I saw Spring Breakers on a snowy Saturday afternoon about a week ago and there were only a few people in attendance at my screening. It was a very odd way to see a movie like this! There were a lot of quiet laughs scattered throughout the movie’s 90 minutes that seemed to say, “We should be laughing. Right?!” The energy in the room before the movie began was complete anticipatory excitement, but afterwards it shifted to an uncomfortable and odd nervous excitement during which many could only make bug-eyed half happy/half scared faces at each other in an attempt to express how they felt. Leaving a movie theater always puts me in sort of a daze,but the post-Breakers daze was something else entirely — readjusting to non-neons, trying to figure out what you’re going to say to your friends on the way home about what you all just experienced, piecing together what you’re going to be taking from it. Honestly, the first thing I said after I saw it was “I hated watching that.” Which is the truth! I really did! But I definitely didn’t hate it. I think I liked it? Clearly, a week later, I’m still reeling a bit. So let’s talk about it! FOREVERRRRRR.

Spring Breakers opens in a way that uncannily matches your worst nightmare and/or best fever dream of what the Spring Breakers experience would be. A visual and aural assault, set to Skrillex’s “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites,” the movie immediately hits you with loud dropped baselines — the photography moving to match Skrillex’s spastic rhythm — lots of boobs, lots of beer ON the boobs, and constant, almost painful bursts of neon and sun. “Oh boy,” you think. “Oooooh boy.”

After the opening sequence sets the at once celebratory, beautiful, and VERY uneasy tone, the loose narrative unfolds in looped voiceovers and hazy peeks into the at-school lives of the girls. Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson sit in a crowded lecture hall in front of glowing computer screens simulating fellatio on drawing of a penis while talking excited about Spring Break while Faith, Selena Gomez, half-heartedly participates in a religious youth group, after which her youth group friends warn her against attending Spring Break with the bad girls. (The way that the movie just gets RIGHT into the girls desperately wanting to go to Spring Break, each of them treating it as if it’s a life-changing opportunity and a live-saving escape, is very funny. The gravity Spring Break [spraang brreeeak] is given throughout the movie is always very funny.)

We see the girls first break bad in order to fund their trip, with a quick robbery of the local chicken shack. The scene foreshadows the badness and power dynamic of the group — Faith stays home while Cotty drives the getaway vehicle, leaving Brit and Candy to “pretend it’s a video game” and gleefully rob the restaurant and its patrons. This was one of the better scenes in the film, taking inspiration from Gun Crazy‘s one-take heist scene shot from the inside of the getaway car.

The fact that the narrative is so loose and bare-bones makes it a very difficult movie to write about without resorting to flowery, artistic descriptions of the flowery and artistic depiction of Spring Breakers‘ debauchery. Which is boring! And I don’t want to do it! So instead I will say that it was scenes like the robbery scene, sprinkled in with the sparkling, shit-show party scenes, that actually made this a worthwhile film for me. The problems I had with Spring Breakers came up mostly when it seemed to be relying on its shock value which, at the end of the day, was not so shocking — kids are garbage and are only getting more unbelievable and ridiculous every day. We know that too well and see it frequently advertised on the Internet FROM THE CHILDREN THEMSELVES. So when it felt like the Spring Breakers was attempting to shock its potentially and unfortunately shock-proof audience (shock-proof at least in terms of what Spring Breakers has to offer, which is fairly minimal in terms of shock), it fell flat. But there were many instances when the movie reached a perfect combination of humor and weight and criticism and celebration, and those were great! Like the scene in which Franco’s Alien plays and sings Britney Spears’ “Everytime” while the girls dance with guns, leading into a montage of robberies.

That scene was great! Again! James Franco was remarkably good as the Riff Raff-inspired Alien, and the scenes in which he was allowed to BREATHEEE were the best of the film. The scene during which he attempts to convince Selena Gomez to stay, the “look at my shee-it,” the post-shooting scene during which he decides to kill his childhood best friend, Gucci Mane — all oddly believable due to the mix of his kind eyes, sweet sensibility, and totally fucked up everything else.

