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Harmony Korine

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Reply #105 on: November 27, 2005, 10:55:17 PM
a rare instance when I agree with Neon.  Kids was a phony movie with the self-importance of an after school special, but made with more "realistic touches" with the blood and the cussing and the underaged nudity.  it viewed the city the way a high school counselor would and the "street" aesthetics just added to that investigative jouranlistic phoniness.
Gummo, that was kinda weird that Ono kept on calling Gummo "real", since I liked it precisely because it was so dreamlike, like southern gothic on speed or something.  I thought Gummo was okay until I saw Julien DonkeyBoy and all of a sudden "got it" and realized what korine was going for.  I really loved Julien DonkeyBoy.  I liked Gummo for its images and circumstances, but it didn't really move me much, it was just a tad too underwhelming for me.  When I watched Gummo I was not sure how empathetic he wanted the audience to be towards his characters and the environment, but in Julien Donkey Boy I was right there with them.
Korine has the imagination and the sensitivity of a great filmmaker alright, but he lacks the soulfulness still.  I find that very troubling amongst contemporary American filmmakers, maybe with the exception of David Gordon Green, most of the new guys have the talent but lack the soul--the capacity for great emotions like ecstacy and deep sorrow.
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Reply #106 on: November 28, 2005, 05:04:43 AM

But let's dig, no? I'll just say right now that this isn't a hostile post, as I've learned that I come off as so in disagreements.

I find your post biased and unreasonable:
Haha.  Sorry.  That made me laugh.  First, what opinion isn't biased?  Second, I don't see how I'm being unreasonable in basing my opinions on subjectivity.  It's amusing to read that you say you aren't being hostile, because I would've perceived that as hostile if it wasn't the case.

Right.  Well.  This never works on the Internet, I don't know.  If you saw me I'd hope you'd see me smiling and realize I found the whole situation delightful.  But yeah.  Opinions are all biased and any opinion is subjective.  Agreed and all, except I think your post was excessive in both regards.  Then again, I am disagreeing.

1. I am from Bellbrook Ohio. Which is next to Xenia. Which is where the film is based, although not where the film was filmed. And Korine never went to Xenia last I heard. Still, I know how well he did capture the spirit of a dilapidated town, which was quite well. You are right to say so. But you seem to be praising the film for capturing the reality of the situation when it doesn't say anything at all about its characters. We know as much about them as you know about two girls stumbling down the street, which, you know, you couldn't write one sentence on without making an assumption as to their mindset.

In this case, Korine's vast brushstrokes are not dedicated to just one or two characters, though we are given an entrance to the world through the eyes of Bunny Boy, Solomon, and Tummler.  The point is not deep characterization.  The point is the feeling of nihilism conveyed through these people who are more archetypal than characteristic of anything too specific.  The film finds ideas that fit "here," "here," and "here" because it doesn't get too specific.  Its detached, bird's eye view works because that is its goal.

But my whole is that its goal is shallow.  Which your paragraph here agrees with.  Anytime you look at a community of people you're going to find beauty and direction and organization.  That's the surface of any human endeavour, right, as many critics seemed pissed about when Downfall came out.  I don't think that takes as much talent as saying something specific, and the slew of ensemble films coming out right now seem to be arguing for me.

Then, and I don't understand this at all, you state the indulgence of art, but you give manipulation over only to Hollywood. Are you fucking kidding me that all films aren't manipulative? If Korine isn't trying to be anything more, why the bunny suit in the first place? Why the scene in which the bunny gets shot. Why the scene with the man in the car. Why the prostitution scene. Why these scenes ono?

Why any scene?


You're now questioning that bird's eye view that works so well now just to question it.  One of Korine's goals is to get to a point where he can make a film where he captures reality nonstop.  Cinema verite at its purest for, without any subjectivity.  Just what happened, and that's it.  He's talked in the past about wanting to make a film with all hidden cameras.  Just film experiences and string them together into some sort of narrative, if at all possible.  So why any scene indeed.  Simple: because, to quote the painting in Claudia's apartment, "it did happen."

A lack of subjectivity would mean unfiltered perception, it would mean that the most bombastic scenes wouldn't be favored.  There wasn't a single quiet moment in the whole movie.  It was all "Look how fucked up they are."  And, again, coming from there, and as your friend will tell you, there are many quiet moments in such communities.  Actually, I just lied, and in the interest of full disclosure, the wrestling scene with the table was probably the realest moment.  If it was 'reality nonstop' then there would be boring moments.  I mean clearly.

