Wednesday, March 27, 2013

F This Movie! - Spring Breakers

Bikinis and big booties are what Patrick and Erika are all about.

Download this episode here. (31.8 MB)

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Also discussed this episode: Stoker (2013); How to Survive a Plague (2012); Fun Size (2012); The Warriors (1979)


  1. SO glad you did this one. I was a bit reticent to show my cards, but saw this on my birthday, and it is hands down my favorite movie. Was super scared y'all wouldn't like it, so when I saw that this was the "feature" this week, I approached it with much trepidation.

    I thought that once Faith (Gomez) wanted to leave it was SAYING A LOT about the fact that they were with black folks just playing pool. We see THIS is where Alien came from: a lower income, predominately black neighborhood. These folks were just sitting with their dogs playing pool. Whereas Archie, Alien's ex-friend & rival, was clearly trying to escape. As much as Alien was embracing the "thug life" he clearly hadn't abandoned his roots either. Again, Faith wasn't ready to call it quits until they were hanging out with a different socioeconomic class. Clearly Faith was more uncomfortable with being around different people. Even the words she kept using, "i don't know any of these people" or "I don't wanna be here". Obviously her guilt was catching up to her, but clearly not being amongst her middle-class peers was the final straw.

    This film is Intense & engaging movie that doesn't always quite work. Dreamlike with a fractured timeline and operatic dialog (aria-like thematic repetition).

    Kids is a good movie to put Spring Breakers up against. In a lot of ways its the same movie, saying a lot of the same things. Both about youth culture. Both were controversial when they came out. In Kids it was young people putting themselves at risk for HIV, engaging in very risky behavior. And here they are doing it again, Girls Gone Wild.

    Whats interesting to note is Korine's age on these films. He was 22 when Kids came out. He's now 40, yet he sees young people the same way. Now, you could say, he really hasn't changed his perspective about youth. Or you could say that kids really don't change as much as you would think from generation to generation. Or you could look at the fact that Korine married someone 13 years his junior, and he may be seeing through a prism of his wife's perspective.

    Franco is the worst thing in Oz, the best thing in this movie. Which shows you, its not him. Its what he's given. He gives it his all. Alien is sincere to a fault. He first plays off as a thug, but clearly thats his mask. His rapper is his Clark Kent mask. He is really sweet & quite gullible. We see it at the piano "music video". We see it in the pool hall. We see it in the pool (if you've seen the flick you know what I mean). He starts off by trying to play the girls, but in the end, is the one who's played.

    We're exposed to the zeitgeist of Spring Break through a Girls Gone Wild lens (both literally with cinematography choices and figuratively with the lurid imagery). This is the juxtaposition of the Disneyification of the casting (not lost on marketers or the director).

    I love a movie that FORCES critical thinking (something I think that is lost on the internet troll-era of "everyone has an opinion", yet "it sucks" is not critical thought). I love that this movie is uncomfortable. I love that this movie is both satirizing a culture and at the same time falling victim to some of the things its criticizing (e.g. crotch cam). I love that its messy. I love that its dialog is not real. I love that it teeters every line it draws. It is pure existentialism. By that I mean it is that argument of Christianity against the Greek thought that is the hypocrisy of Western Culture. We see it in Faith, compromising her beliefs to justify the ends. We see it in Alien, not aware of his own actions on others, and especially actions unknowingly upon himself. We even see it in the detachment of the "victors" ("like a video game"). Hate it. Like it. Love it. Don't get it. This movie is seldom what it seems, and deems multiple viewings. My favorite movie of 2013, we'll see if it remains that way come January.

    1. forgot to mention: THIS MOVIE IS A MUST WITH AN AUDIENCE (or at the very least one other person).

  2. I really appreciated this show. I'm 16 and, technically, apart of this "shitty" generation. The points you made were all spot-on. I had no interest in seeing 'Spring Breakers' because i was all, like you guys said, "i dont wanna see another movie about teens being obnoxious and abrasive, with their alcohol dependency, to have the best time they possibly can" (see anything produced/directed/written by anyone involved with the Hangover "trilogy"). But i think now, knowing the movie actually comments on "my" generation in an interesting and real way, I might actually check it out.


  3. It seems i didn't like this movie for most of the reasons you did like it. Maybe it's because i am younger and Korine is saying things about my generation that are in fact true, yet i don't want any part of. I preferred Trash Humpers which is the only other movie I've seen my Korine.