One of the reasons why I said that I hated the act of watching this movie is because, from the moment Alien whispered to Selena Gomez that he “had a heart of gold” and only wanted to take care of her, I was on edge waiting for him to prove the opposite. “When is he going to rape one of them?” I wondered. “When are they going to vengefully shoot him in the head while we have to watch?!” “I HOPE SELENA GOMEZ DOES WHAT’S BEST FOR HER AND STAYS BACK AT COLLEGE!” Always ready to cover my eyes, I waited and waited until Alien was killed by Gucci Mane’s gang, and I realized that…Uh, he did just kind of have a heart of gold? (Or at least as much of a heart of gold as a murderer drug dealer thief could have, LOL.) He did care about the girls! The way the tension built and built without being given any huge, shocking release is possibly the most surprising thing about Spring Breakers. There was no reason to sit in the theater, hands ready to cover your eyes. The violence is cartoonish, the girls are safe and stay at home once they go back, the and the consequences for our beautiful female heros are nonexistent. So, what is it saying then?

I don’t know! I honestly have no idea what Spring Breakers is saying. SOMEONE CALL ALL OF YOUR OLD COLLEGE FILM PROFESSORS, ‘CAUSE WE GOT A NOVICE OVER HERE! Maybe Spring Breakers is best taken in as a beautiful, sun-drenched, ultra-violent picture of how the world is seen in the eyes of our youth. Maybe it’s at once a cautionary and celebratory tale of the excesses of youth. Or maybe it’s just an excuse to watch a bunch of hot babes doing weird, cool, voilent shit while James Franco recites poetry over it, and also an excuse to see that Britney Spears scene. I don’t know. I’m stumped! One thing I do know is that I loved when Alien talked about the two different kinds of cologne he has and sprayed them both on and shouted “I SMELL NICE!” I do know that.

Comments (71)
  1. I made the mistake of watching this movie yesterday afternoon while battling a significant hangover (and hangover-related anxiety) from a friend’s wedding reception that got slightly out of hand on Saturday night. When you mix that with the general sensory overload of it all (which is basically a Skrillex music video made from the most over-the-top Girls Gone Wild Spring Break footage) to the building dread/anxiety in the 2nd half of the movie that something really bad was going to happen at any moment (but, as Kelly mentions, it never actually gets that bad), this movie almost sent me into a full blown panic attack by the end.

    That said, it was better than I thought it would be (again, for the reasons Kelly mentioned), and I would see it again just to watch James Franco’s ridiculously awesome bedroom monologue, which was just perfect on so many levels. “All this sheeyit! Look at my sheeyit! I got…I got SHORTS. Every fucking color! I got my fucking NUN-chucks!”

    • :( That sounds awful.

      • I’m just glad to hear that it wasn’t just me and that Kelly was struck with that same nervousness that Franco was going to turn on the girls at any moment (although he never did) and/or that I was about to see something truly awful at any moment (although it never did). I think it’s one of those movies that will be much easier to watch a second time, because it really was pretty entertaining.

        PS – Can we talk about the last scene? Wouldn’t you think that after shooting up Gucci Mane’s mansion (with fully-automatic handguns that they somehow never had to reload) and killing 20-30 people (worst gangster entourage ever, btw) that leaving the scene of the crime in the guy’s tangerine-orange Lamborghini (let alone driving all the way BACK TO COLLEGE in it) might be a bad idea? I get that we’re supposed to appreciate the general Scarface bad-assery of these 2 college girls who came down to St. Petersburg for Spring Break (forever) and left as the baddest MF’ers in St. Pete (and the only ones still alive), but that’s like Crime 101, right? And they burned their professor’s El Camino after robbing that diner, so it’s not like they don’t know how to cover their tracks. In a movie that was action-packed with unbelievable over-the-top dumb bullshit, somehow that seemed like the dumbest thing in the whole movie. Which is really saying something.

    • I remember seeing Sin City extremely hungover and having the same reaction. I think it was the monochrome. Full blown panic attack.

