Spring Break Forever
November 2, 2013 7:27 AM   Subscribe

"The film is like trance music in movie form. It is liquid. Scenes flow in and out of each other. A scene will start and then the imagery will jump to another, sometimes from the past, other times from the future, while the audio from the initial scene continues to play through. Other times repetition is used as a narrative device, most prominently Alien’s southern, sizzurp-inflected drawl, rolling out in languid syllables, so that each is enjoyed to the fullest, reminiscent, although with his own depraved contemporary hip-hop spin, of Humbert Humbert’s delectation over the individuation of his young love’s name: Lo-li-ta,as it trips along the tongue, but for Alien, his long relaxed exhale of Sppprrrrrrriiiiiiinnnnnngggggg Brrrreeeeeeeeaaaaaak again and again, emanates more from the back of the throat, you might say the deep throat, and just to the side, to give it it’s arch southern twang. " James Franco (previously) reviews Spring Breakers (previously) starring James Franco.
posted by codacorolla (29 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Just because James Franco wants to do everything doesn't mean he should be encouraged to do everything.
posted by xingcat at 7:48 AM on November 2, 2013 [15 favorites]

Spring Breakers = 30% slow-mo partying, t&a and bong scenes; 30% 'Spring Break Forever Bitches....! Spring Break Forever!!!', 10% 'Look At My Shit!'; 30% GTA Vice City missions.

It's just about perfect
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:56 AM on November 2, 2013 [5 favorites]

James Franco auto-fellating himself is apt material for Vice, I guess.
posted by empath at 7:57 AM on November 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

I'm about 1/3 of the way through the movie (I've been on a break from it for a month or so; coincidentally it's still spring here) and I was, and am still, surprised how hypnotic a film I find it to be. I can't say that that means it's actually important as a cinematic experience or it simply has enough wayward people, cameras, scenes, times, music and shock value erratically crashing into and through each other to hold the gaze and attention. I thought it was most like a music video mating noisily with a reality tv show. I'm working towards returning to it. I'm pretty sure I will get there.
posted by peacay at 8:15 AM on November 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

James Franco, seeking to contemplate his greatest creation, James Franco, built for himself a many angled mirrored room, where each facet of each glass would reflect back each perfect aspect of his creation. When he entered the room and shut the door, the universe was created.
posted by The Whelk at 8:19 AM on November 2, 2013 [23 favorites]

The main thing that strikes me about both this review and the work of Harmony Korrine: in many situations, the world you inhabit is the world you choose. Oh, not in the sense that if you're broke and trapped in a shit job that's because you chose it, but in the sense that you always have the option of deciding that the real of the world is, like, neon and Facebook and buying expensive things and coercing people into sex and having a basic 'the nature of the world is crass and flattened' worldview - that's a choice, it's not enlightenment about the real. I mean, whenever I encounter this kind of worm's eye realism, I'm always tremendously startled, because I just don't observe a world like that. I've met some awful people, done some less than stellar things, been miserable and full of despair and hate but even at the bottom of the world, I don't encounter the Korrine's-eye view. Franco is absolutely right when he talks about how there's a wish not to see the worm's-eye perspective because people want to replace it with what is heteronormative and white and standard, etc, but in either case it's just saying that there is one real of the world, and it's either the white/heteronormative/generic one or Spring Breakers.

I'm not talking about some false notion of documentary, either - obviously people who take a lot of drugs and appropriate black culture in especially stupid ways really do exist - but even a documentary is an argument for a point of view.

Which isn't to say that no one should watch or like Spring-Breakers, I mean, movies are a dodgy medium anyway.
posted by Frowner at 8:38 AM on November 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

Good grief, he's right. I will now move Spring Breakers to the top of my Favorite Movies List and watch it weekly so as to infuse my being with the greatness of its Art.

Seriously, it was an interesting film, but not one I'll think about watching again soon. After all, I already re-watch Sucker Punch every six months or so. That's enough high art cinema for me.
posted by lhauser at 8:42 AM on November 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think it is a terrible film. If it's meant to be viewed as trance music, then that sure is one seriously shitty dj rocking an ipod up there.
posted by Catblack at 8:50 AM on November 2, 2013

The film is like trance music in movie form.

He's right, you know, because both suck.
posted by dydecker at 9:07 AM on November 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

I saw Korine deliver a Q & A after a screening of Mr. Lonely. He was one of the least coherent men I've ever heard, but something he said stuck with me:

"I was...starting out, reading these screenwriting books, and they were all, like, how to get from "here" to "there." And I thought, what if, like...you did a movie, which was all THERE?"
posted by Iridic at 9:19 AM on November 2, 2013 [28 favorites]

Oh, James Franco. You lovable scamp, you.
posted by pxe2000 at 9:51 AM on November 2, 2013

Perennial Metafilter flashpoint and capslock abuser Film Critic Hulk spent two days as an embedded reporter with Harmony Korine, James Franco and the SPRING BREAKERS crew at SXSW.
posted by persona at 9:56 AM on November 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

While I don't know if he's just kinda playing a joke on reading too much into it, or if he's serious or half-half... I like Franco. I do think he's a genuine actor's actor. I think he has a lot of refinement and growing up to do, but I think he will end up being one of the best actors of this decade in terms of the young ones coming up.

