Expectation Breakers

james-franco-alien-spring-breakers

Who would have thought that Harmony Korine’s candy-colored fleshfest “Spring Breakers” would be so unsatisfying?  But that seems to be the point.  While watching the movie I kept searching for ways to “make it work” but couldn’t.  Not as a bacchanal – I found the quick cuts clinical and unsexy.  Not as a gangster movie – James Franco was more clown than crime boss.  Not as a parody – it’s too dreamlike and not funny enough. Not even as Korine’s standard detached documentary – the characters have no depth, there are no real connections.

“Julien Donkey-Boy”, a previous Korine film also featuring dysfunctional weirdos,  offers moments of real emotional connection.  There’s a touching scene where Chloe Sevigny is pretending to channel the deceased mother of Julien (Ewen Bremner).   But in “Spring Breakers” everything is detached and suspect, you can never quite believe what is happening onscreen.  Would four naive-seeming co-eds don ski masks and rob a restaurant with squirtguns and a mallet?  Would they exalt afterwards?

Throughout the film Korine has you asking such questions.  Every time you think the film is hewing to a narrative type (coming-of-age, redemption, documentary) you are thrown off base.  So James Franco’s “Alien” character initially seems ridiculous, then briefly menacing.  The next time you see him he’s jumping up and down on a bed while holding on to two machine guns saying “Look at my shit!” in a very non-menacing, non-gangster way.  This is not an organic change, it’s just an inconsistency.

Motion in this movie is created by the scrambling of these filmic conventions, rather than through character development.  This feels unsatisfying, and throws into relief the tacit agreement we ordinarily make with films: a willingness to trade the enjoyment that comes from having unspoken conventions met – for example the revenge narrative – in exchange for accepting poor writing, no semblance of real life, and a conventional, cowardly point-of-view.

Other disruptive films, for some reason I think of atmospheric French films, simply deny the viewer the usual pleasurable sign-posts.  Spring Breakers shows them in brightly-colored glory, only to have them fade and blur in close-up.

 

 

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16 Comments.

  1. 老百姓的心里在滴血,祖国的大好河山也在滴血,该亮剑了
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  2. 乘客打不开降落伞,你不会设计成自动打开的,2高空不适合跳伞你不会降低到一定高度,再让跳 3飞机刚起飞出故障需要跳伞吗?小编你把这个拿来做比较?假如8000米高空的飞机出故障掉下去能有几个人能活?如果这个时候能降低一些将乘客弹射出去,自动打开降落伞,难道会都死掉?
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  3. ——现在中国选手居然放弃用两个小时观察200把折叠扇的权利,简直叫人血脉喷张!中国选手是想证明什么?_?整个赛场惊讶?中国能赢吗?
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  4. 医生一辈子不找你,你能一辈子不找医生吗?有种一辈子不要找医生看病
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  5. 想法太过偏激。不是每个男人都一样。相反,你们女的也有不守妇道。
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  6. 如果连着都没有行动的话,我们还何以卫疆土!!!!别还在先礼后兵了,中国海军直接上吧~!
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  7. 建造航母抵抗外侮要拿出对付老百姓的狠劲来才对!
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  8. 油价又他吗上涨了,看了这个消息我YD的笑了
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  9. 我小时候身体不好,也不爱吃饭总是剩饭每次都是爸爸帮我吃掉,现在我结婚了有了自己的孩子,爸爸每次出门吃饭还总要带上我,我吃饭他就一直笑呵呵地看着我,有好的东西好吃的总是先给我,突然好想爸爸,爸爸妈妈我好爱你们!谢谢你们对我的爱!
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  10. 嫁对人了,天天情人节。嫁错人了,天天清明节。
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  11. 当今的中国怎么了??当今的社会怎么了??!!!
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  12. 可怜,我的宝宝今天16天了,生的时候疼死了。现在每天吃奶半夜三更起来几次。有时候也烦,孩子爸都不管孩子,从第二天起,都是我给孩子换纸尿裤,喂奶。他睡我也睡,他醒就要跟他玩。有时候哭的声音真大,吃了奶就乖的像绵羊。有时候还笑。很可爱的小生命
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  13. 如果这次就这样冒得点动作,那中国就要跟晚清一样了,任人宰割的时候到了。一说美国就把中国吓得这样,我真的不解。刚刚解放那阵子中国是百孔千疮,武器处于于此劣势也把美国佬打在停战书上签字,为什么现在就变得闻美色变??????千万不要做千古罪人。
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  14. 要是我,当时就离开等他们下班,一个一个打打到生活不能自理为止
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  15. 女人生孩子期间都会有产后抑郁症,只能说她的老公不够关心她,让她绝望。出现这样的悲剧,丈夫应该付全责
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  16. 枪秆子里面出政权,不拿出点本事来,只会越来越被人欺负!!
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