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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring Breakers

Harmony Korine, the infamous director behind cult-classics such as 1995’s Kids and 1997’s Gummo, recently released his latest film, Spring Breakers, which has generated just as much, if not more, controversy as his previous films. The film can be summed up by its combination of a cast featuring Disney starlets, nudity, sex, and drug-use, a divisive cocktail that has resulted in mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike.
I went into the theater with low expectations, wondering how satisfying a film featuring a teenage wizard, a high-schooler prone to breaking out into song, and a pretty little liar could truly be. Instead I was met with a film that captures both the terror and beauty of today’s teens and young adults. Korine captures the disturbing nature of teens living in a hypersexualized society that fetishizes violence while also conveying teen’s desire to escape by intensifying or numbing their feelings with drugs and sex. The film’s visuals also proved to be one of the film’s strongest characteristics. Whether watching the characters shoot up a mansion in glowing, neon bikinis and baby pink ski masks or listening to the cast coo the words to Britney Spear’s “Everytime” against the backdrop of a glowing, Florida sunset, Korine’s visual were undeniably captivating.
Spring Breakers also presented an array of weaknesses. Much of the dialogue seemed unnecessary. Each character, for example, had a voiceover in which they explained what the spring break experience meant to them, despite the fact that audiences would have easily been able to infer the effect of spring break on the characters without the voiceovers.  The film’s threesome scene, one of the most criticized portions of the movie, featured Hudgens making noises comparable to what a 10 year-old might assume sex sounds like, resulting in the scene seeming cheesy and redundant. Many of the scenes also seemed too drawn out; do we really need a minutes-long close-up of Selena Gomez pouting while gazing out a bus window?
Flaws aside, I left the theater assured that my $13 had been well spent. The film strongly resonated with me in the days following my viewing of the film, with portions of the movie still echoing weeks later. Other viewers within the theater I attended felt differently. The friend that accompanied me stated that she thought the film was going to be similar to the films she had previously seen Gomez in and also thought that the countless “close-ups of boobs was gross.” The group of teenagers that exited the theater behind me commented, “Um what the hell did I just see? That was literally the worst freaking movie I’ve seen in my life,” “Oh my god, I literally wanted to leave, but like, I was like, maybe they love it?” “No, we like totally wasted our money.”
My high opinion of the movie may stand among the minority, but I believe that Mr. Korine has created another cult-classic that is sure to rivet viewers for generations to come.
- Molly


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