Harmony Korine on Spring Breakers' "Girls in Bikinis Robbing Tourists"
To most of the world, spring break seems like a lot of fun, but Miamians understand the dark side. Damn college kids pass through for a week to drink liquor, trash the streets, and wear T-shirts announcing, "I survived spring break," gleefully blind to the fact that they are the very thing that makes South Beach difficult to survive.
But Harmony Korine, writer and director of Kids, Gummo, and Trash Humpers, sees an even darker side. There's a lot of evil out there in the streets, and evil can be one seductive mofo.
His new movie, Spring Breakers, starring James Franco and Selena Gomez, might look like a flashy, skin-oriented good time, but below the surface, it's much more sinister.
"For years, I have been collecting spring break imagery. I wasn't sure what I was using it for," he said. "Just pictures of kids on the beach going crazy, tearing it up. And then I started to see there was this connection in the details, almost like a hidden language or something. It served as almost like a weird poetry in it, and so I kind of liked that. Then I had this image of girls in bikinis on the beach robbing tourists, and that's how it started."
Growing up, Korine always saw spring break as a time when young people could get away with anything and be someone they weren't in a glorious haze of sweet, sticky alcohol and anonymity.
"I grew up in Tennessee around the kind of spring break culture that was something everyone looked forward to. Going to Florida and destroying things, having sex, and pretending like it never happened. It was just part of the tapestry at the time," he said. "I just kind of liked the idea of it as a backdrop or even in some ways more as metaphor."