Spring Breakers (2013): 8.25/10
– Spring Breakers might be Harmony’s most unique film, which is a interesting statement all its own. The film follows four college girls (Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine) who live in a small college town that has pretty much become abandoned since everyone has gone away for Spring Break. Not wanting to be the only ones left, they decide that they will overcome their financial troubles by any means necessary so that they can travel to St. Petersburg, Florida to join in the festivities. The film starts off in typical Harmony Korine fashion with the abandoned buildings, decaying objects, handheld camera shots, and images of what kids are willing to do to overcome their boredom including sex and drugs. However, this all changes as the girls are transported to the glitz and glamor of a huge party in a big city. From there, the girls descend into sex, drugs, and violence that makes you wonder if you are watching a crime movie like Scarface. Korine manages to include his artistic touches throughout and shows an excess of nudity, money, guns, and drugs, showing how quickly fun can go wrong. The movie is filled with criticism on society and how kids are becoming desensitized to violence. It critiques on the overstimulation of sex and nudity by constantly exposing it to you in an almost Girls Gone Wild fashion. The combination of using well known actress who spend the majority of the movie in bikinis, a soundtrack that was composed to Skrillex, James Franco as a local rapper and gangster named Alien, and the heavy use of bright neon colors such as green and pink are part of what makes this movie so different from anything we have seen from Harmony Korine before. But the impact it ends up having on the audience is familiar. It isolated its viewers. Some saw it as a feminist film with elements of female empowerment due to the fact that the girls are antiheroes instead of victims and they comply to their own will based on their hedonistic outlook. Some saw it as Harmony’s way of infiltrating mainstream media with big named actors/actresses and the promise of sex and violence before providing the audience of plenty of food for thought. Other people saw this film as a male indulgent film that objectified and exploited young, popular, and attractive women. People say this movie reinforces rape culture, views women purely for sex, and pushes the idea of bikinis and alcohol to the absolute extreme. With such drastic views towards the movie, you can at least make the assumption that it is worth watching and it will definitely make you feel an emotion, as can be said with any of Harmony’s movies. I don’t know if it is the best thing that the director has done, but I can say that it deserved the attention it got in 2013.