  2. Highlights:

    - Gucci Mane holding his daughter yelling “I NEED TO FEED MY BABY.”
    - Alien: “Girl, why you actin’ so ‘spicious?”
    - Robbery montage set to “Everytime” by Britney Spears
    - Cliff Martinez’s contributions to the score
    - Alien’s cologne comment
    - Pretty much every time Gucci was on screen

    • Baby Gucci is CUTE! Give her the lead in Lil Trash Humpers.

    • they need to bring back the upvote stuff because this list should get a lot of them, although the list did neglect the extensive use of “spring break forever”, a phrase i need to remember to use whenever i am doing something in the springtime that is not working

  3. I thought Spring Breakers was brilliant.

    I feel like it might not resonate as well with older age groups, but for a 23 year old with more than a few burnout friends who do nothing but perpetually party themselves into oblivion, this movie hit far too close to home. The opening scene, which was amazing, works as a sort of microcosm of the movie and its themes. It doesn’t show you anything explicitly NEGATIVE, as in violence or conflict in any way. Everyone is happy and having an awesome time and it has all the parts for what is supposed to be the ultimate party fun time, but the whole thing is rather grotesque. The way its shot, the use of slow-motion, the way the camera lingers and focuses on certain things, it completely flips the whole scene on its head and suddenly you are very uncomfortable watching what you and many of your peers probably at one point or another envisioned as being a really awesome time.

    The rest of the movie follows through with this idea, among others. The James Franco “Look! At my shit!” scene was probably the best thing in the movie, and again as a critique of materialism in our culture. A lot of people want that. That’s what they strive for. The awesome house. All the money. All the awesome stuff. Scarface! On Repeat! (really who doesn’t want that). I laughed at it, but it was really haunting and kind of tragic looking back. And that can be said of the whole movie.

    • I want to write a better comment than this, but I don’t have time at the moment. I will be back later to say more things about this movie.

    • I agree, saturnian. Did anyone else get the feeling that after the umpteenth shot of girls running in bikini bottoms, you were almost disgusted with these girls? I’m all for bikinis, I guess. (Gross, maybe?) But in that final murder rampage scene, I felt sick to my stomach seeing these girls in bikinis. And I kind of enjoyed the fact that Harmony Korine saturated you in the grossness of Spring Break, ad-nauseum.

    • So I hope I didn’t sound very pseudo intellectual Film Student 101 or something in my last post. But I thought this movie was really great. I didn’t look at it as a movie where you are supposed to focus on the plot or narrative arc or character development. Like sure, that definitely exists, but it is so bare bones that I don’t think Korine really wants you to pay attention to it (and in the instance of the characters I think their emptiness is intentional). Kind of like how Looper has some obvious time travel plot holes and Rian Johnson basically straight up tells you not to pay attention to them because of the way the plot holes are used to get to larger themes being addressed. To focus too much on the rather thin plot and action is to focus on the wrong thing in Spring Breakers. They are a means to an end, and I thought that end was a remarkably well done critique of youth culture today. It is flawed, yes, but the parts that it does well (the two scenes I mentioned above, the ending, both Britney Spears singalong scenes, among others) make up for its flaws and then some.

    • I will also say that there are many aspects of the films that celebrate youth culture, and that it is a lot more complex than a simple take down of the excesses of youth. I think it is both of these things simultaneously, and while I acknowledge that, I think the part that I talk about more here resonates with me particularly due to people I have known who occupy the more grotesque and critical aspects of the film. I don’t think the movie judges either side of the equation either, I think it just offers it in a way that acknowledges both the positive and negative sides of the subject matter to a fuller extent than you normally see.

      Guys I just really liked this movie a lot, is basically what I am saying.

  4. I saw this movie on Friday night at BAM. I hadn’t experience pre-movie anticipation like that since I saw 300 in IMAX and the whole row in front of me was a fraternity. As I left the theater, I climbed over a guy who was staying to watch the credits, and he said, “Drivel.” So ends my review.

