Sunday, December 15, 2013

Spring Breakers and its stunning "Everytime" scene

By Michael J.W. Stickings

So, I finally got around to watching Spring Breakers last night. I can't say I'm much of a Harmony Korine fan, whose films generally consist of frighteningly beautiful and/or haunting and/or distasteful images amounting to little more than hollow pretension -- I much prefer the song "Harmony Korine" by Steven Wilson -- but this one, his most celebrated to date (if still arousing wildly different views), is actually quite impressive.

It's monotonous and boring at times, in spite of (or perhaps because of) all the nudity and sex (at times it seems like wall-to-wall tits and asses, boobs and butts, and not always in a good way), foul language, drug use, and violence, but it's an intriguing (and shocking) presentation of postmodern American nihilism, of a dream turned dystopic, of the dark side of youth culture and so of a terribly bleak future, and while neither the story nor the characters are developed at all, it has in its depiction of this materialistic madness a potency that exceeds its various shortcomings and that sets it apart from almost the entirety of American cinema these days, at least the sort of cinema you find at your local brain-numbing, soul-crushing multiplex.

So, yes, I recommend it.

The opening scene, of boys and girls going wild on the beach, set to Skrillex's "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites," is stunning, but so too, in much quieter fashion, is the "Everytime" scene, with James Franco (who's excellent and certainly deserving of Oscar consideration) serenading his three young, pink-masked admirers with Britney Spears's song "Everytime" (Britney's music features prominently in the movie, as if she somehow provides much of the soundtrack to American's cultural degradation, which of course she does), while a montage shows the four of them wreaking violent havoc as they embark on a crime spree that, well, can't end well.

It's a fantastic scene, with a Britney song that actually isn't awful (maybe her best?), and very much representative of the movie of which it is the centerpiece. And here it is:

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