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Interview: Harmony Korine

Harmony Korine‘s Spring Breakers, a debauched ode to sex, drugs and bass-drops in the criminal underworld of Florida hits cinemas this weekend. Matt Mansfield got a couple of minutes with the director to chat about about Skrillex, tapping into the mainstream and why Skittles are perfect for making movies.

PlanetNotion: What did you find so interesting about the dark side of spring break?
Harmony Korine: I don’t know. I didn’t want to make a film about that, I just wanted to use it as a backdrop for these characters. I’d been collecting all of this spring break imagery and I thought it was an interesting setting, and then I had this image of girls in bikinis robbing tourists on the beach. I kind of dreamt up the characters and the story from that.

PN: I’m interested in the way you chose to edit the film. It’s pretty abstract…
HK: Yeah. I just wanted to make a film that worked almost as a hallucination or a drug experience; something with peak moments and transcendence; something with more of a physical component than a traditional narrative. I wanted to experiment with this idea of micro scenes or a form that was closer to what you’d find in electronic music or even a hallucinogen.

PN: Is that why you wanted someone like Skrillex on the soundtrack?
HK: Yes, exactly. I wanted the music to be a kind of sensory bombardment.

PN: I’m guessing you took a similarly bold approach to the look of the film.
HK: Yeah, I wanted the film to seem like it was lit with candy, like we used skittles for lenses or something. It’s about a culture of surfaces and the way things look and feel, and to me all the pathology and the meaning is the residue from this.

PN: It looks like Spring Breakers is going to be the most commercially successful of your films. Is tapping into the mainstream in this way something you’re particularly interested in?
HK: I always want to make movies that people want to see. I guess for whatever reason this particular story and this world seems to be enticing to people, so, yeah, I’m glad it’s happening. People will always react differently and I try to make films where there is no right or wrong way to interpret anything, but I always want people to enjoy my films. I want people to be entertained by my movies.

Spring Breakers is released today April 5th.

- Matt Mansfield

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