  5. I flat out loved this movie. For one thing, I had no interest in watching this movie two weeks ago when I saw the trailer and thought, “Oh great, another one of these.” Though, in hindsight, I don’t know what I meant by “one of these” but I just knew I didn’t want to see this movie. Then on Thursday last week, I saw that it was written and directed by Harmony Korine and, considering his last movie Trash Humpers was one of the most difficult movies to get through, that somehow got me interested. I found out on Friday that a bunch of coworkers were throwing a mini-party Spring Break-themed complete with tramp stamps, jello shots, Gucci Mane videos, and a bunch of tequila and Bud Light and I was oddly invited to this get-together that took place 2 blocks from the Coolidge Corner Theater. People were wearing bikinis instead of underwear; the guys were wearing board shorts and I was wearing my work clothes, so I didn’t feel like I fit in. But I stayed and we went to the movie, half-drunk and anticipating an exploitation film.

    I explained to most of the group that this movie is probably going to be hard to watch if not sober you the fuck up. I won’t say I was completely right, but by the time I left the theater I was sober. Like what Kelly said, people were absolutely laughing only to break the tension, or at least that’s what I felt was going on. The “Sprang break, sprang break forever” was admittedly funny but nothing else was. And ALSO LIKE KELLY, I was 100% sure at least one of those girls were going to be raped at some point. I was also kind of upset at all the laughter going on in almost every single scene James Franco was in, because upon review of the movie, I kind of got the feeling that the character Alien was deeper than what we saw.

    This is, I guess, my experience seeing the flick in a nutshell. Mondays are usually tough, but this Monday I was excited to tell everyone to see the movie and that I’d gladly rewatch it with anyone unsure of seeing it.

    Also, I thought the “Everytime” sing-a-long scene was the worst part. SORRY EVERYONE!

    • It just felt like faux zeitgeist. It had the look and sound of blasted out neon, which felt pretty new and interesting, but the film didn’t take anything seriously, but also wasn’t sleek enough to be an action flick. It felt weirdly padded, as if I wouldn’t notice how tame and rote it was if they didn’t drop another scribbly Skrillex bomb on our heads.

  6. “Kids are garbage and are only getting more unbelievable and ridiculous every day.”
    Bravo, Kelly. Bravo.

  7. “I don’t know! I honestly have no idea what Spring Breakers is saying.”

    You just GOT GODDAMNED Korined.

  8. The review was pretty much exactly how I felt.

  9. But what did Steve Winwood think???

  10. Last thing, I guess. (Probably not.) Harmony Korine’s relative (is she a sister or a wife or GOD-FORBID his daughter?) showed her boobs a whole bunch. When I saw in the credits that her last name was Korine, I was sick to my stomach. But I suppose: ART! AMIRITE?! Gross. I felt super gross throughout the film. And that’s not to say it wasn’t the best movie-going experience I have ever had, except for seeing Enter The Void at the Red Vic on Haight Street.

  11. I watched the film and was surprised.

    1) The only characters with even a hint of backstory were Alien and Archie (poor kids from shitty families who grew up robbing tourists).
    2) The girls had none, excepting some random calls home. The girls literally seem to have come from nowhere and are first seen in an unnamed school in an unnamed state. Who are they? The movie could give a shit.
    3) The violence was cartoonish, so the stakes felt far less real than the party scenes, which had a little veritas to them.
    4) Kids, Korine’s iconic writing project, was a temperature-taking look at Kids These Days. And it was actually really stunning in its look at some of the things happening out there. Spring Breakers tries to do the same thing, only it doesn’t know its characters and doesn’t really care about them. Instead, the repetition of the girls’ delusional views of themselves to the faceless people back home felt mean, dismissive and repetitive as hell. Again, the movie doesn’t care who they are. They’re just there to spout pop culture violence and pop music dreck.
    5) “I’ve got Scarface on repeat! REPEAT!” is honestly one of the best lines of maybe any movie ever.
    6) The movie was fine, but its use of time dysphoria felt like a cheap attempt to inject some confusion when none really existed. The story was pretty by the numbers.

    • Not to get all intentional fallacy up in here, but I think story and characterization are pretty far down on HK’s laundry list of concerns. I’d say he’s a lot more interested in images, sensibility, and performance. Did you get any sense that he wanted the girls to have back stories, or the action sequences to be realistic? I didn’t.