He's no DiCaprio, of course.

I worry that he's going to end up being pigeonholed into Depp-ian style typecasts, which worries me. But I think he's trying not to do that sort of thing.

I see him mention Gucci Mane.

If I had to choose between Gucci Mane and Spring Breakers or Ja Rule and I Fell in Love with a Church Girl...

I'ma take Spring Breakers thank you very much.
posted by symbioid at 9:58 AM on November 2, 2013

This was overwritten and self-aggrandizing in the delightful way that only James Franco can pull off. And no doubt he's self-aware about that; he's building a grandiose mythos around himself, after all. All part of the great James Franco Project. But hell, he's right. Spring Breakers WAS fucking brilliant. I rhapsodized about it in the previous thread and still stand behind every word. It's the best film of 2013, and I think it will be ultimately recognized as one of the great movies 100% of and about our time. It celebrates and eulogizes my generation beautifully.
posted by naju at 10:12 AM on November 2, 2013

Once Riff Raff starts acting it will be ON, James.
posted by Brocktoon at 10:18 AM on November 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Riff Raff. That is all.
posted by flyinghamster at 10:25 AM on November 2, 2013

Dude ironic narcissism is just as embarassing as regular narcissism.
posted by Tom-B at 10:55 AM on November 2, 2013 [5 favorites]

I haven't seen the movie, so I can't comment on that, but ...

What the fuck is wrong with James Franco? It's like when John Malkovich went into the magic room in Being John Malkovich and everyone was him just repeating the word "Malkovich" over and over again, except Franco decided to stay in his Being James Franco room forever.
posted by Saxon Kane at 12:28 PM on November 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

After all, I already re-watch Sucker Punch every six months or so. That's enough high art cinema for me.

I thought that Sucker Punch was an interesting film, and I liked it more than most critics rated it. I haven't seen Spring Breakers yet, but I'll get to it.
posted by ovvl at 3:31 PM on November 2, 2013

When this came out and became something of a minor mainstream commercial success I was slack jawed in amazement. I mean, it's a perfectly serviceable Harmony Korine film. But it's still a HARMONY KORINE film. Nearly his entire ouvre is films that are just snapshots of vaguely disturbing white trash Americana. Montages of trailer parks, old men fucking garbage cans, and teenagers selling cat meat to a butcher for glue to huff. Its success is entirely attributable to Franco and Gomez' involvement, but its to Korine's credit that he worked to get the movie he wanted made complete with Skrillex soundtrack.

When Gummo came out in 1997, it represented a microcosm of everything I thought of that world at that point as a 17 year old. I imagine Spring Breakers is doing the same for teenagers today.
posted by mediocre at 4:19 PM on November 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Harmony Korine and James Franco doing a movie about Spring Break is pretty much the perfect reason to avoid this altogether.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 4:49 PM on November 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Coincidentally, I happened to watch this movie last night. I like Korine's films, and I liked Spring Breakers, mostly for the same reasons Hulk mentions in the "embedded" link posted above. Thanks for the links.
posted by bigZLiLk at 4:58 PM on November 2, 2013

It seems his writing professors were too intimidated to provide him honest critique, editing, and grades.
posted by surplus at 6:51 PM on November 2, 2013

An extract from Jame's Franco poetry book:

12. Florida Sex Scene
I’ve done fifteen years of movies.
I was once the young brooder,
The James Dean that made directors
Unhappy. I was more interested in me
Than in any movie I was in.
I didn’t know that I was part
Of a bigger thing than just my role,
But now I know.
I’m the experienced actor now,
I am a teacher.
When I acted in Spring Breakers
My character was the teacher

And the young Spring Breakers
Were the students from hell,
The materialistic demons
From today’s celebrity age.

The actresses were enthusiastic
And sweet, they were so happy
To be in a movie that critiqued
Their world, rather than added

One more layer of deadly bubble
Gum. When we did the ménage
À trois in the pool at midnight
The girls were drunk.

It was the sweetest thing.
They had taken shots in their trailer
Because it was their first sex scene.
In the pool we went at it.

And between takes, while they reset the lights
The beautiful blonde one—
A realization of someone’s dream—
Stayed in my arms and told me

Everything she loved about my work.

posted by Riton at 11:09 PM on November 2, 2013

That is a really, really terrible poem.
posted by Saxon Kane at 8:50 AM on November 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

What exactly was brilliant about spring breakers? I loved Kids and Gummo but this movie was embarassing with bad accents and even worse music, and incoherent in a way that was funny and interesting in Gummo, but just grating in this one. If the point was to criticize the ugliness of a certain modern youth subculture, we're ten years ahead of you, Harmony.
posted by hellslinger at 10:43 AM on November 3, 2013

Harmony Korine makes interesting things to watch. I'm not sure if he's a regular artist or a scam artist, but the line between the two isn't really very clear any more anyway, so.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:41 PM on November 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

I liked Spring Breakers a whole ton, one of the main reasons being that it provided commentary on youth culture while simultaneously existing in and exemplifying that same youth culture. It is what it critiques.

Seems fitting for James Franco to write a review of it then.
posted by dogwalker at 4:40 AM on November 4, 2013

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