In my review of “Spring Breakers” for The Suffolk Voice, I referred to it as our generation’s version of “Easy Rider.” It has the potential, like Dennis Hopper’s initial directorial masterpiece, to transform the way that this generation views movies altogether.
It could also change the way that films are financed so that auteurs are given more freedom, and so that people like Harmony Korine are given the resources that they need in order to make unhinged masterpieces like this.
However, Korine has never been one to be exempt from directorial freedom. The writer of “Kids” has made a handful of movies since 1996 that can, in the simplest way, described as experimental. They include “Gummo,” “Julien Donkey-Boy,” “Mister Lonely,” and most recently “Trash Humpers” – none of them receiving wide distribution. “Spring Breakers” has already grossed more than all of Korine’s other films COMBINED, in part due to the fact that it has a highly recognizable cast – including a role played by “Pretty Little Liars’” Ashley Benson.
The Suffolk Voice recently got the chance to interview Korine and Benson about “Spring Breakers.” The interview was completed over the phone with The Suffolk Voice along with other members of the press.
Harmony Korine: Hello, Ashley?
Ashley Benson: Hey Harm!
Harmony Korine: What’s up?
Ashley Benson: I don’t even know what we’re doing…
Harmony Korine: Me neither. Is anyone else here?
Press: How does music influence your writing and vision of films? Does it serve as a guiding force?
Harmony Korine: Music is a huge part; sound is a huge part; energy is a huge part. I listen to music constantly. Sound is half of what a film is. I definitely pay attention to it.
Press: Ashley, you’re known for your role in “Pretty Little Liars” – most of your audience knows you from that role… So why the huge jump to this?
Ashley Benson: I don’t know, I’ve been on that show for 4 years now and I feel as if people see me a certain way because of it. I wanted to do a film that was different than anything I’d ever done. I read Harmony’s script and I liked it. I wanted the chance to work with Harmony and James [Franco] and do something different.
Q: This film really starts off showing spring break as something like a wet dream, but it progressively evolves into more of a nightmare. Do you see spring break as a wet dream or a nightmare, or both?
Harmony Korine: A wet dream… Damn, wet dream… You know, I see it as it is in the movie. I guess if you want to say some of it’s a wet dream that’s okay, but it is what the movie is. It’s how it plays out. There are emotions, images, ambiguities, strangeness, and horrors all kind of mixed up and dancing together – kind of a cultural mash-up or interpretation of all these feelings.
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