Bikinis & big booties

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Flickr/Vacacion

Spring Breakers is the inspirational story of four young girls who steal from a fast-food restaurant to pay for Spring Break, where they drink all of the alcohol, smoke all of the drugs, do all of the sex and still have time for a little casual murder on the side. It stars the perma-bikinied Ashley Benson, Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez.

On the surface a ninety minute long experiment into how much dubstep and deviance can be fit onto one screen, the film hints to a deep existential discussion at the centre of its menagerie of breasts and booties. Spring Breakers is the film you would get if Albert Camus’ re-animated corpse directed a feature length Nicki Minaj music video.

Maybe there is a deep message behind this film, an important lesson on the value of… er… rocking a balaclava and murdering drug lords, or something. Maybe underneath the drugs, and the nudity and the sex and the nudity and the drugs and the alcohol and the drugs and the nudity there is a serious message. Maybe this film is the ultimate lesson in not judging a book by how nice it’s butt looks in a bikini.

I don’t care. I love Spring Breakers because it is so gleefully dumb. The italics are an important distinction. Michael Phelps is dumb, smashing a computer to pieces with a cricket bat then urinating on the wreckage is dumb.

There are about eleven lines of dialogue in this entire film, which are re-read repeatedly over grimy montages throughout the running time. Every scene is littered with fast-cut forward and back flashes set to a Skrillex soundtrack and the grating refrain, “Sprriiiiinnggg Brreeeaaakkkkk.”

This madness extends to the cinematography. Spring Breakers is filmed in the style of a man who is about to be hit by a truck having his life flash before his eyes while downing a mop bucket of Skittles and being stabbed in the eye with a bird of paradise. By the end of the film, I was convinced I must have been the one on drugs, because no-one would ever shoot a film like this.

Unsurprisingly for a film that is basically one long montage, Spring Breakers also contains the greatest and dumb-est montage you will ever see. It involves the Britney Spears classic ‘Everytime’, synchronised shotgun dancing, pistol whipping and the slow motion slamming of a man’s face into a wedding cake. It. Is. Glorious.

Also of note is a star turn by James Franco as the sociopathic, metal toothed Riff-Raff clone ‘Alien’ (if you don’t know who Riff-Raff is, look him up, he is dumb) who bails the girls from jail and introduces them to the world of machine guns and pink balaclavas. A thousand words could not describe how wonderful James Franco is in this film, four will suffice: “Look at ma shiiit!”

I love that we live in a world where this film was allowed to be made. Consider the meetings where director Harmony Korine pitched his project:

“We’re going to take a bunch of old Disney actresses, right. Then we’ll make them take loads of drugs and have orgies. They will star alongside my own daughter, who will be slathered in beer and have several strangers run a train on her in a dingy Florida hotel room. The film is not about anything and there is no real plot. It will be lit entirely by purple neon. Also, Skrillex. What do you think?”

And someone said yes! Some middle aged movie executive got out of his Jaguar that Tuesday morning and dug his suitcase out from under his golf bag, walked into work, heard that pitch, thought a moment, sipped his coffee, opened out his chequebook, smiled and said, “Great! How much do you need?” That man saw the cultural value of this movie.

Spring Breakers is far more than a film. It is a showcase for just how dumb humanity is capable of being and should serve as a wake up call to every sanctimonious prat who posts Disney images on Facebook and comments, “I’m such a weirdo!”: you are not weird. Watch this film, take note and step up your weirdo game.

In closing, if you’ve ever wondered what it would look like if James Franco had cornrows, shouted the N-word and gave a blowjob to a loaded sub-machine gun, Spring Breakers is the film for you.

It’s almost the end of Week 7…

Spriiing Breeaakk. 

1 COMMENT

  1. Well at least you enjoyed it, if you didn’t get much of what was going on. That’s understandable, it’s pretty unpretentious and there’s more than meets the eye. Much of the film revolves around the consequences of a number of (quasi-)theological propositions laid out from the beginning: that God always provides a way out of sin, and that Spring Break is one of the forms of the sacred in early 21st century America, albeit a diabolical one. The first half of the film shows Faith choosing the way out, and her friends choosing sin. The second half then revolves around the price one has to pay in order to make the experience of liminality “forever”. Superb cinematography by Benoit Debie, who has also worked on Enter The Void and The Ordeal, great editing by Douglas Crise that sees sounds and images riplling over time and past and future folding onto each other, better-than-expected acting by a cast that, like always with Harmony Korine, mixes professional actors (Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Korine’s WIFE Rachel) and non-actors playing themselves (eg the ATL twins). That Korine got the money for this is not too surprising either, he was famous at 18 for writing the screenplay for Kids, by Larry Clarke, and a few years later directed Gummo and Julien Donkey Boy, all three of them both crazy and amazing. And, finally, the film was produced by three pretty small studios, one of which also produced Virgin Suicides and American Psycho, the other She by Spike Jonze. The other review of that film posted on here when it was released last year is substantially better, even though the reviewer didn’t get the second half of the film.

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