Some thoughts on “Spring Breakers”

i’m really not a “movie person.” sometimes when i tell people that they think i am a sort of sociopath or something but idk, i’ve just always had a hard time paying attention without my mind wandering. i like music because it doesn’t do all the work for you; like only one of your senses is engaged and the rest are free to fill in the blanks. my favorite movie is “belly” because it looks cool, and i haven’t seen like 95% of movies you are “supposed to” see, so basically what i am saying is, i am by no means competent as a “film critic” or to talk about how this relates to korine or art-house film shit as a whole, and i don’t care to do that. i just wanted to share some thoughts on “spring breakers” because i can’t stop thinking about it.

i think it’s funny that people who reject this movie seem to be missing the same points as people who reject riff raff.
that is, they get distracted by surface lulz and miss all the deeply sincere elements. not like “oh he is actually really good at rapping despite looking goofy” (which is also true). but that he is, while also a bit of a performance artist, a sincere, emotionally complex, romantic, lonely person who clearly philosophizes a lot about identity. this tweet comes to mind (“just pretend like it’s a video game.”)

the most “riff raff” moment for james franco’s character alien isn’t the “look at all my shit” scene (though that is obviously directly inspired by this: ) but the britney spears “everytime” scene (which i totally cried at). people in the theater laughed when he called britney spears “an angel if there ever was one” but it wasn’t supposed to be funny. alien is a die-hard romantic like riff raff, in the same tragic sense, where they feel like they’re too weird and the earth is too bullshit for them to ever truly relate to another person, but they still feel the void. alien is actually in love with these girls. when he deep-throats the gun candy is holding, it was one of the most romantic scenes i have ever seen. also one of the most feminist. nicki rapping about putting her dick in your face comes to mind. speaking of which, “moment for life” in the diner scene was the best thing ever.

re: britney, and the entire soundtrack, and just the entire fucking movie: people who see this movie as satirical or subversive or some sort of moralistic commentary on the state of american culture or whatever probably think britney “everytime” or the skrillex songs are meant to be ironic, and probably cannot grasp being able to appreciate these things in earnest, despite, or more accurately, because of their “flamboyance.” if you believe in the concept of the “guilty pleasure” you cannot understand spring breakers. it felt relevant to re-read susan sontag’s “notes on camp” after i saw it for the second time yesterday

there is a huge difference between camp and satire, namely the presence of sincere affinity and empathy.

to categorize the four girls as vapid faceless party bitches, or critiques of the exaggerated pantomime of hypersexualized femininity, is not only myopic, but ignores the fact that femininity pretty much IS an exaggerated pantomime, generally speaking. but i meanā€”james franco fucking sucks their metaphysical dicks! they fucking kill gucci mane! they steal their professor’s car because cotty was fucking him and then they set it on fire! how does this not pump you up as a feminist? it’s the men that are expendable here! these girls emasculate like every dude in this movie!

i also think it is harder for dudes to fully “get” this movie (not saying it’s impossible, or unrelatable, but still) because i got a very distinctly feminine sense of discomfort in the more intense scenes when faith is realizing that she needs to get the fuck out of there and alien is manipulatively caressing her face. again i’m not saying dudes can’t relate to that sense of danger, but i’m willing to say that it’s not the same.

what i really just want to say is that spring breakers is how i felt all the time for most of my life, up until recently. and often, still.

partying like an idiot is spiritual when you hate where you are. the escapism of getting fucked up is everything. even when you know it’s kind of stupid it’s still everything.

i cried when i saw spring breakers because i viscerally remembered when i was 21 and living in south bend indiana. i was going to school at notre dame and i hated everyone there and the only thing to do that wasn’t boring was get fucked up even though that was boring too. (i think a side note of spring breakers is how supremely useless college is.) then my mom died and i failed all of my classes and dropped out but i still lived there because there was nowhere else to go and i kind of felt seduced by my own ennui and self-destruction. and every single day it felt like when brit is coldly shooting liquor into her mouth with the toy gun. and that’s when you feel like if you don’t put on a pink ski mask and pretend like you know how to use a gun and do some horrible drastic shit, NOTHING WILL EVER FUCKING HAPPEN.

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  4. toasterwaffles said: Ugh, when Selena leaves, so real! So real. Cotty naked on the floor calling men bitches = lesbian separatist utopia. And the gun blowjob scene is one of the sexiest, American, feminist moments ever committed to film. loved reading this. xoxo
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