy don quasi-blackface thanks to a blacklight. Korine shoots the scene as if it were a video game with zero consequence: As Brit and Candy dodge in slow motion around the compound of Alien’s nemesis Archie (played by rapper Gucci Mane), toting guns to seek revenge for an earlier incident, the black characters fall instantly and with little fanfare. The bikini-wearing duo emerges unscathed.
After a brief threatening exchange with Alien, who is uncharacteristically scared—proving he’s still not as “hard” as his black former ally—Archie drives off as the woman shoots at their car and hits Cotty in the arm. If only for a moment, the violence is utterly palpable and unfiltered by fantastical camera tricks. Later we watch Alien remove the bullet from her arm as she cries.
In this way, Spring Breakers is a mirror image of Django Unchained, in which the deaths of white slave holders in the Old South are treated with frivolity, while the deaths of their slaves are brutal and difficult to watch. Of course, the whole point of that movie is that slave owners deserved to die. What is the point of Spring Breakers?
I’m still not sure.All provocation, and with nothing to show for it once it has your attention. Sounds about right to me.