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spring breakers y’all

Spring Breakers

A wave of seemingly inexorable nudity, illicit drugs and a grin of burnished silver that sends shudders down the spine. A superficial scrutiny would see Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers as a repetitive, mindless and downright offensive piece of film, but in reality, it touches on far more than that. Korine’s deliberate dabbling’s are to be commended. The complexity of this film will be utterly underappreciated (shifting focus to more divisive disputes), however this remains Korine’s intent: to make us pay for our pleasures.

Provocative heroines Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Brit (Ashley Benson) and Cotty (Rachel Korine) are engaging despite their shallow depravity and overall idiocies. The girls desperation to further tarnish their good graces by attending Spring Break heightens as they rob a local store to expand their cash dollars. In a bid to lead others into temptation, they lure their goodie-two-shoes friend, Faith (Selena Gomez) to Florida in search of the spiritual awakening that Spring Break righteously ratifies. After a week rife with debauchery, the girls are arrested for narcotics possession. Unable to afford bail, their savior appears in the form of a slightly sullied, super sleazy gangster guardian angel. Alien (James Franco) takes the girls under his dysfunctional (and somewhat ludicrous) wing, exposing them to a life of guns, exuberance and body parts bouncing in slo-mo (Spring Break Y’aaaaalllll!)

What a lot of viewers will fail to see in this satirical exploration is the gesture it makes in regards to the American Dream (or lack there of it). The nudity is not intended for offence or exploitation, it serves a purpose. The film manifests a void that is not only evident in the characters, but with all Korine’s filmic trickery isolates viewers. The use of excessive repetitive shots, eerily similar voiceovers and slow motion serves as a mechanism for confusion and bore. This is a film you are not supposed to connect with on a surface value; it is a shallow depiction of decadent dissolution aimed to make viewers feel uncomfortable and disconnected. The exclusion intends to form the same emptiness that is so ingrained in the characters. It epitomizes the disintegration of the American Dream machine; this social idealism is a hollow shell in the modern age. The girls dream was to revel in the indifference of a life with zero repercussions at Spring Break. However, throughout the duration of the movie, nothing really happens (intentionally so). How better to portray the void that is the American Dream than through a seemingly hollow film?

I predict the sobering subjects that serve as the films skeleton will cause chaos and uproar, but do not be misinformed; there is more to Spring Breakers than meets the eye.

 (Image Credit)



3 thoughts on “spring breakers y’all

  1. So glad to read a thoughtful review of Korine’s work. People are quick to label nudity in film as ‘in poor taste’ or ‘exploitative’. In the case of this film, as you’ve said, it’s much more. This is an really intelligent film, I only hope this fact doesn’t get lost in reviews eager to focus on ex-Disney star’s figures.

  2. I disagree. It think it’s a very poor film that fails to utilise the gaze of it’s female protagonists, preferring to stick the usual male gaze found in all forms of media. The ending in which females gain by allowing themselves to be accepted as objects is very unintelligent. Be cute, get guys, get shit. Abandon your friends if necessary, show minimal consideration for your safety in favour of gaining material possessions.

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