Harmony Korine, Spring Breakers, Museum of the Moving Image
Director, screenwriter, and artist Harmony Korine has developed an aesthetic as unique and bracing as any that launched in the heyday of 1990s American independent film. Korine made his name as the screenwriter of the nihilistic-teen movie Kids, but came into his own as a director with the 1997 feature debut, Gummo. From March 8 through 22, 2013, Museum of the Moving Image will present a retrospective of all of Korine's five feature films to date, including his latest, Spring Breakers-a triumph at both the Toronto and Venice film festivals.
Harmony Korine will appear in person with the Museum's preview screening of Spring Breakers on Tuesday, March 12, at 7:00 p.m., participating in a conversation moderated by Chief Curator David Schwartz after the film. Korine's latest is a high-concept pulp-fest featuring Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine as co-eds who perform a catalogue of illegal and incendiary activities in order to get out of their boring small town for spring break. Also starring James Franco, the film opens theatrically in New York and Los Angeles on March 15 (nationwide on March 22), released by A24 Films.
In addition to Spring Breakers (2013) and Gummo (1997), the Museum retrospective includes Mister Lonely (2007), Korine's largest production to date and which features art cinema luminaries Diego Luna, Werner Herzog, Denis Lavant, and Samantha Morton cast as celebrity impersonators; the critically acclaimed Julien Donkey-boy (1999); and the cult hit Trash Humpers (2009), which film critic J. Hoberman called a "gloriously desultory slap in the face of public taste." Together, these films reveal the eccentricities as well as the depth of one of the most compellingly divisive directors working today.
"Harmony Korine portrays a particular and peculiarly American mode of existence in the 21st century," said David Schwartz. "Although his films come to us in a disparate range of forms-from his Dogme 95-inspired Julien Donkey-Boy, to the found-footage style of Trash Humpers, to his latest foray into mainstream cinema with Spring Breakers-Korine consistently brings to the camera an eye for subversive beauty and a sympathetic understanding of the world he inhabits. This places him alongside some of the very best filmmakers working today."
SCHEDULE FOR 'HARMONY KORINE,' MARCH 8-22, 2013
All screenings take place at Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue in Astoria. Screenings are included with Museum admission and free for Museum members unless otherwise noted. Tickets for Friday evening screenings (when the Museum offers free gallery admission) are $12 adults / $9 students and senior citizens.
FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 7:00 P.M.
Dir. Harmony Korine. 1997, 89 mins. 35mm. With Nick Sutton, Jacob Sewell, Lara Tosh, Chloe Sevigny. With an elliptical narrative and a non-professional ensemble cast, Gummo follows two teens in tornado-ravaged Ohio town sniffing glue, killing cats, having sex, riding dirtbikes, listening to metal, and encountering a procession of quirky, bizarre, and scary people. Named "worst film of the year" in The New York Times, and at the same time spurring Werner Herzog (among others) to label Korine "the future of American cinema," Gummo was one of the most divisive and memorable indie films of the 1990s.
SUNDAY, MARCH 10, 6:00 P.M.
Dir. Harmony Korine. 2007, 112 mins. With Diego Luna, Samantha Morton, Denis Lavant, James Fox, Werner Herzog. Korine's third feature is a quirky and strangely warm story of misfit companionship, in which a group of star impersonators (played by actual stars) live on a commune in Scotland and prepare an ensemble show. It is also a story about nuns flying out of airplanes.