"To me, the most beautiful thing in the world is an abandoned parking lot and a soiled sofa on the edgeÖ with a street lamp off to the side. America seems like a series of abandoned parking lots, streetlights and abandoned sofas."
— Harmony Korine
Harmony Korine is an American Writer-Director of Avant-Garde Films
. To date, he has made five films:
Written but not Directed:
His films have a tendency to bend, break or otherwise subvert
Traditional Narrative. They also tend to deal with taboo
or otherwise esoteric
subject matter. As such, his body of work could most definitely be described as Love It or Hate It
The Works of Harmony Korine Have Provide Examples of the Following:
- Author Appeal: Vaudeville, Buster Keaton, Werner Herzog, Tap Dance, ChloŽ Sevigny (At first; later his wife, Rachel), and the Alienation Principle.
- Black Metal: Makes up much of the soundtrack for Gummo. Korine appears to have an affinity for Black Metal, appearing in the documentary Until The Light Takes Us, preparing an Art Installation wherein he plays Mayhem while in Blackface, tap-dancing.
- Crapsack World: His movies are typically populated by freaks, weirdos and/or losers.
- Creator Thumbprint: Anti-Social (or otherwise bizarre) characters acting-out through random and often-surreal activities, filmed with odd cinematic tricks, inter-spliced with genuine Documentary footage, and edited together in a rambling, non-narrative style similar to a collage. Established in Gummo, perfected in Julien Donkey-Boy, taken to an extreme in Trash Humpers, and finally streamlined into a more mainstream form in Spring Breakers.
- Documentary: Like his mentor Werner Herzog (Who acted in Julien Donkey-Boy and Mister Lonely), Korine's work blurs the lines between this and "Fiction Films". As said in his "Mistake-ist Declaration", "Don't direct a scene — document an action."
- Dogme 95: Made Julien Donkey-Boy, the first non-European Dogme film (Dogme #6).
- Eagleland: In bonus material on the Gummo DVD, Korine refers to himself as a "Strictly American Filmmaker", and most of his work deals with "The American Landscape". Which makes the France/Scotland/Unspecified Third World Nation-set Mister Lonely stick out even more.
- Gender-Blender Name
- Grotesque Gallery: Not for no reason has he been compared to Fellini, Jodorowsky and Lynch.
- Karma Houdini
- Le Film Artistique: His calling.
- Mondo: Made his name long after the heyday of the form, but his filming of certain less-than-pleasant spectacles like the Cigarette-Eater in Julien Donkey-Boy do share a certain sensibility with Mondo Films.
- Montages: Most of his films are basically long montages, similar to Goodfellas and The Tree of Life. Spring Breakers is edited with such propulsion it's basically a long Music Video.
- Oddball in the Series: Mister Lonely, a (Relatively) straightforward Drama lacking the rest of his work's idiosyncratic structures, American setting, grainy cinematography, sociopathic characters, and (Most) Le Film Artistique elements. That said, if it were made by almost anybody BUT Harmony Korine, it'd probably be the strangest film they'd ever made.
- Scenery Porn: Korine is preoccupied with what he calls "The American Landscape" described in the page quote. For some it's this, for others it's more like Scenery Gorn (or both).
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: His movies fall far on the cynical spectrum, though he shows a warped appreciation for these characters.
- Teens Are Monsters: Kids, Gummo. Spring Breakers, if you assume the characters are still in their teens.
- Who Names Their Kid Harmony?
- X Meets Y: Roger Ebert described Julien Donkey-Boy as "Freaks shot by the Blair Witch crew", but really, that could describe any one of Harmony's movies.