      • I agree with you, but the lack of realism and commitment to the female characters left me not caring. There were no stakes. And the aesthetics weren’t so overwhelming as to create their own energy at the center of the film. It was as if SB didn’t commit to either aspect, leaving you wishing it were more or less realistic, or more or less invested in its characters.

        • Yeah, I guess I agree with you too. One thing I noticed was that HK appeared to reign in his weirdness to some extent in order to make a more formally unified film. In previous films he’s been kind of a kitchen sink director, but here the eclecticism had to be contained within a pretty specific world. I thought that was a strength of the film, but it could also be a weakness if it limits the stylistic verve without having fully developed characters step in to fill that space.

  12. I for one loved every minute of it. I thought it did a really good job of sneaking the darker second half into what was otherwise a fun movie. For a lot of the movie, it seemed like they were just saying “Partying is fun! Partying is fun! Sure, sometimes you get arrested, but other than that, partying is fun!” Then we were hit with some gun-violence and the neon was less fun, attractive lighting, and more sad, weird mood-lighting.
    When Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson were walking up to Gucci Mane’s house killing his kronies, I realized “oh yeah. This progressed surprisingly naturally. This is what should be happening right now, based on the last 90 minutes. It’s been so fun though.” It was fun even after Rachel Korine got shot in the arm. At that point, I should have been like “hey, maybe it’s not such a good idea to still be here.” but all of the characters were so committed to having a great time, I couldn’t help but also have a great time.

  13. I sort of had the opposite reaction in that I loved watching the movie, but I’m not sure I love the movie. It’s completely ridiculous and is like a dream that makes no sense until you think about it later, but really it still makes no sense. The film it most reminded me of was Tree of Life with its montage structure and lovely camera work. And, actually, it might be thematically close to the Malick film, too. They’re both about youth and wonderment at the beauty of life. Only one was bloated and dumb, and the other had loads of boobs.

  14. It was a very good film, and yet I couldn’t help but feel the black people were just another prop, like bikinis and booze. There was a great blog post in The New Yorker that explains it better than I can.
    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/movies/2013/03/spring-breakers-review.html

    • i think that yes, black people were props, and that it was a super intentional move on korine’s part. i think the race / class aspects of the film were really subtle and present, and added a lot to the disquieting tone of the film. like, the scene where they’re in the pool hall hanging out with all the black folk, and selena gomez started crying and talking about how she didn’t want to be there, these people weren’t nice, etc- at that moment, those girls were being way more physically respected than they were in the previous scenes with all the white roided out college boys, and the main difference was the fact that it was in a space controlled by black men and that black men feel inherently dangerous to these white girls. i thought it was really fucking brilliant.

      • Great point, especially with Selena Gomez returning to school, probably to listen to more academic lectures about American race politics.

        • YES. seriously, the fact that the lecture right before they went on spring break was about the civil rights struggle was DEFINITELY a thing. and the fact that the end of the movie was two white girls just MURDERING the HELL out of black people. i actually think race was a way bigger and way more interesting theme in that film than gender.

          • So what are you taking from the shoot ‘em up scene? I’m not sure I know what you mean by referencing it.

          • i think i’m saying something similar to what leec is saying down below- that violence is a real undercurrent of the film, and you spend the whole time anticipating violence against the four female protagonists. but it doesn’t really emerge- yeah, the one girl gets shot in the arm, but overall they mostly get out of their vacation unscathed. they are able to pick and choose how they experience st. petersburg- they’re tourists, slumming it with sex and violence, whereas the totally unnamed black characters who get murdered left and right at the end of the scene basically, plot wise, the climax of the girls’ vacation- are more bound to that specific place and bound to a specific role. they’re invisible people who are so thoroughly dehumanized that i feel like their deaths weren’t supposed to make the audience feel anything, which i think is how the vast american audience feels in general when thinking about “gangsters” and “the drug war” and the homicide rate in black america. does this make sense? i might be reading too much into everything, but as someone who lives in a city (new orleans) that has a massive tourist economy and a massive homicide rate, especially among black males, i feel like it was commentary on that dynamic. come to new orleans and party your ass off and don’t worry about the kids dying ten blocks away, they’re not a part of this experience, they’re not even a part of this city.

