Spring Breakers, the latest offering from controversial writer/director Harmony Korine, is about four college girls (Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine) who rob a restaurant so they can head down to Florida for Spring Break.
The first half of the film works on a loop of repetitive images, mostly of boobs, bongs, and keg stands. What initially appears titillating slowly becomes something deeply cynical. It works, not as a glorification, but as a critique of our morally-bankrupt culture – a culture where everything is in excess: alcohol, drugs, sex, violence.
The second half introduces us to a character named Alien (a hilarious James Franco), a Riff Raff lookalike, who, in one particular scene, evokes a white-trash Jay Gatsby, showing the girls all of his possessions: “Look at my shit! Look at all my shit!”
Another distinctive scene in the film, a violent montage set against Britney Spears’ Everytime, recalls the disturbing juxtaposition of Singing in the Rain in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange.
A neon-lit fever dream, Spring Breakers is often hypnotizing, blending candy-coloured aesthetics and a Skrillex-composed soundtrack into some sort of deeply ironic, demented pop poem.
By Sebastian Moore