I agree he loves his characters, and indeed that the film is slice-of-life, but completely disagree that all artifice has been stripped away and that the film the not manipulative, which would be to say that it is without objective. There's a fuck of a lot more to these people than the silly 'shocking' things they do.

The objective is simply to show you this life.  These things.  That they do happen.  And it does so without commentary, so as to let the viewer draw his/her own conclusions.

I get that they happen, okay.  But there's a lot more to these people is my argument.  I think Korine is shaping the reality of these people, and while the Mangolia crowd might argue that all filmmakers do, I would argue that some filmmakers try harder to be subjective.  Korine, while I love the writing style, I do not feel was subjective in Gummo for the majority of the movie.  Meaning he was not subjective in the movie overall.

2. "First, KIDS is shit, that isn't the issue. Gummo is a good film because it's real." Why dismiss one and then praise the other for the same reason the former connects with so many people. Your friend who lived in a trailer home and saw a lot of his life in Gummo, I could let you talk to twenty kids who saw a lot of their life in Kids. Hell, it's not even a giant leap forward from the drug addled lives of kids in Ohio I can assure you. Kids has the benefit of a big city setting. What was the script concept? Clark asked Korine to write a script about his daily life. Anyway I don't want to make this a big argument, I don't like Kids either, but these sentences next to each other were confusing for me.
Simple.  The eye.  My favorite film critic is Ted Goranson, a prolific writer on IMDb.  He also has his own website, http://www.filmsfolded.com/  He goes into a lot of theory in his criticisms about two things: folding in films (that is, shifting in time, in perspective, and in the roles the actors play), and also the point of view of a film.  That is, the eye.  The camera is the eye.  Editing is blinking, as put forth in theory by Walter Murch.  The eye is the way in which we view the world.  The camera is the way in which we view the filmmaker's world.  So everything is in the placement of the camera and how it moves, how it is used.  PTA, some would say Scorsese, Gondry ... all masters of the camera.  Korine is an up-and-coming master, as he has created visuals never seen before.  And it's not just the novelty of seeing these people.  It's the extra layer of beauty he has uncovered in observing unobtrusively.  It's Sevigny in Gummo, jumping on the bed, her nipples taped.  It's her again in julien donkey-boy, walking through the field of grain.  Or it's Bunny Boy swimming in the rain with those girls, kissing them.  It's all about tone.  Clark, on the other hand, takes a leering approach to his work.  You feel dirty watching it, wondering if it's okay.  You're aware of the reality of it, but you're also aware that something is amiss here.  It just doesn't feel right.  The point he has is a valid one, and needs to be made, but in the hands of a more skilled filmmaker, one who knows how to use the camera better than he does.

You've never fucked a girl while she was passed out at a party, have you?  Of course you feel dirty.  Me, I never have, but I've been at the party.  I know those people.  I'm not sorry, I don't feel dirty.

I think this covnersation is a matter of different perspectives and experiences, rather than critques on the movie.  Which says a lot about the movie.
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Reply #107 on: October 25, 2010, 10:59:40 AM
WTF: Marlon Wayons To Star In Harmony Korine’s ‘Twinkle Twinkle’?
Source: The Playlist

Pajiba’s The Hollywood Cog has been a pretty solid source of info but this has got to be the strangest yet most potentially awesome news to come from their insider ever. Apparently, Marlon Wayans will star in Harmony Korine‘s next film “Twinkle Twinkle” which is about a former hitman who dresses up as a dollar bill. Yep, consider our tickets bought. This is definitely the first we’re hearing about the project and we’re sure the logline is a vague indicator of what the film has in store. While Marlon Wayans potential involvement is interesting, we suppose it isn’t that surprising. While he has made his fair share of dumb movies with his brothers, he’s also branched into into more intriguing fare such as Darren Aronofsky‘s “Requiem For A Dream,” the Coen brothers’ “The Ladykillers” and Bill Condon‘s gestating Richard Pryor biopic, “Is It Something I Said.” So we can seem him eyeing a crazy script by a dude named Harmony crossing his desk and going, “Sure, what the hell.” There’s no word yet if this is related to the feature that Korine is crowdsourcing in association with the Rotterdam Film Festival or something else entirely, but either way, we’re definitely intrigued. In the meantime, track down “Trash Humpers” at your local independent video store because Netflix still refuses to stock it. And in case you missed it, Korine recently completed the short “Act Da Fool” which you can view online now.
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Reply #108 on: October 25, 2010, 03:12:53 PM
And in case you missed it, Korine recently completed the short “Act Da Fool” which you can view online now.

