3 MOVIES HE'S DYING TO SEE
…and you should be too!
by Pete Wassell
Spring Breakers: Harmony Korine is back, in a big way. He’s been making films and content for 18 years, since he first penned the film KIDS directed by Larry Clark in 1995. The Writer/Director of such gems as Gummo, Julien Donkey-Boy, and Trash Humpers, has taken on a project that may seem mainstream, but could very easily be just as incoherent and fractured as the others. With a cast of Disney darlings including Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez, and also James Franco as Alien (a low brow white rapper with corn rows), all accompanied by a soundtrack produced and recorded by Skrillex, the question is, what’s not to be excited about? Here’s the plot outline from IMDB:
Four college girls who land in jail after robbing a restaurant in order to fund their spring break vacation find themselves bailed out by a drug and arms dealer who wants them to do some dirty work.
I’m not going to post the trailer here, but please go watch it. Harmony Korine doesn’t push envelopes, he comments on people who do. He is the envelope. Spring Breakers promises to be something new, exciting, and maybe even thought provoking. I’m excited because Korine is a true original, a down and dirty artist who battles inner demons and is always a treat to interview. I’m glad he seems to have some budget for marketing, with Iconoclast, Radar and a few other Production Companies doing a great job of branding this film for a much wider audience than Gummo or Julien Donkey-Boy. If you haven’t seen any of his movies, you should go rent KIDS tonight and think about him writing that when he was 19. You’ll understand just what kind of artist is Harmony Korine.
THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES: Writer/Director Derek Cianfrance teams up again with Ryan Gosling while adding Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes to round out the cast. I’m pumped for this. I’m not the most eloquent man, so pumped is the only word I can think of to describe my elation for this film; maybe ecstatic or perhaps enraptured. However you choose to describe it, I’m. Stoked.
Why? Because Derek Cianfrance and Ryan Gosling made Blue Valentine, the quintessential hipster love/breakup fantasy. Now I don’t identify myself with the “hipster” crowd, but that film is beautiful, and heartbreaking, and honest. Gosling and Michelle Williams have a chemistry is palpable and the film gives off this feeling of spontaneity that can only come from a director who is not afraid to be spontaneous.
The Place Beyond the Pines seems more genre specific, more methodical and plotted out. Cut to IMDB plot outline:
A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
If that doesn’t sound enticing to you enough, here’s the trailer:
That trailer rocks, and I can’t wait to see Eva Mendes playing off real life boyfriend Ryan Gosling, and Bradley Cooper looks great. I’m also always a fan of Ray Liotta, especially when he’s playing a dirty cop.
The Place Beyond the Pines is the film I’m most excited for this year, hands down, and it’s almost here! If you live in LA, the film gets a limited release in the US on March 29, and you know we’re getting it in La La Land. For the rest of you, keep your eyes open, you never know when they’ll decide to give it a wide release.
UPSTREAM COLOR: From Shane Carruth, the Writer/Director of the $6,000 Sundance smash Primer comes what I can only describe as his Malickian homage to life, love, and loss. The trailer is spectacular, full of grand vistas, and intimate, shallowly focused portraits of his characters. The plotline is a bit ambiguous:
A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.
Here’s a link to the trailer:
Primer showed Shane Carruth can both tell a gripping story and populate it with honest characters. The story is a bit complex, but upon multiple viewings it opens itself up and you realize just how simple it really is. I can’t wait for Upstream Color. Carruth may very well be maturing in front of our eyes. It’s going to be dark, yet shot so beautifully that you won’t be able to look away. I hope Carruth delivers because I want him to continue making movies, even if he does it at a snail’s pace.