          • OK, nice reading. This is a weird situation to me because it seems like it would be really easy to do too much reading into the movie, and as has been discussed before on VG, media commentary on the Internet is getting kind of exhausting, but then you kind of get sucked into it and those seem like really valid readings. I wonder how much intent there is or if HK is just kind of tapping into things that are fraught.

  15. do you think harmony directed this movie via txt from a st.petersburg motel room

  16. i thought this movie was terrifying — i liked it, but like the final scene in Kids, it was kinda stomach wrenching. (i still get a little shocked by beer-breast combo, though was substantially less so by the end of the movie.)

    i didn’t get any level of bad-assery from the female characters as i was mostly scared of them. the reenactment of the robbery in the parking lot (after the hit me baby one more time play-singing) was maybe the scariest moment for me. britney, gun blowjobs, rape vibes from all the guys, it all seemed like equivalent levels of horror-violence, like we were witnessing really disturbing things, but the female protagonists are having the time of their lives (i wish i could take snapshot and freeze this moment, forever). it was less fun debauchery and more like we were waiting for rape and murder, which eventually happened…to dozens of black people.

    i got the message that maybe when we leave the movie, we can now see violence in things where we didn’t previously. (we’re just having fun, not hurting anybody.)

    but james franco poetry — yes.

  17. A+ film, this years Looper or Drive

    James Franco deserves an Oscar for this film, and I really like how Gucci Mane was just playing Gucci Mane; he had his signature ice cream tattoo on his face, ice cream chain and just before his wife (mistress?) shot up Alien’s car he said his signature ad-lib (BURR!) after saying “Merry Christmas”

  18. Dudes. We all know that Alien’s bedroom sheeyit monologue is based in reality, right?

    Check out the genius of Riff Raff:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBsgNeCqLiA

  19. I didn’t see this movie. Sorry guys, I just really am not a Harmony Korine fan! It’s my cross to bear.

    I did see Stoker, however. GUESS WHO HAD A CAMEO IN STOKER. I got mine due to poetic justice.

    • John Waters? Was it John Waters?

    • Okay, I knew nothing about Stoker, so I just looked it up. It was written by Wentworth Miller under a pseudonym, because “I just wanted the scripts to sink or swim on their own.” Ha! That is the best part of the movie for me now, even though I haven’t even seen it! Wentworth Miller, you were in a show that people cared about for half a season and then also a music video! You don’t need to seek anonymity, it has basically been thrust upon you already! The only reason I know your name is because I like to laugh at my wife for having a crush on a dude named Wentworth!

    • WAS IT JAMES FRANCO???

      And how was Stoker? I am going to see it this week and the trailer has me pumped.

      • HARMONY KORINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Also, I think I liked it but I am not sure. It is very pretty, the actors are good, the soundtrack is amazing, and it felt a lot like a V.C. Andrews book. I look forward to hearing your thoughts, as I do not know anyone who has seen it.

        • Jacki Weaver was really great in her small role. I thought I loved this movie until the end, when I realized the story and characters don’t resolve in a very satisfying or interesting way. The climax and denouement were kind of meh. But it was fun getting there, the visual style was wonderful too.

  20. MALE GAZE. ALL THE MALE GAZE. BLEACH MY EYES.

    Harmony Korrine is a member or the original flavor pussy posse (gross, sorry) so it’s not like I wasn’t expecting it…

    (For the record, all movies have male gaze problems even many that I love because blah blah patriarchy I’m so killing your boner blah but I mean, this was a bit much. This was just like, you know young women are people right? One of them might put on some gym shorts before a murder, just spitballing here. Maybe the old guy married to one of the teenz is not the guy you give funding to to tell his story about the young party girl generation. I mean, do we need more James Franco films? No. We don’t.)

    (Okay, sorry.)

    • Can you throw out some real good Female Gaze films? I’m sure I could conjure some up on my own accord and ask if I am right or wrong, but I’d rather just be the inquisitive person eager to learn.

