Meet the Spring-break revellers from hell. Sometimes clad in Pussy Riot-style balaclavas, but most of the time in fluorescent bikinis, Faith (Selena Gomez), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Brit (Ashley Benson) and Cotty (Rachel Korine) orchestrate the year's most hallucinatory orgy to date, a candy-coloured bacchanalia of robbery, bong parties, contraband firearms, murders and a C-cup binge; all of this lubricated by endlessly flowing booze and a riotous beachside cacophony. Bored kids looking for gratifying oblivion, pushing and pushing and pushing the limit of fun. Spring Breakers is driven by the anxiety of excess, visually and psychologically, showing us how an American-style pursuit of happiness can edge pursuers over the cliff and into the sunshine of hell, where they feel right at home and become even more happy.
Starring Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine and James Franco. Directed by Harmonie Korine. At SF CentralWorld, Major Sukhumvit and other selected cinemas. There’s a 20-plus rating; ID must be shown to gain admittance.
This strange film by Harmonie Korine will enrage and baffle many. But as a cinematic experience _ I included it among my top five films when it first came out last year _ this is a long, mad, fevered reverie that sucks you in and showers you with acid vomit. At first the Thai distributor wanted to release it on DVD only, but now that it's hit the big screen (rated 20-plus, ID check at the door), braver multiplex-goers can now bask in its inglorious debauchery. Four girls on a break from university go on the rampage in Florida. That just about sums up what happens. The image of overly self-indulgent, half-naked girls _ Gomez and Hudgens have a following here _ is a ploy though; Korine is a director who's not so much interested in beauty and sex as in the ugliness of those things (if you're curious, try his previous one, Trash Humpers, which is about exactly what it sounds like: deformed people who hump rubbish bins). Spring Breakers is, at its simplest level, a satire about kids and criminality, but because Korine ramps it up to an extreme degree, stretching and exploiting to the hilt various cinematic devices _ the pounding MTV-style cuts, the endless slow-motion, the hazy clouds around narrative edges _ until they nearly tip over, he deconstructs the lines between parody, reality, insanity and mortal danger as the film drifts in and out of the subconscious, sometimes taking the form of poison pills that you feel compelled to swallow. Though hinged on the same theme, Korine's Spring Breakers is a hot breath of wasted youth compared to Sofia Coppola's cute jibe at Californian adolescents in The Bling Ring, which also opens today (see other review on this page).
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