13 January 2014

Spring Break Is The American Dream?

In all honesty I have no real idea what a Spring Break actually is and from what little I do know, I suspect I'd completely fucking hate it. I think it's like a big beach party in America where all the newly legal teens migrate to in order to get off their tits and bone each other.. but I'm no expert. In England the weather doesn't really permit us to strip off outside and even if it did, our fun would no doubt be spoilt by a hosepipe ban or an unchecked sex offender. To be honest with you, I'm only twenty-five now but I think that mentally I've been Arthur Dent since probably about birth. If I ended up at one of those teeny beach raves I wouldn't be joining in because it just seems a bit too vacuous and tribalistic for me. Kind of like if MTV had been involved in the last days of Rome. Instead I'd probably just be stood clothed on a nearby jetty, enjoying a nice cup of tea, as the youths frolic in the water and I wait to see if a rogue speed boat ploughs through and kills them all. It seems that it's the kind of place where nubile airheads go to do something 'crazy' as though the word 'crazy' really means exciting! But it doesn't mean exciting... It means completely fucking retarded.

With that in mind, the chances of me being able to relate to any single character in the film Spring Breakers seemed about as likely as those types of people giving any kind of shit about me. I know that we're all human but with their impulsive, extraverted nature and my crippling sense of cynicism, I refuse to believe that we're actually the same species. That being said, a movie doesn't necessarily need a sympathetic or relatable lead character if it has a particularly gripping style or story to pull you in. I mean, believe it or not but even at my age I still haven't been raped or even raped anybody in a quiet country house but that doesn't mean I can't love Straw Dogs. However the story of Spring Breakers begins with a group of young, shallow, tarts desperate to go to this ‘Spring Break’ event thing so that they can whip out their titties and start shoving some boys up themselves. Initially they don't have enough cash for the trip but by combining their five brain cells, they decide to just steal the money from some other people... which they do. After a few days of partying they end up in jail having been charged with the crime of being an irritating, coke snorting herd of slags. Lucky for them though, they've caught the eye of a dreadlocked freak named Alien who bails them out and takes them under his wing. There isn't a character here that doesn't represent everything that I hate about the world... To quote my hero Morrissey, “Come! Come! Come - nuclear bomb!”

I wonder what could be popular about this boobs.. I mean... film..
The film was written and directed by Harmony Korine whose previous efforts include Trash Humpers, Mister Lonely and the legendary Gummo. I actually saw Gummo for the first time last year and was shocked by how much I loved it. I'd been promised a film in which, “some weirdo's have a fight with a chair”, and so I was prepared for some morally dubious piece of shit in which disabled people are exploited for giggles... like they are on The X-Factor, however what I got instead was a beautifully shot and dreamlike film in which a town of impoverished hicks crack on with their simple lives of skinny dipping, theft and chubby-whoring. Obviously I enjoyed the chair fighting stuff too but there's no way that I can't love any film that concludes with a Roy Orbison song as some kid in bunny ears runs towards the camera whilst holding a dead cat. As a result of my love for Gummo I was looking forward to Spring Breakers. Also after the tragic death of the year 2013, people began including this film quite frequently in their top ten lists... So I was kind of excited.   

To anybody watching this film, my advice would be not to have the high expectations that I did and then afterwards wait at least a day before making any decision on it. You know when you eat some burgers that are so old that they've turned slightly green and, true story, you have to give it twenty-four hours to see if you shit yourself to death?… Well that's kind of what the movie is like. It needs time to sink in but when it does you'll either have had a good time or a really fucking terrible one. After much mulling over though, I can thankfully conclude that eventually I thought it was great! It's no Gummo but it's certainly fucking something... I think the main problem is that it depicts this stupid event as a kind of Mecca for knobheads but then doesn't seem to have an obvious opinion on it. I mean I think it's a satire because there's a voiceover in which the girls claim to be having such an enlightening time as a montage shows them pissing in the street but then maybe I'm just seeing that angle due to my own prejudice? I imagine that the kind of smooth skinned braindead fucktards that the movie depicts could probably watch Spring Breakers and take it completely at face value... as though it's a full-blown tribute to their shallow, unimportant and shit lives.