here btw


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Reply #109 on: March 19, 2011, 05:03:28 PM
Die Antwoord in a short film by Harmony Korine

“The myth by no means finds its adequate objectification in the spoken word. The structure of the scenes and the visible imagery reveal a deeper wisdom than the poet himself is able to put into words and concepts” – Friedrich Nietzsche


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Reply #110 on: November 02, 2011, 01:56:06 PM
James Franco Will Rap In Harmony Korine’s ‘Spring Breakers’
Emma Roberts Co-Stars; Also, WTF
Source: Playlist

Update: Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez are also in talks to star. The trio will play the gang of girls in the film with Roberts as danger loving Southern brunette, and Gomez as the stuck-up, religious type.

James Franco—whose ass recently graced the cover of Flaunt—has certainly been very forward about this arty inclinations whether it be a mediation on “My Own Private Idaho” or a deconstruction of “Three’s Company.” His more cerebral endeavors found him hooking up with indie enfant terrible Harmony Korine for some kind of street gang project earlier this year. While we’ll have to wait to see the fruits of that endeavor, the duo are pairing up for a feature film project. And it sounds like the most normal movie Korine has ever done in his life.

Set to be written and directed by Korine, co-starring Emma Roberts and planned to shoot next spring break, the movie will center on four college-aged girls who decide to rob a fast food restaurant in order pay for the annual getaway, and who get thrown in the slammer once they get there. Sound dull? Wait, it gets better. Franco will play a rapping drug and arms dealer who bails out the girls, and coaxes them to kill his nemesis named Arch. James Franco + rapping = we’re there.

But this is weirdly the most mainstream thing Korine has ever done, though the casting is delightfully odd. This is another project in an already busy year for both Korine and Franco. The director premiered his short film collaboration with Die Antwoord “Umshini Wam,” created an ad for Indian megacorp Mahindra, is working on a short film with Val Kilmer that will form part of a Dogme-esque omnibus project, and shot a fashion campaign video for Proenza Schouler.

As for Franco, he starred in “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes,” and has spent the year busily filming Sam Raimi‘s “Oz The Great And Powerful,” and the indie flicks “Maladies,” “The Stare” and “Cherry.” And oh yeah, he went to Venice and premiered his Sal Mineo biopic “Sal,” and released an EP of questionable music, in addition to a zillion other things he has going. Yet, Franco-ites will recall, “Spring Breakers” won’t be the first time he’s played a drug dealer, a role he seems to specialize in.
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Reply #111 on: June 01, 2012, 06:06:54 PM
Black Keys - Gold On The Ceiling

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Reply #112 on: June 01, 2012, 09:02:27 PM
I wonder if it was at the request of The Black Keys to emulate Trash Humpers, or if Harmony is actually OK with rehashing his filmography like this.


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Reply #113 on: July 06, 2012, 04:39:03 PM
From what I have read Harmony directed the music video; however, Warner Bros refused to release it to the public. This is why there are two music videos for the song.It's Kind of ironic that Harmony drew inspiration from trash humpers to make a music video considering the movie itself didn't contain a soundtrack. 


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Reply #114 on: July 06, 2012, 08:55:04 PM
haha, that was really odd. It will stay with me. The 'twins' of the black keys kind of reminded me of the robot versions of Bill & Ted, in that creepy way.

what does he shoot on, old school VHS?


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Reply #115 on: July 07, 2012, 02:34:58 AM
I believe so. I know that is what he used to shoot trash humpers, which aesthetically looks almost identical. There is something to be said about someone who takes the time to edit vhs when they have access to digital. Then again, he might be converting the vhs to digital and then doing the edit. 


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Reply #116 on: September 08, 2012, 03:01:44 PM
I tried desperately to get tickets to the 70mm presentation of the master yesterday at TIFF. sadly i didn't get to go, instead I saw Spring Breakers during the day, and i got to say even though scientology is a religion that has always fascinated me and it's directed by the best film maker alive (not to mention i read the first draft of the script), I'm so glad i got to see Spring Breakers.

