A misunderstood masterpiece of nihilistic modernism and gratuitous aggression on the senses, Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers is right on. Right on time and target.
Four young beautiful college girls (by Hollywood standards), who spend a lot of time half naked, make their way to partying, over the course of a spring break, expending their own view of what fun and coolness seem to be about.
Spring Breakers is an ethnographic pop-eyed multi colored show with guns, sex, violence, sex, uncaring youth, sex, cheap music, sex and substance abuse. You think A Clockwork Orange is frightening. Korine shows you a bunch of not so unrealistic common imbeciles that would get an honest job next fall (probably taking care of retired people) if there were a sequel. That’s pure terror.
Give us plenty say the patrons going to theaters these days. And that is what Korine is doing out of emptiness. His dissection of 21st century futility fully buys its codes. It highlights the low standards of young, careless and narcissistic creatures and its culmination point feels like a long take selfie of obnoxious, careless and lunatic characters narrated with irony.
Of course, it gets on the nerves as it is a hymn to a succession of distasteful aberrations. With Spring Breakers you get the real deal: It is straightforward, honestly violent and depraved (the scene with voiceover the sexy killing spree with postcard images is out of this world). Question is, why so many people usually love much of these things in films (but shown in a softer version), and here, perfectly blended together by Korine, the reception to the film release was… violent. Maybe it’s because it highlights the weakness of much Hollywood productions these days and of our world in general.
A calculated and unpleasant contemporary art experience in over the top narcissism, Spring Breakers is one of the major films of the 2010’s. And remember: It’s only a film.