I think that for me the key to deciding how I felt was a scene near the end in which the twattish looking Alien plays the piano whilst his gang of trollops prance around him. They ask him to play something that will show his emotional side and so to prove how tender he can be he plays a song by Britney Fucking Spears. The scene then transcends into something bizarre as though Britney's music is the path to their enlightenment … As though her songs have any kind of meaning at all, let alone a deeper one. I mean, we do all remember who Britney is right? The talentless skank that went mad, shaved off her hair and then made a career out of flashing her gash. I mean I know there are scumbag members of the paparazzi lying in the gutter to get the flange-shot but she could still wear some fucking underwear. Have you seen her vagina? It's like Mother Theresa’s wrinkled arse hole... All rank and gross like a dying Sarlacc as it strains painfully for one last gasp of life. From this alone I had to conclude that the film was taking the piss because surely nobody could seriously treat Britney as some kind of white-trash deity? Surely they couldn't? Jesus- I hope it's taking the piss!

Well he looks like a lovely chap...
The other thing that deserves praise is this Alien character that I keep referring to or to be more specific, James Franco's performance as him. Franco is almost unrecognisable in this role having hidden himself beneath a head of hair that resembles the Predator's pubes and a set of gold teeth that suggests he's sucked off King Midas. Alien is a gangster but his heart is in the right place even if his brain isn't...  He's one of those morons that watches Scarface and idolises the career path having clearly not watched the end and seen that.. spoiler alert... Tony Montana doesn't end up as a rich and happy old man. Also I heard Franco say “y'all” so many times in Spring Breakers that I now have a permanent twitch in my eye that I'm sure suggests the phrase has become a trigger for me to go on a kill rampage. It's a great performance and one that is rightly gaining praise from most who see it however it does seem to have rubbed one chap up the wrong way. In July 2013 a rapper named Riff Raff sued the makers of this film claiming that the character of Alien had clearly been based on him and that he had not been paid or received credit for this. Beyond the fact that I'm pretty sure you don't need a person’s permission to portray them in a film I thought I'd Google him anyway and to be fair he has a point....When I first saw a picture of Riff Raff I was struck by two thoughts, the first was “Jesus he looks the spitting image of Franco's Alien” and the second was “Fuck me this guy looks like such a cunt”.

Franco's performance was great but nothing probably helped it more than surrounding him with an ensemble of dull actresses and characters that were completely devoid of any personality. It was the acting equivalent of standing next to the town munter just so that you can look better in a photograph. However with my reading of the film, these boring girls are intentionally this way to highlight the kind of insufferable dullards who enjoy this crap lifestyle. Again I'm pretty sure that some real life fucknuts could watch this and relate to the irritating skin-puppets on screen, however as much as I get this message, it's still pretty hard to sit with them for ninety minutes and so, for me, the other appeal of Spring Breakers was also in its style. Although to be fair, even that's garish and crass with all the colours set to eye raping levels of intensity. Remember when people first got dodgy copies of Photoshop and suddenly everybody thought they were a photographer because they could take a shit picture and then crank the curves and colour saturation up to such an extent that it looked like they'd been caught in a nuclear blast? Well that's kind of the look the film is going for too although again I'm hoping that this is another example of demonstrating the shallowness of this whole event.

To kind of conclude, there was some controversy after the film was released with some people claiming that its depiction of females was sexist but with others defending this saying that it was actually empowering for them. For me though the films refusal to have an obvious stance on its subject kind of results in it having its cake and eating it. On the one hand yeah these girls become tooled up bitches who take what they want and ultimately answer to nobody but on the other hand they do it with their arse out and their tits bouncing. I do recommend this film but if you watch it and decide that you need to go to a beach rave, I don't think that we can ever be friends again.


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