It's simply amazing. i haven't been that entertained since seeing bad lieutenant in the festival 2 years ago.

walking in the theatre was strange, 70% of the crowd looked like a bieber concert and the rest harmony korine fans. And in many ways that's what he has achieved with this film, bridging those two very different aesthetics. After the film was over, when the cast came out for the usual Q&A, James Franco said "Harmonie said he wanted a movie that looked like if gasper Noe directed a Britney spears video, and i think he got it", Korine then followed up by saying "I just watched Michael Mann's Miami vice all during making this film." This movie is all those things.


go see this film, as soon as you can. it's not coming out until 2013 so if it's in a festival near you and you are stuck between a few choices, let me assure, you won't be let down. If you live near toronto and are going to the festival, i know there are two more screenings, the last next friday. I am definitely going to try and rush it to see it for a second time. In many ways I'm still processing it.
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Reply #117 on: October 18, 2012, 10:50:02 AM
The Fourth Dimension


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Reply #118 on: November 05, 2012, 04:26:54 AM
Thought this was a cool interview

Harmony Korine Talks 'Spring Breakers,' Casting Selena Gomez, and How Her Mom Is a Fan of His Work
via IndieWire

Harmony Korine's "Spring Breakers" marks a significant shift in exposure for the 39-year-old filmmaker, but nobody can accuse him of selling out. The movie, which premiered in Venice and made its North American premiere in Toronto last week, stars Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson as a trio of young woman who rob a diner to fund their trip down south. After a series of depraved party experiences, they eventually encounter the absurdly self-involved gangster Alien (James Franco), who manages to seduce most of the girls with his materialistic obsessions.

If there's anything tame or familiar about the spring breakers' initial exploits, Korine tears it apart with a gloriously surreal deconstruction of pop imagery. Having secured distribution with Annapurna Pictures (but still attracting interest from larger studios in the wake of its positive reception), "Spring Breakers" has already brought Korine onto a level of popularity that the director never could have achieved in the day of "Gummo" and "Julien Donkey-Boy." Even the filmmaker had a hard time believing it when he dropped by Indiewire HQ on Sunday to discuss the movie.

You've said this was the hardest production of your career. How did the experience differ from your other movies?

It was the most difficult shoot in the sense that I had very little time. The look of the film was very central to it, so there were certain things I needed, like various equipment and cameras, so I could make the visuals the way I wanted them. I had to compensate for that, which affected the schedule, which affected the pace. And then you had these girls shooting on location, mostly in real places with people around them who weren't actors. We put them in an environment they weren't used to being in. Obviously, very quickly people found out about that. Sometimes there were more paparazzi than crew members. It can get weird very quickly. It was a whole set of problems I had never dealt with.

Nevertheless, it's not like you sold out and made a conventional narrative feature. Where did the concept for "Spring Breakers" come from?

Early on, I had wanted to make a film in this style, and had been trying to develop in other ways -- through short films and advertisements -- this idea of microscenes. The movie to me is closer to electronic music. My idea for the film is more music-based than cinema-based. Music now is mostly loop and sample-based. A lot of stuff I like is more tracey and physical. I was hoping to develop a film style with this movie that could mimic that in some way. That's where the liquid narrative comes from, this boozy-jazzy thing.

It's an incredible soundtrack that combines compositions by Cliff Martinez and Skrillex, but sometimes you can't tell which is which.

That was the idea. I love them both and wanted to take a certain element of what each does best and have them merge. I wanted the music to have a physical presence.

There are also a number of big pop songs. How on earth did you get the rights to Britney Spears music?

The movie was always meant to work like a violent, beautiful pop ballad, something very polished that disappears into the night. Everyone was really cool about it. I've gotten to a point in my life that's pretty cool where musicians are accepting and wanting to be part of what I do.

Even more impressive is the cast. What did it take to cast these young women, who are best known in teen-oriented fare, in a movie so subversive?

When I was thinking about the cast, I was thinking about who could play these parts, and was wondering who the girls are in this generation that best represent a certain ideology. There was something intriguing about the idea of using girls primarily known from a Disney-type reality. Immediately, instinctively, I said it would be great if Selena Gomez would do this. It's pretty crazy that they were all pretty receptive to it.

Why do you think they were receptive?

A lot of them knew my films, which always surprises me. I got an email that Selena was going to hop on a plane and come to my living room in Nashville to audition, and that her mom was coming with her, and that she would be there the next morning. It was pretty crazy. Her mom is younger than I am and she had grown up watching my films and said she had been a fan of them.

