Directed by: Harmony Korine
Written by: Harmony Korine (screenplay)
Starring: Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, James Franco and Selena Gomez
A neon pop nightmare of startling depravity, Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers shows no mercy in its depiction of America as a doomed beach party. Set in (where else?) Florida during peak Spring Break season, it tells the story of four college friends who wax philosophical on their demented quest for not just a good time, but the good time. Along the way they meet a rapper/drug dealer named Alien (James Franco) who thinks he’s teaching them the ropes but is ultimately just along for the ride.
What makes Spring Breakers tick is not the countless slow motion shots of jiggling T&A, beer bongs and jock straps, but in the hyper-stylized rhythm that puts them into context. Despite the club soundtrack and the atmosphere of excess, it feels more like horror party than peep show, though at times Korine is clearly lingering in the bared flesh. As a whole, though, it is the most cinematically alive movie I’ve seen so far this year.