Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers dives deep into the 2013 youth culture: sex, drugs and dance.
Disney's dolls Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens don't just shed their good-girl image, but also manage to effectively drop a 50-megaton bomb on them.
Heaps of cocaine on female torsos, boys in jockstraps standing over them wielding overflowing beer bongs, and James Franco hovers above it all as Alien, an unforgettable underworld entrepreneur who could easily have beamed down from another planet. His encounter with two loaded guns won't make any Oscar moments, but will undoubtedly be one of the most talked-about scenes of the year.
Korine after the the film's U.S. premiere: "The movie came to me like a dream, I’d been collecting spring break imagery for a couple of years from fraternity and co-ed pornography [websites]...There were all these hypersexualized, hyperviolent subjects. But then there’s all these interesting, childlike details -- like nail polish and bags, stuff like that. So I just imagined girls on a beach in bikinis robbing fat tourists. I thought that was funny, and from there I started building that image and dreaming this story."
Working with Franco had been something the two had talked about for years, but it wasn't until Korine started researching the locals of St. Petersburg, Florida, where the bulk of the action takes place, that the cornrowed character started to come into focus.
"He sent me some videos of this weird white guy with dreadlocks rapping in a car," Franco recalls.
"I couldn’t really understand what he was saying. Harmony said, 'Listen to this, this is the model for your character.'"
The plot is simple enough: Four girls, played by Gomez, Hudgens, Pretty Little Liars' Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine, the director's wife, rob a chicken joint to fund a trip down to Florida for the annual collegiate rite of passage. Alien soon sweeps in to spring them from jail, and the group proceeds to tumble down the rabbit hole from there. Pink balaklavas figure prominently -- echoes of Pussy Riot -- as do the kinds of assault rifles currently facing a Senate vote.
Rachel Korine, director's wife says, "Personally, I had never handled a weapon before, It’s a bit intimidating. It’s heavy, it’s dangerous. But I think that it was important for the film, for the feeling Harmony was trying to evoke. [The film] has a real intensity. It has beauty, but it also has sadness and humor and danger."
Gomez on the other hand announces, "It’s not me wanting to quote-unquote break any image," -- implying she's not into re-thinking her carrer.
"It’s just me being a 20-year-old actor. I want to do what I love. The show I did was incredible and I’m super blessed that I had that opportunity, but this has been a departure."
Korine, too, insists there's no grander scheme at play here, adding, "I’ve never thought of my career in terms of strategy. All my movies are like songs or something."
Franco when asked about wheather there was any pressure on him to keep the details of his latest project under the carpet ? he says, "No, not at all, They didn’t say one thing about it."
Spring Breakers parties its way into theaters nationwide on March 22. Its L.A. and New York party comes one week prior.