  4. I saw this yesterday, and it was fascinating. You pointed this out in your show, so I'm not saying anything original here, but in a way, it was like Magic Mike for the college-age male crowd or the fan of Girls Gone Wild. On the surface, it looks and sounds like this movie that's going to be nothing but a big party, with boobs and drinking and all that fun stuff a teen comedy would have, and some of it is, but it also has lots of other things to say, as well, that you may not be expecting going into it.

    I have to say I liked the movie. Even though I never really had any desire as a young person to participate in any of the lifestyle it depicts, I certainly acknowledge its existence and see how someone would either fall into that lifestyle, want to be a part of it, or have this kind of sense of entitlement that they deserve that lifestyle. I think it's a concept worth exploring.

    I loved the artistic elements of the movie, as well. The visual style was great and the music was fantastic. Both suited the movie very well, and I think other than James Franco, the music was one of my favorite parts of the whole thing, both the awesome electronic score and the use of pop songs (Britney Spears).

    If the main goal of the casting was to was to shed these actresses of their Disney persona or cast them completely against type to show this kind of girl engaging in questionable behavior, those who made that decision certainly succeeded in that venture. No, they aren't great, but the choice to place them against type is effective. And let's talk about James Franco for a second. I don't know if this will be an Oscar-nominated performance (even though I think it's Oscar-worthy), but I feel like it will be a career-defining performance for Franco, unless he goes for more crazy character parts like that, which he should. He really commands that role, and my eyes are glued to the screen every time he says or does something.

    It's astounding to me how many people are not liking this movie, or missing its points, but I guess that's just a product of it being art. I think it's a movie that requires some thought and discussion, and perhaps people just aren't willing to think during Spring Break (or a Spring Break movie).

  5. Those twins are the scariest thing I've seen in a movie in a long time.

  6. Thanks for the shout out, but I swear I don't know how old Ashley Bensen is. :)

    Harmony Kornine is an interesting filmmaker in theory, but his films, for the most part, are more entertaining to discuss than to watch.

    That being said, my wife really liked "Spring Breakers" when she saw it with a female friend the other day. I'll definitely catch up with it when it hits blu ray.

  7. Thanks for the shout out Erika, Hoop Dreams is one that will stick in my head for a while. This film was a little special for me since they filmed it in my hometown (the first movie to film in the area since the Thomas Jane The Punisher) Man this film is just relentless. As a warm blooded heterosexual male I didn't think a filmmaker could make me feel so dirty about watching young hot nubile girls engage in promiscuous activities.

    While I thought the film was very well done and interesting I can completely understand a lot of people not liking the movie. One thing that I really liked about the film is while a lot of the characters were very over the top, the way the violence and sexual content was done felt very real. Also I really hope James Franco gets an Oscar Nom for this, he just disappears in this role, it's damn near unbelievable how good he is in this film and how bad he is in Oz the Great and Powerful.

    While I have been to movies this year that are more "fun" quality wise this is the best one I have seen yet well done Harmony Kornine.

  8. Finally got around to listening to this - I had been waiting for some kind of announcement about Doug - congrats Doug wherever you are!

    Great podcast (the first 45 pre-spoiler minutes anyway, I assume the greatness continues) always enjoy hearing from Erika. I haven't seen this yet and I'm pretty sure I won't get to it in the theatre, though I'm definitely interested in watching it now (not because of THAT). I'm always happy to find out that something I've basically dismissed as mindless garbage turns out to be something interesting and good!

  9. Very cool. Got to listen this morning. I definitely want to see only fear is that I don't want to be judged if I don't pass the litmus test in the first five minutes...

  10. Wanted to drop a note since I finally (I know, I know) caught up with this movie, am definitely glad I made the time for it, and great podcast for it too.

  11. I thought, in some sense, that this was a race relations movie. It's been a long time since I've seen it but I believe the lecture the girls are sitting in on at the beginning was about the civil rights movement. Instead of paying attention, they draw dicks.
    They also focus on the girls pointing a gun at a black man's head for a long time during the robbery.
    As another poster pointed out, Faith didn't want to leave until she was around a bunch of black dudes playing pool, a very tame moment compared to what she had just been through.
    The movie even sort of ends with a race war.

    What is the point of all this? I'm not really sure. Perhaps it's to show that while some young people romanticize the "thug life" it is because they don't actually have to live it, they can just vacation there and leave as soon as it gets too much for them.