      • This is actually a thing in lot’s of feminist cinema crit circles, but when it comes to female filmmakers it seems like any kind of “female gaze” is tossed aside in favor of just general storytelling, which is interesting to think about. The industry imbalance seems to lead to that, i.e. big time lady filmmakers like Kathryn Bigelow eschew the so desired Jeremy Renner and other naked guys Hurt Locker shower scene that might unfairly detract from credibility in the eyes of critics and the Academy, groups both largely made up of old white guys (or there is the theory that studying film as a member of the gazed upon gender leaves one kind of bored of the idea all together, as you’re conscious of it and are conditioned to see it as pointless to good storytelling, which it almost always is, we will have to ask her.) When it comes to hot guy nudes in cinema it seems to come more from either gay male filmmakers or from straight male filmmakers who have begun to fancy themselves gaze egalitarian; there was the recent dust up over Daniel Craig doing a Fast Times in Skyfall, the Joss Whedon brand of feminism seems to include equal pointless buttshots of Scarlett Johanson and Chris Evans, MAGIC MIKE, etc.

        The strongest example is still Leni Reifenstal’s Olympia which barf, no thanks Hitler. Certainly Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise counts. Take This Waltz which came out this year is very heavy on the female gaze, which is kind of the plot. There are arguments to be made about the length and framing of the shower scene in Mary Harron’s American Psycho being over the top in regards to how sex and nudity function in the rest of the film. There are also arguments about none-nude male cuteness as a form of female gaze i.e. the 100 close-ups of Paul Rudd shy smiling in Clueless. If you search female gaze on google there is a lot of blog hits where people declare the first Twilight movie the height of female gaze but I haven’t seen it.

        • Essh. Cool story, ME.

          • It is a cool story. I have nothing to add but “thanks, very informative” and also I would read any academic paper you write on this topic.

          • Good response. All I came up with was that D’Angelo video. Then I had to watch it, to be sure. I had to watch it 17 times.

          • Do not encourage me, I am insufferable. As insufferable as the Labouef smooch (BARF) and inversely as insufferable as that D’Angelo video (hello nurse).

          • Oh ok, I gotcha. SO like, Batman Forever would be a female gaze movie, and Batman & Robin would be an equal opportunity gaze movie.

            Olympia is very beautiful (those diving scenes look like they are free-form flying), but yeah, Hitler kind of sullies that one a great deal. Still a necessary ticket punch in film studies tho.

          • Yes, I would agree with that Batman example Kajus, though that’s more homoerotic gaze which, ooh boy, that’s a whole ‘nother thing to argue about on the internet.

            Yeah, Olympia, Birth of a Nation, that “early film history” stuff is full of headaches.

        • I don’t know, Messica. According to a fake poll I took when I worked at a theater when this movie came out, the ladies gawked at this kiss:

  21. A) There was the distinct possibility I saw the movie in the same showing as Kelly? Like, I stepped out of the sun-drenched bizarro world of Spring Breakers into maximally gross NY snow garbage. THANKS WEATHER!

    B) I get the whole Riff-Raff connection, but was anybody else so forever primed by High School they caught a pseudo-Gatsby vibe during the whole “look at my shit!” scene?

    C) WTG making the boring kinda-Christian girl totally and overtly racist, Korine. A+ politics! It’s very relieving to know that if Bill Maher ever overdoses on his own smug self-regard, someone will be there to step up. (This is not to say that he was necessarily WRONG, or to defend the vast, seething morass of totally and overtly racist boring kinda-Christians in this country of ours–more like, when you make Andrew Ti look nuanced, yr doing it wrong.)

    D) My sister goes to actual college in St. Petersburg. I can only hope she and her friends take great care crossing the street, lest they be run over by someone smoking a huge blunt while driving at approximately a million miles per hour.

    E) I’m pretty sure the takeaway from this movie is Blonde People are Amoral Monsters.

    These were some thoughts I had about Spring Breakers!

  22. I went in with no expectations (regarding what a movie should and shouldn’t be), surrendered myself to the surreal, acid trip nature of the film, and had an amazing time. I found the whole experience exhilarating.

    Great choice for the movie club. A movie that is so open for interpretation and gets such a wide range of responses and reactions is perfect for discussion.

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