So you now have an audience that grew up with your work.

Yeah, it's pretty weird. I still feel like a kid, but really I've been making movies now for almost 20 years. It's nice also knowing that you're accepted by the culture in some way. When you're out in the wilderness making movies, sometimes you don't know where you live. It can be difficult to gauge who knows what, who sees what, and I try not to think about it too much.

And yet every time you make a new movie, the media focuses on how it reflects your public persona.

That's the other thing. I'm not sure I like that. Sometimes, when I read things, I feel like my narrative or whatever the fuck it is, becomes too prominent. Every film is not a stealth move. It's not a game of chess. I make films because I have ideas about certain characters or images. It feels like it's part of the moment. This movie felt like something intangible, difficult to articulate, but I had to pluck it out of the air.

Do you think you would work on this scale again?

Monetarily, it wasn't that big of a film. But I only want to go harder and bigger. I only want to push myself and make things more spectacular. It's exciting for me to try to do things I never thought I would do and go places I never thought I would go. I want to experiment. At the same time, making movies is so hard that it can feel like warfare. A lot of the energy of the battles are fought about things that have nothing to do with the creative element.

Do you think this is your angriest film?

I don't know if it's angry, but it's certainly the most aggressive. I wanted to make a film that feels like there's no air in the room. I never wanted the audience to be comfortable or complacent. I never even wanted it to seem like they were watching a movie in the traditional sense. I wanted it to be something different. So there's not that much dialogue. Words get in the way. I wanted the film to have a very physical presence.

What's your overall take on the idea of spring break?

Spring break is a rite of passage, an American pastime. In the film, it's more metaphorical, the idea of losing yourself. I don't feel like the soul is gone in this country but that it has morphed into something else. Everything is experienced thorough screens and through views and technology. Sometimes the act of watching is like nothing. I just wanted to show how it's all the same.

In the opening montage, a spring break beach party starts out like some kind of reality show before it turns increasingly depraved and tribal.

And I also wanted it to involve a kind of gangster mysticism. Everything has become so corporatized and boring so real outlaw culture or criminal culture feels like the last vestige of American rebellion. These girls have grown up on world star hip-hop and Gucci Man.

How did you decide on the structure? The story itself is pretty thin.

I wanted to run all through the idea of clips, like YouTube stuff, through a filmic filter. I wanted it to seem like the images were just flying or falling from outer space. I wanted to develop a new vernacular, at least for myself. It was an appropriation of images and ideas that were familiar and iconic to people, but I ran it through this fucked-up filter that spit them out in a new way. The movie is about energy more than anything, a feeling, what happens when you get lost. It's not about spring break; it's about when you drive a couple of miles away from spring break and you're out on the boardwalk by the beach in this weird, fucked up, drunk place. It's like beach noir. I really wanted the film to be about surfaces. I told [cinematographer] Benoit [Debie] at the beginning that I wanted it to look like candy -- like he had lit the movie with Skittles. It was about this dance of surfaces. The meaning is the residue that drips down below the surface.

and this

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Reply #119 on: November 25, 2012, 01:58:22 PM
I just caught Spring Breakers at Oslo International Film Fest.

It was fantastic! An emotionally realistic and cinematically impressionistic portrait of decadent teenage mindsets. I saw an eerie amount of my younger self in these girls.

I was really surprised at how much I felt with Selena Gomez's character Faith. The first thirty-or-so minutes of decadence juxtaposed with her struggling with faith, and her increasing flirts with temptation, in what feels like one big, long sequence, is really effective. Her three temptress friends are also excellent at being twisted Sirens, and their half-whispered, repetitive, melodic talk blends into the dreamy soundtrack in almost a Malickian way.

Socketlevel’s Noe-by-way-of-Britney Spears description is pretty on point, I think. It's an experience that (surprisingly) needs to be seen on the big screen. EDIT: Which isn't strange I guess since Benoît Debie shot both this and Noe's last two.

SPOILERS And that incredible one-take robbery sequence shot from the car, with only partial glimpses of what goes on inside, with Rhianna pumping on the stereo. It's a great shot and concept in itself, but it has the added effect of making it extremely effective when we gradually get revealed more and more how the robbery felt like on the inside. SPOILERS

And it's pretty damn funny at times.