Harmony Korine, USA 2012
Four out-of-control female students plan a fast-food outlet heist to be able to afford their well-earned spring break. Once they get to Florida, the girls throw themselves wholeheartedly into the delights of booze and drugs. But it doesn’t take long before they end up facing a judge in court, hungover and still clad in their bikinis. To their amazement, their bail bond is paid by local gangster and rapper Alien (James Franco). And then he goes and gives them the most hallucinatory spring break ever …
Spring Breakers may feature many always scantily clad young women, but is a much more complicated tale than you might first surmise, with all the swimwear managing to conceal and cover up many of these layers. At the Venice Film Festival, director Harmony Korine called his style a ‘liquid narrative’: ‘It’s like beach noir. I really wanted the film to be about surfaces. The entire culture is about that.’ This sits Spring Breakers firmly on the divide between exploitation and social criticism. The characters’ reprehensible morals are definitely laid bare, yet at the same time glorified in bright, fluorescing images, sexy close-ups, slow motion and hypnotic tracks. Prepare yourself for a trippy neon dream you will never forget.