Bacon taped to the wall: a Harmony Korine retrospective at Cinematheque

James Franco plays Alien in Harmony Korine’s 2012 “crime drama” Spring Breakers.

Harmony Korine, that post-grunge enfant terrible of America cinema, is the subject of a new retrospective at Vancouver’s premier arthouse, Cinematheque (1131 Howe St.).

Korine’s films include Gummo and Spring Breakers; he also wrote the script for Larry Clark’s controversial 1995 film Kids, which featured the first screen appearances by Chloë Sevigny and Rosario Dawson. The retrospective is the first of its kind in Canada.

See below for more about the films screening in Harm: A Harmony Korine Retrospective (Nov. 8-15).

Gummo (1997)—Korine’s first directorial effort, Gummo was filmed in Tennessee using a mostly unprofessional cast. If Kids hadn’t made it clear, this episodic, non-linear film announced a provocative and controversial voice; one scene, in particular, prompted many theatregoers to bail early on in screenings. German director Werner Herzog loved the bacon taped to the wall in the scene below, though.

Gummo. Note the bacon taped to the wall.

Julien Donkey-Boy (1997)—In fact, Herzog liked Gummo enough to play the father in Korine’s next film, Julien Donkey-Boy. The story is told from the perspective of a young man (Ewen Bremner) suffering from untreated schizophrenia.

Harmony Korine.

Mister Lonely (2008)—Inspired by his time spent living with his parents in a commune, Korine wrote Mister Lonely with his brother. In the film, a Michael Jackson impersonator meets a Marilyn Monroe impersonator and they move to a celebrity impersonator commune. The cast includes Diego Luna, Samantha Morton, Denis Lavant, Anita Pallenberg, David Blaine, Werner Herzog and Mal Whiteley.

A Michael Jackson impersonator meets a faux Marilyn in Mister Lonely.

Trash Humpers (2009)—A movie about a gang of sociopathic elderly thugs in Nashville, Trash Humpers has been described (on Wiki) as “an experimental black comedy-drama horror film.” Once scene is described thus: “The scene changes to the dark living room, which also features a dining table. Two old men sit across from each other, both wearing hats that are connected by a large pipe. They do not take these hats off and remain connected throughout the scenes in which they are featured. The old lady serves them pancakes, screams at them for a short time period, and then instructs an old shouting man to liberally apply dish soap to the pancakes. The hat men are henceforth forced to eat the pancakes. They do not appear to mind.”

The cast of Trash Humpers.

Spring Breakers (2012)—Four college-age girls on spring break in Florida get caught up with a nasty drug dealer named Alien (James Franco). A crime drama shot in Florida, Spring Breakers also features Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and Korine’s wife, Rachel Korine.

For screening times and dates, visit thecinematheque.ca.

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